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John’s Old School Horror Corner: Mutant Hunt (1986), one of the most BONKERS movies I’ve ever seen!

June 28, 2012

Too gory for the silver screen my ass!

MY CALL:  I’m surprised I didn’t develop a dissociative disorder as a form of mental defense against this assault on good taste—or even bad-horror taste.  This review is a long one, but there was just too much worth sharing to leave anything out.  IF YOU LIKE THIS WATCH:  Lovers of the truly awful 80s (e.g., Alien Contamination, Deep Space, Galaxy of Terror, Inseminoid, Dreamaniac, Nightwish, Humanoids From the Deep, Slugs, Hardware, Of Unknown Origin, to name some reviewed by yours truly) should delight in rolling their eyes at this budgetless piece of vintage crap filmed entirely in one warehouse, a few sidewalks, a Chinese restaurant and one hotel room.  DISCLAIMER: This is one of those reviews that was too fun to write. As such, I gave away a lot of the plot, twists (if any) and ending.

So here’s what I read on Netflix about this little gem: “When a corporate executive unleashes an army of cyborgs on New York, there’s only one man that stands between the Big Apple and total annihilation.”  I’m not sure that a 1986 direct-to-video flick can deliver on that very well.  But I watched it anyway.

Former gay pornographer and director Tom Kincaid (aka Joe Gage), known for the mind-numbingly stupid The Occultist and Robot Holocaust, has woven this atrocity that is littered with more horror in its production than in the film itself.  You can just imagine how well this was written when the flick opens with some shoulder-padded General Zod wannabe (named Z) who is so mild mannered that he comes off as someone who should be named Bill Peterson (the actor’s actual name) more than someone who should be named “Z.”

Dude, is that Chris Klein?

Anyway, this unconvincing jackwagon looks like he ripped the upholstery out a Dolorian and wore it as a suit while leading a cadre of “cyborgs” with sunglasses, Devo haircuts and jumpsuits stolen from Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation.  These cyborgs—which I would consider androids—shoot laser guns, speak like total tools, and short circuit easily.  Called Delta-7s, three of them malfunction and kill three others.  Why these three defected units acted as a WWF tag team against the others rather than attacking everything indiscriminately is completely beyond me.

The engineer of these short circuits (Marc Umile of, well, nothing worth mentioning) sends his sister Darla to find the one man who can handle these things with porn-quality kung fu kicks: his mercenary twin brother with hair of feathered testosterone Matt Riker (Rick Gianisi of Troma’s Sgt. Kabukiman; that explains a lot about this movie).

“Feathered Testosterone!”

Feathered, I said!

While being chased under laser pistol fire she runs on foot—fortuitously nearby around the corner of the same building by the timing of it—and catches him in bed with a pleasure droid (LeeAnne Baker of Galactic Gigolo) who, despite having about one topless line, manages to have the command performance of the movie before sleeping through a fight and then being dropped out the third floor window by a nutty Delta-7 as Riker goes all Showdown in Little Tokyo in his tightie-whities Lundgren-style with his sai.

Nobody puts baby in the corner!

He basically has a bedroom dojo complete with a machete (as the samurai are wont to keep readily on hand), boxing gloves, a heavy bag , crossbow, spear gun, shotgun, and a set of sai.  As suggested on the movie cover, these droids have go-go-Gadget arms that they use surprisingly rarely.  Just one time, in fact, in the entire f’ing movie!  Oh, and not how it was used on the cover, but rather to reach a machete so that it could cut off its own hand because Riker handcuffed it to a pipe while he beat up the other cyborgs.  WTF!!!

Why would it do that!?! It’s a cyborg handcuffed to a small pipe. Just rip out the pipe!

For whatever sensible reason, their strength and coordination seems conveniently drastically reduced when facing Riker and his allies.  Depending on your personality, this makes the fights extremely boring or extremely hilarious to watch.  Erring on the side of boredom, whenever Riker’s buddies are not involved in the actual fights they simply stand around looking bored while the people they care about pretend to kick seven shades of shit out of deadly robots!  Oh, and there was a laser gun in that room they got off one of the deathbots.   You will never see the heroes fire a laser gun again until the last 30 seconds of the movie.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather chance it with my fists.

During an explanation of these cyborgs, the corporation behind them and drugs these robots are high on we get blindsided by the line “ever since the space shuttle sex murders” and then never hear about it again.  What is this line?  What does it mean?  WTF was that!?!

These mutant Delta-7s are for “hazardous occupations” and recently a few malfunctioned when a new serum was added.  This serum is thee drug Euphoron and it induces psycho-sexual response programs resulting in killing for pleasure.  And even though they have “five times normal human strength” and “unlimited telepathic power” (whatever that means) they suck at pretty much everything!  Their movement is so zombie-tarded that if you stand still long enough they just might slowly execute Austin Powers judo chop on you.  Worst fights ever.  It seems anyone with any coordination could defeat these zombie-like goons.  These things can make gravel out of concrete but can’t hurt Riker or his stripper friend (Elaine) when they get their hands on them.  Pathetic.

Most random moments include:  1) Meeting a dude at Elaine’s strip club who looks like Andy Samberg (17 minutes in) and Elaine beats him up.  2) Oh, Riker’s stripper friend Elaine (Taunie Vrenon, another nobody), who is also a “fully accredited Federation agent” whatever that is, is recruited for “her usual fee” to help—which evidently means using her ineffectual front kicks on killbots and crying for help.

3) Felix (Ron Reynaldi, the only guy on set who could throw a kick) has a BlueTooth earpiece with GPS and a nav and Euphoron detection system in the 80s, no joke!

