Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Director: Amir Valinia
Writer: Jodie Jones
Starring Michael Ironside, Steven Bauer, Louis Hertham, Tony Senzamici, Randy Austin, Austin B. Church, Aron Biedenham Coates, Derrick Denacola, Armando Leduc, Richard Zaringue and Jessica Heap
Viruses and infections seem to be a topic that is ripe for plunder within the horror film genre of late. Films like 28 Days Later and Quarantine are proof positive of this. It is a subject that is always on peoples minds and can make for a entertaining and thought provoking horror film. Mutants is the latest film to tackle this subject and it does the former very well, not so much with the latter. IT has a good hook for a plot device and really seems to run with it well. IT also has some decent creature effects and a good cast that is spearheaded by the always reliable Michael Ironside and he really brings this film up a notch just for having him in it. This film also uses the whole military conspiracy paranoia ideas really well too. IT also uses the idea of how a corporation will do anything to make their product more successful and morals be damned. The film really moves at a rapid pace and is never dull. This is a solid B Scifi/horror film that would be very comfortable being shown as a double bill with a classic like Galaxy of Terror.
The plot basics are this, Brayton (Zaringue) owns the Just Rite Sugar Company and he wants to create a more addictive sugar so he can beat all his competitors. He hires a unethical Russian scientist Sergei (Leduc) to invent a more addictive sugar. Sergei uses people no one will care if they are missed as test subjects, people who are homeless or drug addicts. The sugar seems to have a undesirable side effect it infects anyone who ingests it and turns them into raving homicidal lunatics. At first the experiments are staying well hidden until they grab Ryan (Danicola), a photographer, who's father (Hertham) is the security chief for the sugar company. His father along with Ryan's girlfriend (Coates) decide to investigate and search for Ryan and discover that he is locked up at a secret complex. While they are trying to extract him another military unit spearheaded by Colonel Gauge (Ironside) is coming to shut Brayton down, as they are not pleased with the damage Brayton and Sergei may be causing. Will Ryan and his rescuers get out in time or will it all end tragically?
This is a fun little B movie. The direction by Valinia is quite good. He keeps the story flying at a brisk place and though the film has quite a bit of outlandishness to it, you never get a chance to think about it as the action and gore flies hot and heavy throughout the entire film. He stages the scenes of conflict very well and I especially liked the showdown between Gauge and Sykes at the climax. The script is very well done too. The idea of a highly addictive sugar that has the monstrous side effect of turning people into ravenous monsters is a great idea and the script runs with it really well. The characters are fleshed out pretty well, the character of Ryan is the one you empathize the most with and you hope to see him survive this ordeal. Though the most entertaining character is Colonel Gauge. He is gruff but strategically brilliant and is a delight to watch in the film. The cast is good, with the lion share of the best work going to Ironside. As always he brings his A game to the project and is mesmerizing to watch as always. Danacola as Ryan does good work here too and is the central character you really sympathize with. Hertham as Griff, the gung ho father coming to the rescue is great too, he has a great action hero presence throughout the film. Leduc as Sergei is quite good as the malevolent Russian scientist and he has shades of Andrew Divoff and Jeffrey Combs in his performance. The SFX and effects in the film are top notch for a low budget film like this and they really bring the film up a bar or too. My favorite bit is when Brayton gets torn apart at the end, a fitting end to a vehement character. If you enjoy zombie type films with great dollops of action and gore, seek this one out.
This one gets 3 out of 5