Every once in a while, as a film reviewer, I get a really weird one (even by my standards, and I’m known to be a little liberal with my definition of what constitutes a “weird” film so when I say it’s weird, you know it’s really fucking strange). Mutantis falls directly into this category. The directors intended to make a film that’s a throwback to the sleazy, grindhouse monster movies of the 1970s. I saw bits of that in the film, yes, but mostly what I saw was a giant mess of sex jokes designed to make every single person in the room feel embarrassed.
Mutantis is about a quack doctor, “Father Joy,” who takes his two stepchildren and one of their friends into Possum Valley for a camping trip. On this trip, there are only two things on Father Joy’s mind: molesting his teenage stepdaughter, and using the kids as bait to find Bigfoot. Unfortunately, Father Joy didn’t plan on finding Mutantis, a monster beyond his ability to handle, and it’s left up to gentleman scientist Dr. William Fury to save everyone.
Mutantis is a strange mixture of elements that are well-done and those that are practically unwatchable. The “well-done” portion of the film includes the spot-on stereotypical 70’s characters (hey, stereotypes exist for a reason) and the 1970’s themes, which include things like women’s liberation (“free love’) and rebelling against “the establishment.” The filmmakers did a good job creating an environment for the film, and I/the audience will know we are unmistakably back in the 70s. The character of Father Joy is perfectly repulsive. Then there’s the laughably fake monsters. They can be great. I don’t necessarily mind a bad movie.
But then, the makers of Mutantis go so overboard with the bad that pieces of the film are practically unwatchable. First, what’s with all the grossness? Was it really necessary for me/the audience to have to sit through a scene in which I/we get to watch a drunk man not only literally blow chunks but ALSO as a bonus pee his pants? And those 1970’s themes I mentioned earlier? Just vehicles for more lame sex jokes. And this kind of thing is constant throughout the whole movie: if they’re not talking about masturbation or sex in a way that makes you completely never want to hear about either of those topics ever again, then they’re wiping a poop-covered hand on a tree. I can’t even. No.
Second, there’s the part where the film is purposefully poorly-dubbed. Again, I ask, what’s the point of that? All it did was kind of annoy me. You can make a film bad without using those kinds of tactics. When you do that, the film tends to go from bad to ridiculous. Honestly, the filmmakers succeeded in making Mutantis a bad movie, but I don’t think they intended to make it unwatchable, and they went straight into that territory less than 20 minutes in.
Overall, lot of the good qualities Mutantis might have had as a throwback film were utterly lost. And I think that one thing is really missing between these types of films now and the films of the 1970’s they’re imitating: the people in the 70’s didn’t try to make a truly terrible movie. At least not this hard. I was pretty disappointed, because I really like monster movies, even the bad ones. Even the music in this movie sounded more like a 70’s porno than anything else. Next time, guys, you gotta remember to include a little bit more “good” in your bad movie, okay?
Here’s the trailer. If you’d like to own this movie, you can purchase the DVD on Amazon or rent or buy a copy at www.direwitfilms.com.