Invasion of the Mindbenders
This is one of those so-bad-it's-good flicks that seem
irresistible -- and of course, seeing Lee Tergesen in a lengthy role
at age 23 does hold a lot of the appeal.
Lee plays Charles "Crash" Hopkins, a high school
student whose best subject is rock and roll. Crash and his best buddy,
Frankie Lawrence (played by Skip
Lackey, who also wrote the screenplay), run the school radio
station. The "third musketeer" is Calvin, the requisite
smart, nerdy, rich kid.
Roy Thinnes plays Principal Borden, who is slightly to the right
of Vern Schillinger.
Is it a teen comedy? A science fiction conspiracy? Well, yes. The
Principal Borden wants more order and respect among the students, so
he enlists the help of a scientist, Dr. Gunbow of the Behaviour
Modification Research Institute.
After taking over the school radio station -- to the outrage of
Crash and Frankie -- Dr. Gunbow launches a behavior modification experiment where subliminal sounds
are piped into a classroom to control the more unruly
Crash and Frankie unknowingly thwart the plan by their constant
use of headphones. Their classmates, however, succumb to the mind
control and become model students. (Calvin isn't part of the
experiment because he's not in the classes for juvenile
The boys become increasingly alarmed about their classmates'
behavior, and Calvin figures out the mind control angle --
especially when Dr. Gunbow apparently is taking it to the next
level. During "private conferences" with some of the
students, he is putting their brains into "beta" to make
them even more suggestible. The antidote, Calvin says, is to take
them to a higher frequency, "Like during peak athletic
activity, listening to loud rock music. Preorgasm."
"That's it!" Crash exclaims, undoing his pants.
"We get everyone to jerk off!" But the other two stop him,
and they plot to re-take the school radio station and blast rock and
roll music to put everyone's mind right.
The plan succeeds, of course, but not without a lot of chasing
around the high school at night. Zombie students attack Crash and
Frankie while Calvin tries to re-wire the radio station. Dr. Gunbow
is revealed to be an alien.
Rock and roll, however, prevails and saves mankind.