Future Shock (Eric Parkinson et al., 1993)
[originally posted 15Feb2001]
This could have been a fantastic movie. It’s an anthology film set around the office of a therapist who’s come up with a new method of hypnotherapy. Over the course of the day, he sees three of his truly screwed-up patients, subjects them to the hypnosis, and waits. We get to watch what happens during the waiting.
The writing is just shy of good. The acting is just shy of good (save a few memorable performances, most notably from Bill Paxton, back when his contract still allowed him to play sleazy bad guys; he’s as good and rowdy in here as he is in Near Dark). The production is just shy of good. Unfortunately, it all adds up to bad, albeit bad in a kind of endearing way. The potential in each of these stories tends to get in the way of the sheer, mindless enjoyment. The exception is the last story, “Mr. Petrified Forest,” a shaggy-dog story about a guy having a near-death experience who can’t remember how he got outside the gates of heaven.
Ah, the potential. It’s worth a free viewing if it pops up on TV, but don’t go out of your way. **
A ridiculous deleted scene.