Bullet Points: Mutant Species
I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I probably spend far too much time watching really bad movies. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to many of you who read this site because I often times write reviews about those movies and many of them contain the same actors (I’m looking at you Tatum) and while not every movie can be The Terminator, it can also be a real grind to sit down and watch bad movies over and over again. While all of that is stuff that I deal with daily, recently, I have been on a string of films that should have been terrible but turned into one that I actually enjoyed. Today’s review deals with one of those types. It is another film by veteran action director David Prior, and if you know anything about Prior’s other works you would probably guess that it is both low budget and stars his brother Ted Prior. Not every director needs $100 million to make a decent movie and if you’re gonna make a low budget flick and it’s 1994, then David Prior is one director who knew how to get the job done.
Synopsis: A rocket containing bio-engineered DNA crashes in the forest and a team of special forces soldiers moves in to contain the problem. Unknowingly, one of the members gets infected and metamorphoses into a creature with a strong desire to kill everything in sight.
- Let’s meet the crew: When a movie is introducing a team of soldiers or special forces guys it usually reverts back to the Aliens method. I mean, Aliens is one of the best movies ever made so it makes sense that most of these films that try to be just like it are looking at the James Cameron film for inspiration. Mutant Species spends a few minutes at the beginning introducing us to the team of spec ops guys who basically become cannon fodder for the soon to be released creature. Unlike many movies who try to do the soldier gimmick, this one had a couple of guys that I actually liked…sadly, they never had a chance.
- 5K time: Our group of soldiers parachute into the area where the rocket crashes (which isn’t the best way to get in unseen) but for some unknown reason they land 5 kilometers away! That seems like a really far distance to travel to get to the crash site. Who can we blame for that mishap?
- The Creature: Okay. Figuring out how this movie was gonna play out took about as much time as it did to read the description on its Hulu page. I knew that it was gonna be a cheap knockoff of the Aliens/Predator films and that was the reason I watched it in the first place! I love that I can just keep watching movies with different guys wearing big prosthetic suits and they all pretty much deal with the same story of Predator. None of them are as good, of course, but they all offer similar scenarios and they’re all fun. This creature isn’t the kind of thing that Stan Winston put out but it isn’t abysmal. It kills a bunch of people, though, and that was all I was expecting to get.
- Star Power: The two big names that Mutant Species features is Powers Boothe and Wilford Brimley. Boothe plays the sneaky corporate guy who had his ‘super soldier’ type program canceled so he arranged for the crash and subsequent infection and killing of the crew. He plays a pretty good creep so if you enjoy Powers like I do then you’ll be happy. Wilford Brimley is the ranking General back in the rear trying to get hold of the situation from a distance. They both offer a solid amount of background to the story that develops in the forest.
- Shootouts and Dead Bodies: Mutant Species offers plenty of casualties. There are not 1, but 2 groups of spec ops guys to be killed and by the end of the film almost all of them have been introduced to Death. There are no massively-cool action scenes but with the amount of money that was put into this movie I think that David Prior and his crew did about as much as he could do to make it fun. Many of the action scenes are set at night so some can be hard to see but I would also say it was because the creature wasn’t exactly a ‘work of art’. Either way, I had fun watching it and you will too.
If you’re down with everything to this point then you should probably stay tuned for these bonus Bullet Points:
- Something is stealing the lips and peckers off of goats in Georgia!
- The soldiers wear Kevlar helmets when they jump from the plane but take them off when they get to the ground. I guess they don’t care about getting shot in the head.
- Another group of soldiers listening to rock music on their way to a crash site. Damnit I love Predator so much…