Ghost in the Machine (film)

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Ghost in the Machine
Ghostinthemachine poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRachel Talalay
Produced byPaul Schiff
Written byWilliam Davies
William Osborne
Music byGraeme Revell
CinematographyPhil Méheux
Edited byJanice Hampton
Erica Huggins
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • December 29, 1993 (1993-12-29)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million
Box office$5.1 million[1]

Ghost in the Machine is a 1993 American science fiction horror film directed by Rachel Talalay and released by 20th Century Fox about a deceased serial killer with artificial computer intelligence.


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 a computer. On a rainy night while heading home, Karl collides into a truck, which causes his car to go off the road and swerve into a cemetery as he laughs.

In the emergency room he is put into an MRI machine. 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 to kill everyone listed on the page. Her co-worker, Frank Mallory (Richard McKenzie), becomes the first victim when his microwave oven explodes. 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; she is electrocuted by an exploding dishwasher in the kitchen.

The police do not believe the theory that Karl is on a killing spree after his death, but Josh realizes the order of the killings is related to a list of contacts from Terry's address book. Terry, along with computer hacker Bram Walker (Chris Mulkey), unplugs everything in her house.

The police then receive anonymous reports of an armed robbery, a 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 goes into shock during the siege and is transported to the hospital for recovery. Aided by Bram and Terry, Josh manages 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.

As the film ends, Bram tells Terry to turn off a heart rate monitor in an ambulance, causing the screen to fade to black.



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

Release and reception[edit]

During its opening weekend, Ghost in the Machine grossed $1,854,431 and ranked at no. 10.[2] By the end of its run, it had grossed a domestic total of $5,086,909,[3] failing to recoup its $12 million budget.[4] The film was generally not received well by critics, holding an 11% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 9 reviews.[5]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]