When you hear the title Mutant want kind of horror movie do you think of? Creature feature? Monster? Mad experiment gone wrong? All of them seem perfectly plausible.
How about zombies? Yeah, I didn’t think so but that is exactly what Mutant is about.
Two brothers, Josh (Wings Hauser) and Mike (Lee Montgomery) are forced off the road by a group of rednecks damaging their car. The pair hike to a nearby town where they plan to spend the night. Unfortunately for them, this is a town with problems. Toxic waste is transforming the residents into zombies and the local redneck community have taken a dislike to them.
‘We don’t like you city folk’
Josh’s stay in the town is extended though when Mike goes missing. His search for his brother leads him to barmaid, Holly (Jody Medford) and when the reality of the situation becomes clear, the pair are forced to team up with the recovering alcoholic of a Sherriff (Bo Hopkins).
Mutant plays out like so many other zombie horrors that it becomes indistinguishable at times but that doesn’t make it a bad film. In fact, it’s a fun movie with only the occasional cheesy bit of dialogue and slow pacing to spoil the undead party.
Wings Hauser takes up most of the screen time. He’s your conventional ‘get the girls, defeat the bad guys’ character and other then his lack of urgency for his missing brother during the films middle, he plays the hero role well. The same goes for Bo Hopkins who gets a little more depth with his battle for respect and attempts to stay away from the drink.
The real stars of this film are the zombies.
Mutant has some really good effects and makeup. These undead standout and pose quite a threat thanks to the chemicals in their bodies. One particular scene involving kids is surprisingly dark and grim! There isn’t a lot of gore but it’s not something that you really notice. Instead the horror often comes from the eventual overwhelming amount as the entire town gets overrun.
A predictable finale doesn’t detract from what is a fun, 80’s zombie horror.
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