Wait a minute! This is the future, right? Why are you the only one with a cell phone? How did I even find this payphone!?!

Beats me, chick!

4) We learn that these hardly human droids need to kill every six hours and can feel pain—why on Earth would you design them to feel pain if you made them for “hazardous” work!?!  5)  These droids are made so tough that Felix was able to Bruce Lee jump-stomp on their heads and make droid pudding.

One of a few examples of gore in this “too gory for the silver screen” epic.

By the time the movie gets going, there are only two Deltas for our three heroes to hunt down (for an hour of running time—an hour).  So much for the “army of cyborgs” advertized by Netflix…dicks!

The actress playing Domina was pseudonymed Stormy Spills. Wisely, she chose not to be associated with this movie despite out-Chering Cher.

On a lobotomizingly pointless note, Z’s ex-girlfriend, Domina (pseudonymed Stormy Spill), thinks his recent “reprogramming” could be too dangerous.  I don’t know why that matters or why she’s a part of the story, but she does own a Delta-8 which she gives a naked massage.  Why?  Noooooooooooo clue.  But, hey, spoiler alert: when she unleashes this super special ultra-deadly creation the movie becomes no less awful!

Looks like an unmasked Jason Voorhees got a little frisky with the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man.

She has one priceless scene, though.  She captures Riker and implants an explosive device in his head with a knife.  This somehow doesn’t affect him at all. She then demands he steal the Euphoron from Z or she’ll blow him up.  Here are the actual quotes that follow…”OK, but only if you deactivate this bomb first.” “OK… there it’s deactivated.” “You mean it?” “Yes.” “You really mean it?” “Yes.” “OK.”  Then he knocks her out with his elbow.  WTFS!?!  LMFAO!!!  I’d also like to add that after trying to kill our heroes a few times she literally “exits stage right” by simply walking off the screen to safety, away from our heroes’ vengeful reach and laser gun aim.

Amazingly this has not yet been released in DVD or Blu-Ray format.

Here’s another flatulently idiotic additive: a scene which should read on a DVD flap chapter title That Just Happened.  All you need to know is that Euphoron-ed Deltas seem to slowly  away.  I know, why not just wait for them to die on their own instead of hunting them down, right?

Okay, so Darla is taking a shower  in… I don’t know, some arbitrary space this movie takes place in somewhere.  Outside, by which I mean apparently simultaneously both directly outside the shower and still in the bathroom in Riker’s third floor apartment yet also outside on the sidewalk (first floor), we have a crazed mutant cyborg coming back to life (errr—function)… somehow or other.  He has a face like a month-old calzone and he’s harder to listen to than Robin Williams moping his way through Bicentennial Man.

Easily the best make-up job in the movie.

He simply further dislocates his own jaw, pulls out a loose-hanging speaker by which he actually “talks,” and approaches Darla as she exits the shower… again, I don’t understand how this works at all spatially. It’s like, if you were to stand between these two and face one way you’re in the middle of a bathroom looking at a mirror and shower in a third floor condo, and if you turn 180° you’re in the middle of the street looking at a graffiti-covered brick wall and melty cyborg on the sidewalk.  Anyway, Melty Crazed Mutant Cyborg (as we’ll call him) calmly explains himself as she exits the shower wearing a bathrobe that their control circuitry is making them malfunction and forcing them to kill someone every 6 hours. He just killed someone 15 minutes ago, though, so he’s going to be completely rational for the next 5 hours and 45 minutes. During this period, he’s asking her to take him to her brother (who built him) so he can be repaired because, frankly, he’s in a lot of pain.  LMAO!  Then, after all that, she screams in horror as he hoists her over his shoulder and walks off. Yeah. That just happened. That was a scene in this movie. Moving on… Oh, wait, not enough?  Well in the final fight with the Delta-8 Darla just appears and shoots the dumb bot with a laser and, I just realized, Darla isn’t wearing any pants. Apparently she just tossed on an oversized dress shirt upon getting out of the shower and that’s all she’s been wearing for the last however long it’s been in their mission to save New York.  All of the camera angles between the shower scene and the Delta-8 fight showed her only waist-up.

“Don’t let him use his hand!” yells the needlessly helpful cyborg with a face like a month-old calzone.

“Ooooh, I’m gonna’ use my hand.”

Oooh, he’s gonna do the go-go-Gadget arm thing. Quick, chick in over-sized dress shirt, let him have it! And, hey, did you have that laser gun the whole time?

Thank God, chick in over-sized dress shirt. “This” almost happened. You just saved the day from this movie getting cool for a second!

Although I deliberately neglected to share the details, this flick features an awful lot of plot.  So sad that there’s really no follow-through.  So the fights sucked, the writing was clearly deplorable, and the actors often seemed to be reading straight off of idiot cards.  The director got one thing right, though: the random punk girl.  Every movie about a post-apocalyptic future, zombies or cyborgs needs a random punk chick.  Return of the Living Dead had Linnea Quigley dancing murderously-nude on a tomb, Return of the Living Dead 3 had a whole movie about falling in love with a neo-punk zombie chick, then Cyborg, Bladerunner, Escape from New York and Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome had legions of them, and Class of Nuke’em High, Street Trash, Robot Holocaust and Mutant Hunt all feature the very same one: Chris McName—evidently she’s actually a he.

from Class of Nuke’em High

from Street Trash

 Despite all this, I found myself enjoying this POS.  It’s much better than you’d expect.  Which is a lot like saying “Good news, it’s not HIV—just syphilis.”  And the best thing is it’s streaming on Netflix, so you can watch all 77 wholesome minutes of it at a recommended 18 times daily.  That’s your shamefully bad horror prescription from Dr. John.

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