Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 01/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Robin Cook is the prolific author of several medical thrillers, in which medicine goes wrong, and the hero/heroine have to face the dire consequences. In ACCEPTABLE RISK, we are introduced to the story via a 1709 hanging of a woman suspected of being a witch. In fact, twelve of these damsels hung that day. Fast forward to the future and we meet idealistic Dr. Chad Rowe, and his lovely wife, Kelly Rutherford who have just inherited the house of the long dead witch. While renovating the house, Lowe discovers a shimmery mold and takes it to his lab, and finds out it has some unusually powerful capabilities: it intensifies his emotions, and seems to cure brain damage such as in Alzheimers. He secretly starts ingesting the formula he's made from the mold, called Ultra, and starts experiencing some of these effects. Needless to say, things start going wrong, and then he decides to enlist other team members to come up with a viable potion.
Lowe and Rutherford do well in their roles, Rutherford looking like a young Judith Light, and Lowe a young Rob Lowe. (Ha ha). Add Sean Patrick Flannery as friend Bobby, who seems to have been a little loose cannon anyway, and you have the ingredients for medical mayhem.
This is a made for TV movie, but its production values are good and I found it intriguing and entertaining."
Jeff Marzano | Essex Junction, VT USA | 05/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I caught this movie on the Lifetime Movie Network.
Like all of these cookie cutter type movies you have to use your imagination a little to believe they could really happen.
The idea is this couple moves into an old house and they discover that some old ladies back hundreds of years ago had been baking cookies with flour that was contaminated with some sort of fungus. This caused them to go out of their minds and they were all hung as being 'witches'.
Why they left bowls containing this substance hidden behind a secret wall and why the fungus was all over the floor in the basement is anybody's guess.
Anyway the husband is a bio chemist and he tries to use this exotic material to start his own company and create a new wonder drug.
This idea actually has a basis in historical fact.
The Salem witch trials occurred because people had been eating bread made from flour that was contaminated with the ergot fungus. When the growing season for rye was too damp the fungus would occur in the grain.
The ergot fungus is like a raw form of LSD.
The ergot fungus is a symbiote organism. It replaces the cells of the host plant with its own cells. How interesting that LSD can be derived from this material.
This idea is explored in the 'Alien Costume' story in the Spiderman comic books. The 'Secret Wars' which produced Venom.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars
Spider-Man - The '67 Collection (6 Volume Animated Set)