Posts Tagged ‘Mutants’

 

Exploitative and cheesy, now over 30 years old, this often overlooked gem by respected Italian director Umberto Lenzi (Cannibal Ferox, Black Demons) is a forerunner of the running infected “zombie” film. Born from a producers desire to ride the Italian zombie splatter cycle, and marketed as such on later DVD releases, Lenzi wanted to differentiate the film and base it roughly on the Seveso disaster of 1976, an industrial accident which saw the local population exposed to a chemical outbreak, although any references or thoughts on this are submerged by the sheer zombie-esque action and preposterous scenes. In fact, even director Lenzi doesn’t see this as a zombie movie. Neither do we, considering this poor excuse for make-up, which you too will going to see soon.

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When politically principled and fashion-unconscious TV reporter Dean Miller (played by Hugo Stiglitz) turns up for work one morning, he’s sent to the airport to cover the arrival of a certain Professor Hagenbeck in order to interview him about a recent nuclear spillage that iz hitting the headlines. He is told to take one of the station’s best cameramen with him. As the pair arrive at the airport, a military transport plane that refuses to respond to calls from the control tower comes in to land with no obvious sign that there’s anyone on board. As military personnel gather round and tactfully ignore the presence of Miller and his hesitant cameraman, Professor Hagenbeck emerges and promptly stabs the officer who has stepped forward to meet him. He’s immediately followed by a band of wild-eyed men with radiation-burn faces, who launch an all-out assault on the assembled soldiers. Despite being armed with machine guns, the military men are slaughtered by this manic and seemingly bullet resistant group of blade-wielding ghouls, who hungrily drink blood from the wounds they inflict. Luckily they completely ignore Dean and his cameraman, who after watching on for long enough for the horror to soak in, beat a hasty but hardly panic-stricken retreat.

 

Meanwhile, on the local TV Channel 5, Miller interrupts some aerobic show with news flash related to slaughter which had occured earlier that day. After it was over aerobic show continued like nothing had happened at all. Soon after that zombies, who obviously don’t like publicity, emerged into station armed to the teeth and slaughter each and everyone of employees. Well only Miller somehow managed to escape again, leaving his coworkers on their own.

 

Faced with this sort of crysis millitary decides to develop a strategy. The authopsy results of one of the zombies excluded them from being extraterrestrial. Well at least they know something now. Colonel from Atomic Institute explained to them that, after being exposed to extremely high value of atomic radiation, people in the plane developed superhuman strength and ability to regenerate themselves, as long as they are getting fresh blood. So his solution is to shoot them to the brain in order to kill them (wow you really need to be a rocket scientist to come up with such an idea). So thats what you get when you expose people to radiation – bloodsucking superintelligent zombies. I am not sure now how Japan lost the war. Anyway, turned out that their plan wasn’t so bulletproof as it seemed Later that night mutant zombies invaded millitary base, sabotaged it and achieved one of the greatest victories in the history of warfare.

We have been invaded

We have been invaded!

After winning the battle now it is time to finish the wounded. Local hospital is their next target! Ha! No survivors! It seems that they can infect other people too now. Mutants attack doctors and personel who turn to sucking blood of their patients. Miller was again on the scene and escaped yet again after the first signs of danger. For one news reporter he is often too eager to leave the place of happening. At least now he remembered to take his wife Dr. Anna Miller (played by Laura Trotter) with him. While driving away they heard on the radio that millitiray declared state of martial law. Having nowhere to go
they decided to come by to nearby gas station and help themselves with a cup of instant coffiee. They don’t mind bodies laying around. Meanwhile, Sheila Holmes (played by Maria Rosaria Omaggio) and her maid Liz (played by Sara Franchetti) are baricaded in house. One mutant managed to smeal through cellar and stab Liz into her boob then pop her eye out. What an overkill!!!

You got something in your eye. Let me take it out for you

You got something in your eye. Let me take it out for you

Sheila’s husband Mayor Warren Holmes (played by Francisco Rabal) came home to check on her, after failed millitary plan to release a nerve gas. He arrived just in time to find her infected by cellar mutant. He had no other option that to blow her head off (literally). Yet in the next scene Sheila is laying on the floor with the head on her shoulders. I guess she gor increased power of regeneration.

