Written by: Michael J. Murray, based on the novel by Robin Cook
Directed by: William A. Graham
Starring: Chad Lowe, Kelly Rutherford, Sean Patrick Flanery
Released by: Artisan
Anamorphic: N/A; presented in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Avoid it.
Welcome to a new world of possibilities with ULTRA, a drug that could as big as Viagra. Based on an unusual fungus found in the recently inherited, three-hundred-year-old house of Dr. Edward (Lowe) and Kim Welles (Rutherford), this drug increases I.Q., the senses, and libido. Edward should know, since he’s dosing himself with the miracle mold. With friend Dr. Bobby Newman (Flanery), Edward has his entire research team taking ULTRA to speed up its testing and get the drug into your local Walgreens as fast as they can. Side effects include insomnia, blackouts, paranoia, violent behavior, and homicidal rages. Ask your physician about ULTRA today.
Bleah. Acceptable Risk isn’t truly abysmal, just vaguely irritating and, well, bleah. It’s the clichÃ©s that really sink this movie. There’s a new drug, so, of course, the doctor takes it, disregarding every research safety protocol in the book. The drug makes everyone geniuses, but also makes them violent madmen. The lovely wife sees what’s down the road, but no one even considers her opinion. You’re seen it before, and a lot better than this.
The Grade B actors they got for this are phoning their performances in. They know the plot and the writing are a mess, so they don’t put in any effort. Here’s a good example of how sloppy this thing is. A big subplot has the couple’s porch burnt with a pentagram symbol. Later, the three-hundred-year-old corpse of the wife’s ancestor, found buried on the property and was supposed to be an accused witch, ends up in their bed. They vaguely suggest that the husband did this during a fungus drug induced psychotic episode. But I had to go through those scenes again to even get that. That is just sloppy.
The DVD transfer is decent, but there are no features, so you got to wonder if making this piece of junk into a DVD was worth the cost. This is a movie you happen upon a cable channel and you half watch when there’s nothing else on and you’re too lazy to go to Blockbuster. Pass on Acceptable Risk.