Ghost in the Machine (film)

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Ghost in the Machine
Ghostinthemachine poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rachel Talalay
Produced by Paul Schiff
Written by William Davies
William Osborne
Starring Karen Allen
Chris Mulkey
Ted Marcoux
Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography Phil Méheux
Edited by Janice Hampton
Erica Huggins
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • December 29, 1993 (1993-12-29)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
Box office $5.1 million[1]

Ghost in the Machine (also known as Deadly Terror) is a 1993 science fiction film directed by Rachel Talalay and released by 20th Century Fox.


A serial killer, named Karl Hochman (Ted Marcoux), is known as "The Address Book Killer" due to his habit of stealing address books and choosing his victims from them. While he is working at a computer store, he obtains Terry Munroe's (Karen Allen) address book after another employee, who is demonstrating a scanner, copies a page of her address book into the computer. While heading home that evening, Karl is nearly killed by a collision with a truck.

After he is put into an MRI machine in the emergency room, a surge from an electrical storm manages to transfer his soul into a computer. Now as a network-based entity, Karl continues to plot his killing spree using various objects connected to the electrical grid and computer networks.

Karl opens the scanned page from Terry's address book and begins killing the names that are on her list. Her co-worker, Frank Mallory (Richard McKenzie), becomes the first victim when he dies in an electrical fire. Another friend, Elliot Kastner (Jack Laufer), gets burned to death when a hand dryer turns into a flamethrower. Terry hires a babysitter, Carol Maibaum (Shevonne Durkin), to look after her son Josh (Wil Horneff). However, Carol becomes the third victim when she gets caught between an exploding TV set and a dishwasher in the kitchen.

When the police don't believe the theory that Karl is on a killing spree after his death, Josh realizes the order of the killings is related to a list of contacts from Terry's address book that had been scanned into a computer at the computer store. Terry, along with computer hacker Bram Walker (Chris Mulkey), unplugs everything electrical in her house.

The police receive anonymous reports of an armed robbery, hostage situation, domestic violence, and a murder in progress, all at Terry's house. The police open fire on the home after mistaking an exploding generator for gunfire. When they realize their mistake, they cease fire. Terry's mother was shot during the siege and she goes to the hospital. Aided by Bram, Terry and Josh manage to defeat Karl by introducing a computer virus that traps him in a physics laboratory. They activate an atom smasher located in the lab, which draws Karl in and destroys him.

The film ends with Bram telling Terry to turn off a heart rate monitor in an ambulance.



The film was shot in Los Angeles in color with Dolby SR sound[citation needed].


Ghost in the Machine was not generally well received by most critics; on Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a 13% "Rotten" rating based on 8 reviews.[2] On its opening weekend, the film grossed $1,854,431 and ranked at No. 10, the only opening that weekend that made it into the top 10.[3] By the end of its run, it had grossed a domestic total of $5,086,909.[4] The film is considered a box office bomb since the budget was $12 million.[5]

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