They are young, ambitious and capable, and they all have something in their pasts to hide, secrets known by their host Doctor Richard Cernovich, the genial manner of the equally disgraced neuropsychiatrist and quantum biologist barely concealing the threat presented alongside the hefty cash offer he makes to his guests to assist in his research, quantum physicists Luke Matthews and Ivanna Escalante, pharmacologist Brad Richards and medical student Sophie Sokolov.
Cernovich’s own partner having died in the same experiment in which his own legs were destroyed by the substance he has named “quantumin,” in liquid form it is dangerously unstable but the quartet of scientists theorise that in the right conditions and with the empathic Sophie acting as a mental anchor tethering them to their own realm, inhaled as a vapour it could fulfil its intended purpose, allowing them to pass the quantum barrier, but what they find beyond is their own personal self-created Hell.
To describe The Quantum Devil as a “mad science movie” undersells the sheer volume of misappropriated buzzwords and technobabble in the script written by Zeph E Daniel and director Larry Wade Carrell, the Quantum Chamber apparently designed by a new age guru with giant tuning forks to synchronise protons to the correct frequencies, the barrier broken by Doctor Cernovich (Neil Dickson) in his conveniently wheelchair adapted isolation chamber not that of entanglement and superposition but unparalleled pretentiousness.
The abandoned factory he has made his home and laboratory staffed by hostile major-domo Klaatu (Baskin‘s Mehmet Cerrahoglu) and two costumed geishas wearing bizarre facepaint for no adequately explored reason, similarly accepted is the dinnertime chat detailing how each of the invited guests has been responsible for at least one death, Sophie (Tamara Radovanovic) her twin sister, Ivanna (Ariadna Cabrol) two colleagues and Luke (Tyler Tackett) his fiancée, her quantum ghost now taunting him across the dimensions.
As incoherent as it is scientifically illiterate, The Quantum Devil inhabits a moral vacuum, the socially maladjusted assembly indifferent to the fact that Cernovich is in exile for performing unethical human experiments or that Brad (Edward Apeagyei), existing in a micro-climate of his perpetual vape fog, was responsible for the deaths of two hundred and fifty teenagers to whom he supplied tainted ecstasy at a rave in Manchester, Tackett in particular delivering every sneering line with the easy confidence that everything is someone else’s fault and responsibility.
The opening scene of Luke’s arrival at the airport in a rainstorm and flagging down a reluctant taxi driver to whom he presents a crumpled piece of paper bearing an address lifted directly from Suspiria, other sources which should be prominently listed in the citations are Brainstorm, Altered States, Flatliners, Event Horizon and the works of H P Lovecraft, Cthulhu making a cameo appearance under the pseudonym Barada and voiced by Robert Englund, a sad comedown for the tentacle-faced Great Old One to be seen haggling with a jumped up talking monkey far down the evolutionary ladder.
The Quantum Devil is available on digital download now