 

Attracted by smell of coffiee mutants invaded gas station so Dean and Anna were forced to look for sanctuary in a church. There they find infected priest who tries to beat them to death with a huge candle. Dean answers the challenge with a candlestick. This looks like paper, rock, scissors fight.

 

Dean and Anna are now in amusement part though now there isn’t anything that can be found amusing there. They fight their way to the top of a huge rollercoaster where Mayor Warren is waiting fot them in his helicopter. Dean and Anna grabbed onto the rope hanging from the helicopter. Anna should have paid more attention to the rope climbing lessons in elementary school gym class since she couldn’t get into the chopper. Doll representing her body falls down, breaking it’s spine, arms and legs while falling between rollecoaster bars. You can’t blame Mayor for that. Decision to pick them up from a rollercoster was completely in place since this movie is a real rollecoaster of awesomeness!!!

 

Dean could only watch his beloved wife dying without any trace of dignity. Let’s face it, it is not heroic death. He starts screaming repeatedly and he screams himself awake in the bed, next to his wife who is sleeping soundly. That’s right, everything was just a beatyfull dream! Or was it actually? When he received a phone call to interview famous Professor Hagenbeck he dressed up quickly and ran there immedieatly. It seems that he hasn’t learned anything from his dream because…

Nightmare

Conclusion: Nightmare City is the perfect movie for horror fans who need a fix of gory horror that just doesn’t care about making sense, it just wants to be an all-out zombiefest. In many ways Nightmare City conforms to the Italian exploitation horror archetype. The acting is uneven, the cast multinational, the plot liberally peppered with logic holes, the subtext gossamer thin, the violence bloody, and women seem to suffer more horribly than men. Surprisingly, given the film’s country of origin, the Italian dub is often an even bigger mismatch to the actor’s mouths than its English equivalent, on which the English-speaking Mel Ferrer comes off the best. As for the poor zombies, aside poor makeup, they are not quite zombies at all. They are not acctually dead they are organised, intelligent, oftenly well armed and they are RUNNING AND DRINKING BLOOD of their victims. Nightmare City is let down by a dreadful cop out ending, which ruins the, well, not-so-awful work the rest of the movie had done.

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Transmutations was written by Clive Barker, and that’s fairly surprising considering how terrible the plot is, along with the very poor characterizations of almost every single player in the film. But this is not the only time someone butchers Barker’s stories. Remember “Rawhead Rex“? Yeesh!

Mutant NinjasMutant ninjas

As introduction to what we might expect from this movie we see some sort of ninja-resembling characters running around  in hurry at night without any particular goal. Later, on a closer look, it turns out that they are just an ordinary people with duct tape tied around their heads. Urgh…bear it with me. Duct tape people then, accompanied with couple of freaks, crash in some high class orgies and from there they kidnap high class hooker Nicole (played by Nicola Cowper) who was laying in her bed dressed in curtain. Oh yeah, and they had butler beaten up. Nice start!

Sid ViciousSid Vicious as albino man-ape

When you are short of one hooker what do you do? You hire a detective. So Roy Bain (played by Larry Lamb) is called in to investigate a case of a missing hooker by rich businessman Motherskille (played by Steven Berkoff). Why him? Well we can just assume that Bain has had connections with Motherskille and Nicole in the past; the film does a particularly poor job of giving the viewer any sort of back-story towards the beginning, and after the plot has begun to meander, it really makes no difference anymore. All we know about him is that he is the usual arrogant self-employed detective cum painter, and he performs his duties with a reticence that might not really be acting at all, but instead Lamb’s hesitance to star in this movie at all. Anyway, after a bit of convincing by Motherskille, he decides to accept the case. He went to the crime scene where he talked to Madam Pepperdine (played by Ingrid Pitt) and another hooker Bianca (played by Irina Brook). Apart of Pepperdine’s teasing her butler Ricardo (played by an established actor Trevor Thomas) by saying that the only thing that got hurt was his pride (despite the fact that the poor fellow’s neck was almost broken), Bain didn’t get much information out of her. But he did find a lead – a bottle of some drug under Nicole’s pillow. When he pressed Bianca about it she told him that he should check it with Dr Savary, whom Nicole used to visit often. On his way back he meets Darling (played by Brian Croucher), a GUY who was sent by…someone…to look after him (I certainly wouldn’t want someone named Darling to watch my back) .Darling tells Bain that Motherskille and Savary are together into business with strange drug. But what kind of drug? We’ll find out soon.

