The scientist Diana Purlow is performing experiments with the mind of criminals sentenced to death in the prison of the sadistic warden Earl Blakely. She tests an apparatus she developed and capable of read minds in a man that claims to be innocent of a murder, but she is not able to convince her former lover and Governor to call off the execution. When the serial killer Jesse Mowatt is arrested and sentenced to death, she convinces the warden to submit Jesse to her experiment. While working with the murderer, Diana faces pure evil in its essence. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The electric chair, featured prominently in the movie, was last used in Texas for executions in 1964. In 1977, Texas approved execution by lethal injection, and in 1982, carried out its first execution by such means. See more »
When the cage containing Jesse Mowatt slides sideways off of the bed of the flatbed truck, the cable pulling the cage can be seen going from the cage off to the left. See more »
This is one of those films that I caught about 15 min. late on late-night cable. That missed 15 made all the difference. The clunky exposition - 'Tonight', '3 Days Earlier', etc., etc. - played no part in my first impression, and the film played as a straight jailhouse drama, with LESS ludicrous pseudo-science, fewer superhuman feats perpetrated by the arch-villain.
I was so intrigued that I programmed my Tivo to catch the West Coast feed of the film, and that was the good-bad mistake. This film would have been far more effective if they had eliminated the backstories at the beginning of the film and the wannabe 'Another Heaven' (2000) aspects of the Jesse Mowatt character. The director and the editor overplayed their hands there.
The pluses for this film are that the leads - Dina Meyer, Lance Henrickson, Jeff Fahey and even the writer/actor Pavan Grover turn in acceptable performances. I was especially impressed by Meyer here, in her capacity to convey sympathy, compassion, authority, fear, etc. Dennis Hopper's contribution however, is execrable: his lines are terrible, and he chooses to read them like a 'tough love' southern caricature.
The 'metaphysically-enhanced serial killer' is an overcrowded field. It has been done to death. If anyone is out there writing such stuff, it is best that they limit their palette - too many psychic powers and sci-fi gadgets can put a serious hurt on one's story. Otherwise, this one is well-enough executed, and ironically a full cut above the junk that's habitually ground-out by the SciFi Channel.
If it's a late night or early morning, definitely worth biding one's insomnia by...
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