'MIND LEECH ' - A Horror Gem - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

'MIND LEECH ' - A Horror Gem

 ‘Mind Leech’ - a horror gem!

Let’s begin with Chris Cheeseman, the director’s statement which really speaks to the creative mind of the creator and leans into why this film works. And it does work. 


“Mind Leech in a word: Improvised. Both on and off camera” said “Mind Leech”’s director Chris Cheeseman. “Everything was only planned as much as it had to be (for safety and insurance reasons), and the rest decided on the day. The plan was in constant flux, working around availability and the weather. 


There were no call sheets, script, or on-set video monitoring. Actors wrote their own lines and developed their own characters. The plan was built around having a small team of talented and experienced people makes it happen on the day. Despite the harsh Canadian winter shooting conditions, we had fun. The small size of the team allowed everyone to participate and bring their own innovation to the story. I hope the fun and humor we had on set translates to the screen and audiences.”

Here’s what makes “Mind Leech” work. First, it’s short but long on story. And despite it being a “low budget” it doesn’t impact the quality of the film. The creators and actors are passionate and the audience is in on the jokes. 

This humorous film was hatched and shaped in Canada. And I bring up the duration, short, again because it’s a strong selling point. Short and funny. Funny, and short. 

These characters have a leech taking over their mind once bitten. 

I know. Hilarious. This is a horror gem. 

The crazy story takes place in rural Provinstate circa 1998 so no cellphones or social media and lots of white snow. The story begins when a few local guys toss an unknown chemical into the local lake in the summertime. Mind you. It’s their job to get rid of dangerous chemicals but they think nothing of tossing it into the water. 

Months later (in the middle of winter) two friends are on their annual ice fishing trip and they catch a leech that attaches itself to the temple of its victim and takes over their brain function. Much like real parasites do. Almost but not exactly like the fungus in “The Last of Us” — and watching the human victims navigate having a leech attached to their heads — pure humor! 

The leads of the horror comedy, the local police, are on the hunt for the deadly invertebrate. Deputy Terrika, TJ, Johnson (Steff Ivory Conover) was a police officer in the big city until recently. She’s seen it all and has nerves of steel, quick to action. 

To be fair the entire cast delivers and that includes the monstrous leech. Never underestimate monster horror comedy. 

According to the press notes Cheeseman shares a co-directing credit with Paul Krysinski, who are both in the movie as well. The story credit is given to Chris Cheeseman. 

An interesting note. Both of the directors are experienced in 

special effects on sizable productions. 

I think if you like comedy horror then you will love “Mind Leech” and I suggest you keep an eye on Chris Cheeseman and Paul Krysinski. 

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