Being a horror movie and a romance based drama Mutants has it’s ups and downs. On one hand the movie is displaying a genetic apocalypse and the last fight of survival of mankind and on the other hand it’s plucking at the heartstrings of a couple who are deeply in love and being torn apart from a virus, but it does keep itself firmly set in the fact that it’s just a generic horror movie and nothing to do with zombies!! phew!!
Kicking the show off in the back of an ambulance, a very small group of survivors are on the run, and very stereotypically they are slowly whittle down to just the couple by a few remaining victims of this devastating virus things that’s going around. The couple manage to lock themselves away in a facility but Marco (Francis Renaud) has been bitten and his beloved pregnant partner Sonia (Helene de Fougerolles) tries her best to nurse him back to health. Can love save the day or is there another cure?
Being a wholesome infection movie without a hint o zombie, Mutants doesn’t really bring anything new to horror genre, we’ve seen infected vampiric looking zombie creatures before, and while the design of this creature is pretty typical and so is the story, Mutants has a slightly different stark atmosphere and really magnifies in on the transformation of Marco and the genuinely looks at the relationship dissolving between the couple, quite like Cronenberg’s, The Fly (1986).
I get worried when characters are too attached to each other in disaster and tragic zombie films like this. One example will be when a character is killed and someone weak minded norbet starts sobbing by the corpse crying “I want to stay” I’d be like like ok fuck you while I’m skipping away. there are a few tangled scenes in this where Sonia is doing her best to keep her lover alive when it’s clear that he’s changing and trying to kill her. But it’s all worth it, cos his transformation is brilliant and painfully depicted. Everything is graphically detailed here and includes a scene where I think Renaud only got paid if he managed to vomit blood on every surface and another where he has to pee and it looks like he’s got the most painful infection ever… even as a woman I was crossing my legs.
Together the two main character are like a sinister punch and judy, in between running around dodging Marco, Sonia is hugging and comforting her lover, then he takes another turn for the worst and is literally spraying the room with bloody vomit or literally chasing after her flesh. Jekyl and Hyde has nothing on him.
It feels like the movie is trying to detail that we should never give up on each other, and that a little piece of humanity is left in those affected by a zombie virus, but then a bunch of ruthless mercenary types turn up and we’re reminded just how vile humans can be when threatened. I’d just like to add that their arrival adds some excellent ass kicking scenes and their leader strangely reminds me of Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys…
Coming across as a competent director, David Morlet has managed to pull off some difficult scenes with interesting results. I have to admit that it is in a later movie that he really did master suspense in the 2013 chilling horror, Home Sweet Home, but with the budget seems to be quite low for a venture of this size and while there are some vicious fight scenes and some interesting mutant kills, the creep factor comes from not knowing if Marco is “normal” or not, after a while he’s constantly caked in blood.
“A gory virus transformation horror pitted against a harsh landscape,as two lovers try to make sense of the new world around them”
As a zombie drama with some ikky bits the film works as a diary of the transformation of a zombie, if you’re looking for the next 28 Days Later (2002) this isn’t going to butter your bread as it fails to really deliver on that raw edge, the main duo aren’t very strong, plus one of them is turning into the enemy and acting like a skinhead on ecstasy, so you just sit back and watch it play out.
With a little bit more planning it could have been a little bit more like Colin (2008) in the sense that the film spends so much time detailing the transformation of Marco that we could have seen things literally from his perspective, go-pro style or maybe with a audible monologue.
A dark film that’s not afraid to show the personal side of a mutant’s birth, including the blood, guts and urine issues. There is a mix of everything, romance, horror, gore, violence fight scenes and the movie has a clear beginning middle and end. It’s not going to grip an audience throughout, there will be moments that get under the skin, otherwise it just keeps rolling until the end.
full review.. post discussion etc to come.