Mind Leech (2023)

Rating: B-

Dir: Chris Cheeseman, Paul Krysinski
Star: Steff Ivory Conover, Mischa O’Hoski, Paul Krysinski, Daniel James McGee

I rented this. That is worthy of note, because I cannot remember the last time we rented a film. We’ve become so used to scrolling through one streaming service or another and picking something. The idea of paying money to watch something at home is now… strange. But after seeing the trailer, I thought, what the heck, and dropped five quid on the movie’s website. I’m pleased to report, I don’t feel I wasted my money. While a frothy concoction, and barely an hour long, it’s a neat little B-movie, perhaps best described as if somebody had crossed Fargo with Slither  – albeit on a budget which extends only to one (1) creature.

It begins with toxic chemicals being illegally dumped into a pond. A few months later, pals Josh (McGee) and Craig (Krysinski) are ice-fishing on the same body of water, when a very large leech-like creature fires itself like an arrow, out of the water and onto Craig’s face. The resulting struggle leaves Josh dead, and their fishing shack on fire. This attracts the attention of local sheriff, Benjamin Pailey  (O’Hoski) and his deputy, recently arrived from the big city, T.J. Johnson (Conover). They follow Craig’s leech-propelled path of murder and mayhem, eventually realizing the creature is trying to make for the big lake to the South, which would open a whole new, highly unpleasant, can of… er, leeches.

It is a fairly sparse product: I already noted the short running time and single monster – there aren’t that many more humans present in the cast. However, what there is generally makes for amiable viewing. Conover is a lot of fun to watch as the urban fish in rural waters, and her deputy has a nice relationship with the boss, which feels genuine. There are occasional pacing problems, with a few scenes that seem to go on beyond their purpose. The opening one, with two low-lifes tossing a canister from ChemCorp into the water, would be one, especially since the film never circles back to the pair. It’s more fun once the mayhem kicks in, not least because the leech can move to a new host – almost shades of The Hidden.

Indeed, it feels like there are a lot of influences here, and spotting these will provide additional amusement for genre fans. I did feel the ending was a tad weak, and needs to end with more of a punch, and less obvious sequel setting. Still, it’s a sequel I’d be interested in seeing, especially if the leechy mayhem upped the ante to the next level. Final thought: this was watched this the same night 78,000 Swifties were crammed into State Farm Stadium, a couple of miles up the road from Film Blitz Towers. We, meanwhile, were watching a bunch of Canadians run around a snowy landscape, with a giant leech glued to their faces. I think we got the better end of the entertainment deal. For this is a leech movie which doesn’t suck.

Mind Leech is available to stream now, through the movie’s website.