Reviews

Mind, Body, & Soul (1992)

Wings Hauser is a god among men. A hero. A legend. A king. He is also a criminal defense attorney going up against a satanic cult that’s responsible for grisly human sacrifices in the Los Angeles area.

Brenda (Ginger Lynn!) and Carl celebrate their 90-day anniversary. Yes, that’s right. Ninety days. They gush and stare at each other with googly eyes. Carl admits that he runs with a group of friends that she may not like. She goes to meet them.

“Why are they wearing all black?”

Because, Brenda, they’re in a satanic cult.

The leader wears a black hood and a black mask. He menacingly waves a curved dagger over a topless woman chained to a pentagram. Cult members chant as the leader prepares to sacrifice the victim in the name of Satan.

But then, the cops break up the black mass. Why must cops break up a good party? Brenda ends up in jail.

Luckily a plucky criminal defense lawyer named John Stockton comes to her rescue. John, of course, is played by Wings Hauser. Because he’s got a smooth game, he posts her bail and invites her to stay at his place. Obviously, she accepts. You and I would too. It’s fucking Wings Hauser. Of course you’re going to crash at his place. He probably has a never-ending supply of guac and chips and a drawer full of cocaine.

But before Brenda leaves lockup, she gets raped by a prison guard with a pentagram necklace. Never trust a dude wearing a pentagram necklace—actually never trust any dude wearing a necklace.

Now the satanic cult is after Brenda and she fights for her life. There’s hot candle wax on bare chests, severed fingers, car wrecks, panty-stealing, and sexy times with the PA of a public access talk show. At some point a Dark Arts priestess summons a spirit who looks like Rob Zombie, only more disheveled and confused. Then John and Brenda play the shell game—that’s the game where you hide something under one of three shells. I should note that Brenda is very, very bad at this game.

Meanwhile a loud-mouthed, fiery, chain-smoking detective is hot on the tails of the cult. Clearly this is a role that should’ve been played by Wings Hauser. The role of Carl, Brenda’s vengeful, murder-hungry, ex-boyfriend should’ve also been played by Wings Hauser. Rachael, Brenda’s cellmate on the verge of a psychotic break, should’ve been played by Wings Hauser, too. Basically this film should’ve had a cast of two.

Mind, Body, & Soul is a solid mid-fi offering from director Rick Sloane (Hobgoblins, Blood Theatre). The script is straightforward and predictable and at times there’s just too much talking, and there’s not too much gratuitous gore or over-the-top sleaze, which is odd coming from a 90s horror film about a satanic cult. But the performances are thoroughly entertaining, making this movie a pleasure to watch despite its weaknesses. Ginger Lynn does what Ginger Lynn does best; she falls in love, takes off her top, looks confused and mildly outraged, and gets chained to a pentagram. For the most part, she’s able to keep up with Wings Hauser without getting lost in his larger-than-life presence. This is not an easy feat. Look at that man. He is a beast.

Now I love Wing Hauser as much as Wings Hauser loves cocaine, and here he delivers in spades. While he’s not as unhinged as his performances in Vice Squad, Geteven, or The Art of Dying, he’s still a genuine joy to watch. All of his trademarks are here: snide retorts, smug looks, victim-blaming, arrogant outrage, and a whole lot of finger-pointing. He’s enjoying every minute of the role and every minute of being alive, though that could be the coke talking.

All hail the king.

 

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