Naming a movie Unspeakable is just asking for trouble. Does anybody remember What's the Worst that Could Happen? Didn't think so. Unspeakable is the kind of movie that makes people wonder what exactly it takes for a film to decide to go straight-to-video or merit a theatrical release. In this particular case, the film most certainly deserved the former. It doesn't have any big name stars. It doesn't have any spectacular special effects. It has no discernible story whatsoever. And, as a minus on the straight-to-video side, it has no annoying softcore pornography. Spending the money, even on minimal advertising and paying theaters to screen it surely was a waste of money. Unspeakable is the movie that plays for one week at a huge multiplex that nobody goes to because nobody has heard of it, and chances are nobody ever will.

It's a shame for its two stars, Dina Meyer and Lance Henriksen. Here are two people that can actually act, but always seem to make the wrong choices in movies. Both have had limited success in both film and television. Now, both seem to be playing shades of some of their recent television incarnations. Meyer (Star Trek: Nemesis, D-Tox) is Diana Purlow, a psychologist working with an experimental device that can project the memories of a patient onto a computer screen. She's really smart, like, the wheelchair bound Oracle on the short-lived Birds of Prey. And since there is nothing else to pay attention to, it becomes clear that Meyer has the ability to speak really fast. Hey, she can be the next MicroMachines guy. Henriksen (Tarzan, Scream 3) is Pitchford, who works with Purlow. But seeing him in a movie like this, especially with the images, reminds everybody of his Frank Black role on Millennium. Being in this film will help neither of them.

Purlow is trying to use her device on Jessie Mowatt (Pavan Grover, who also wrote this mess), a notorious serial killer who seems to have supernatural abilities. Many of his victims had were respected members of society, yet all did some pretty unscrupulous things. Purlow wants to know if there are more murders he is not admitting to. It's an election year, and Mowatt's execution is coming up. The Governor refuses to delay the execution because it will make him look soft on crime. Purlow wants more time to work with Mowatt, and in a random subplot, had some unscrupulous dealings with the Governor as a minor. Mowatt seems to be in jail because he wants to. He can obviously overpower the guards anytime he wants to, and Grover even suggests that he has the power of teleportation.

Unspeakable then becomes a test of wills between Mowatt and Purlow. Every time she plugs him into the machine, he is able to mess with her mind. Or something like that. It's never very clear, and director Thomas J. Wright is never able to do anything to solve this. Is Mowatt some Messianic figure? Or the opposite? Unspeakable hints at an answer, but the story, when it exists, is so convoluted that nothing comes out. Dennis Hopper (Knockaround Guys, Ticker) also shows up with a bad Texan accent as the Warden. His only role is to burst out in random fits of rage like only he can do. The really sad thing is that, except for some really stupid blood effects, the production design is pretty decent for such a small film.

Mongoose Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 46 minutes, Rated R for strong violence and gore, disturbing images, language, and some sexuality.

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