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Mutant (1984) Review

Small town of hick rednecks get terrorized by acid blooded toxic ‘zombies’ who were created by unscrupulous chemical dumpers pouring poison shite into the ground. We ain’t taking anything away from nature boi, we is putting it back!

Ya can already guess from the intro paragraph that it will be cliched, and it is. The drunken sheriff who slowly sees the light as people die around him. The vicious rednecks who hate the heroic outsider. The vulnerable red neck chick with a heart of gold. Not to mention that the chemical also seems to make the ‘zombies’ thick as fuck.

Effects really ain’t too bad at all considering, we’ve some nice scenes of pulsating lumps under peoples heads, hands splitting open into chemical dripping gashes – it’s how the infected feed – and some general burnings, buggerings, and bits of random violence. And, for once, they at least chose a chemical that wasn’t bright fucking green, god I hate the way that movies from the 70s and 80s usually insist on any poison chemical being some luminous fuckin’ green that only a terminally drunk retard would go near.

Story wise again it treads the path of cliche, you’ve seen the same a thousand times. People die, a couple of lone voices investigate, evil polluters try to cover it up, and finally, just in the nick of time, the cavalry arrive to save the day. And, don’t forget the “it is only just beginning” type ending. Still, it is done pretty well, with a slow burning buildup into some decent scenes and effective, if unoriginal, sequences. Chemical zombies with hands that can melt a car window was a nice touch, made me think of Day of the Dead meets Alien.

The movies tagline of “Mankinds deadliest threat will not come from the skies” fits well with the way the film plays out, it’s really yet another commentary on how our indiscriminate pollution of the world around us, all in the name of the mighty $, will return to fuck us in the arse.

Pick this up thinking that you are getting a fairly low budget zombie with some nice little touches, and a very 1980’s version of the eco disaster flicks from the 70’s, and you won’t go far wrong. It’s a nice little film, well worth a watch, though don’t expect a classic by any stretch of the imagination.

Movie Details

Director : John ‘Bud’ Cardos
Writer : John C Kruize, Peter Z Orton
Actors : Wings Hauser, Bo Hopkins, Jody Medford, Marc Clement
AKA : Night Shadows
Release Year : 1984