Mutant War (1988)

Mutant_War_(1988)‘What I am and what I’m up to, I’ll explain later, right now something’s going to happen…’

Scientists explode a new kind of bomb to save the Earth when it’s threatened by a horde of pig-faced aliens, It works but years later unknown radiation has devastated the planet and human kind struggles to survive in a world full of mutations….

Tongue in cheek zero budget Mad Max-wannabe from Brett Piper, the director of ‘A Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell’ (1990). It’s a sequel to the same team’s alien invasion flick ‘Galaxy’ (1986). Roaming the wasteland is Harry Trent (the returning Matt Mitler); once an alien fighter but now just the one man who can make a difference (apparently). He drives the obligatory dune buggy with a cannon on top and wears a long coat and shades. He even wears these at night, because it’s more important to look cool than stay alive, right? But, to be fair, he does take his sunglasses off to drink from a bottle he’s found lying in the street (sensible) and look through some old porn mags. Is this film supposed to be satire? I’m not sure it’s that deep, to be honest.

The mutants take two basic forms; there are the human versions who are much like the walking dead. They can’t procreate, but kidnap what big-haired human women are left in order to keep trying. The others are huge monsters made of play doh that look as if they’ve been animated on a workbench in the back of someone’s shed. Ray Harryhausen would not have been impressed. Mitler faces them all down with his zappy weapons and his sparkling repartee. In fact, it’s a relief when they do appear because he actually shuts up for a minute. The hero as asshole certainly can work; Ash in the ‘Evil Dead’ films for example, but here the same idea is delivered without wit or subtlety and quickly becomes annoying.

Mutant_War_(1988)

Don’t worry, we’ll be going direct to video…

But who is this appearing as the chief of the mutants? Why, it’s Cameron Mitchell! Almost ten years after he fought with ‘Supersonic Man’ (1978) and only a half dozen since he was a human blood bank on ‘Frankenstein’s Island’ (1981) for bad movie legend Jerry Warren. Mitchell rivals John Carradine as the man who would appear in absolutely anything (Space Mutiny (1988)!!), but it’s hard to imagine he got much of a paycheque for his performance here, delivered partly through the miracle of voiceover.

You do have to admire the filmmakers (somewhat misguided) ambition in trying to present an apocalyptic adventure such as this on a non-existent budget, but perhaps it would have been more sensible to attempt a smaller scale project. As it is, this comes across as barely professional at times and is never even remotely convincing.

The most interesting aspect is the unusual musical soundtrack, credited to The Astral Warriors.

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