Part occult thriller and part witness intimidation game, Mind, Body & Soul stars an unhinged Wings Hauser and a reserved Ginger Lynn in a trashy b-movie from the director of Hobgoblins. The film has all the hallmarks of a spicy late-night cable flick but trades it for crazy cultists and tiring melodrama. Culture Shock Releasing brings the film to Blu-ray with a solid A/V package featuring special features celebrating the film’s 20th anniversary. Recommended.
“Your friends are my friends.”
To celebrate their 90 day anniversary Carl (Jesse Kaye, Bloodfist VII: Manhunt) takes his live-in girlfriend Brenda (Ginger Lynn Allen, Taboo IV: The Younger Generation) to meet his friends who happen to be Satanists engaged in a ritualistic sacrifice. Horrified at the ceremony involving a bound topless woman getting sliced up on a pentagram rack, she screams causing complete havoc. After the police bust in, the cultists scatter, leaving only Brenda to be arrested. You go to one Satanic ritual and suddenly you’re labeled a betrayer because you don’t hop on the pentagram to get carved up. What gives! What a bunch of drama queens if you ask me.
While briefly in jail she meets nervous wreck Rachael (Tamara Clatterbuck, Hobgoblins) who believes her story completely. Brenda’s attorney is John Stockton (Wings Hauser, Tough Guys Don’t Dance) who strangely posts her bail and allows her to crash at his empty mansion. While there she types away her statement and fends off bizarre visions of the Satanists attacking her. Grizzled Detective MacKenzie (John Henry Richardson, Slash Dance) is on the case but doubts Brenda’s story. He’s a walking caricature but plays it by the book better than anyone else in this lousy flick. Eventually, she goes on a talk show to tell her story but this alerts the cultists who eventually come after her with force. Can Brenda stop the devil worshippers before they kill her?
With all that going on Mind, Body & Soul should be a taught erotic thriller narrowly balancing crazy BDSM antics with a supernatural procedural. Unfortunately, the film chooses navel-gazing melodrama to fill the gaps between devil worshiping. Once Brenda is out of jail the suspense teeters between the growing threats and the unexplained power wielded by a medallion taken from Carl. It’s all well and good until Rachael hijacks the narrative. Thankfully her nervous-nancy disposition leads her to Priestess Tura (an impressive Toni Alessandrini, Vice Academy Part 2) who summons a demon using her mesh bodysuit dance routine. No judgment here.
On her course to attain mainstream status Ginger Lynn became stuck in the Rick Sloan machine churning out exploitative b-movie flicks filled with sexual violence and gratuitous nudity. What Ginger does well here is channel innocence and confusion to Brenda making her traumatic journey somewhat believable. The film was originally intended as a vehicle for her as the concepts for Vice Academy Part 3 were taking shape. Sloane filmed the two simultaneously in which scenes were shot back-to-back without changing the film spools. Fans of the director’s work will notice entire sequences are also lifted from his other films. For example, the car chase here is lifted directly from his 1990 film Marked for Murder. Surprisingly Mind, Body and Soul was banned in 14 countries for the depiction of Satanic rituals, the carving of a pentagram into a woman’s chest, and the exposed breasts of a headless corpse. I would have thought an unhinged Wings Hauser would be enough of a red flag for those countries to ban the flick.
Staging and environments are purposefully benign with empty houses and offices populating the feature. Lacking the gusto of other erotic features but applying a heaping dose of occult themes, the film flounders often when not focused on breasts or ritualistic sacrifice. Thankfully Ginger and Wings commit to their roles enough to give some life to their scenes. Supporting cast are all by the book though it's enough for a Sloan production.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Mind, Body & Soul is brought to Blu-ray thanks to Culture Shock Releasing. Housed in a transparent keepcase, the Region Free BD-25 disc loads the Culture Shock logo before landing on the Main Menu screen with scenes from the film playing above typical navigation options.
Mind, Body & Soul arrives on Blu-ray with a surprisingly solid HD image full of bright primaries infused with evil culty vibes. Framed in the film’s original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this AVC encoded 1080p image reveals adequate depth within a mostly clean transfer. Vivid reds are everywhere from set dressing to lighting cues within the . Greens and blues are equally strong supporting environments outside the occult settings. Inky black levels support the dark Satanic environments and wardrobes.
Grain levels are film-like offering pleasing depth and texture to the image. Flickering occurs frequently but rarely detracts from the presentation or enjoyment of this bizarre feature. Skin tones are even with fine detail levels rare but occurring within closeups and cultist costuming. Brenda’s bright blonde hair shines within interior shots which can be overexposed.
Mind, Body & Soul summons the dark lord with a solitary yet solid 2.0 DTS-HD MA audio track. The mix supports the dialogue and synth music cues nicely offering a pleasing experience for the film. Exchanges are clear without hiss or pop detected. English subtitles available.
Culture Shock loads this release with a few archival interviews worth checking out after the feature. I’d recommend listening to the engaging director commentary track to get a better appreciation for the bizarre happenings surrounding its production.
Mind, Body & Soul is a trashy occult thriller starring Ginger Lynn and Wings Hauser about the perils of your girlfriend not accepting your Satanic friends at their ritualistic killing ceremony. Incoherent at times yet full of satisfying late-night cable vibes, the film is an enjoyable ride filled with dark arts, topless nudity, and questionable decisions. Culture Shock Releasing brings the film to Blu-ray with a solid A/V package and enough bonus features to please fans of the film. Recommended.