He has a golden heartHe has a golden heart

After being scanned with futuristic metal detector you can see on the picture above, Bain meets with Dr Savary (played by Denholm Elliot) and confronts him about drug. Doctor didn’t let himself crack under the sarcasm and irritation Bain evokes at all times and he denied any knowledge of such substance. But Bain took an opportunity while Savary was briefly outside the office to take a look around. He finds a key and strangely shaped figurines. This is the point when viewers should start connecting some of a strings in the plot but I doubt that any of us could do such thing, given so little info about everything. Anyway, Savary is back and kicks out detective as politely as he could. Meanwhile, freaks somewhere conduct experiments on Nicole. They are giving her the same
substance Bain found at her room. Apparently, according to freak doctor Nygaard (played by Paul Brown), she is immune to dreams which drug should cause. Nicole wakes up disoriented and starts asking questions. To calm her and show they mean no harm (apart of poking and probing her), freaks, who happens to be very nice and polite, introduce themselves. Besides Nygaard there are also Oriel (played by Miranda Richardson) and Dudu (played by Paul Mari), who enjoyed sniffing her hair and is very proud of his nickname Shitface. Another freak storms in and explains that he had lost two men (men? hm) while breaking in to Savary’s office. It turns out that freaks need regular doses of drug in order to…I don’t know what. And by lost he meant it literally since one of them called Red Dog (played by Gary Olsen) was taken over by dreams and gone wild. Still no idea what kind of dreams those are. Anyway, Red Dog seems to have a crush on Bianca and gets infuriated after he finds her in Bain’s bed. Battle commences consisted of shooting, wrestling, balls grabbing and similar gay techniques followed with Bain chasing Red Dog throw the dark alley. Bain finds freak laying on the ground but to his surprise another freak shows up and drags Red Dog to sewers. Could it be some new race of C.H.U.D.? Everything is possible with script writer like this.

Clive Barker approves thisClive Barker approves this

We are now at night club watching a gay performance. Bain there finds Motherskille enjoying the show with his retarded thugs and presses him about the drug. Motherskille at first wouldn’t admit anything (he was even swearing on life of his children), but after some police brutality he had no other option than to admit he occasionally manufactures things for Savary (though, he still denies any knowledge about the drug). So back to Savary it seems. Bain sneaks into doctor’s office and finds a tape with the test subject. As it always happens to be our hero gets captured by Savary when he was about to unfold the mystery. But wait, more of clichés are incoming! While holding Bain at point of his gun, Savary decides to do what every criminal mastermind does in that situation –
reveal everything. Apparently, the drug in question is euphoric, an powerfully hallucinogenic and painkiller, which gives a feats of strength to it’s users. And like every other drug it is addictive. The only side effect is that it turns humans into mutants. Hm, didn’t see that one coming from the first moment Motherskille hired Bain… Anyway, you can’t expect that a main charracter gets killed when he is about to solve a mystery, so Bain somehow manages to trick Savary and escape his office.

 

Bain decides to get to the bottom of problem. He enters sewers and there he finds mutants’ secret headquarters. Just like that! And Nicole, who tells him that this is now her home and mutants are her friends (despite the fact that she is immune to the side effects). They leave him tied just to be found by one of Motherskille’s crooks, a guy who wears ridiculous sunglasses throughout the entire film. He takes a bit of his time from the mission to kill all of the freaks just to inject drug into Bain. Could this be the end of our hero detective?

A happy bunchA happy bunch

Killing a bunch of mutated freaks turned out not to be an easy task. Led by Nicole they manage to capture Savary and right when they were about to make doctor tastes his own medicine (oh how poetic), Motherskille shows up with his goons and another shooting takes a place. Obviously he wants the entire place wiped out, including mutants. Why? Well here is how I see the plot at this point: Motherskille hired Bain to find Nicole, for whom he already presumed has become a mutant. He sends someone to follow Bain. Why? Because when Bain finds Nicole that means he will also find so-called Underworld, a place where all failed experiments reside, which he seeks to destroy. And for what reason? I guess to wipe out any remaining traces that could lead to his connection with drug. Keep in mind that I am writing this using a logic since film itself doesn’t give any background story nor the explanation. Ok, now we are back to movie. While I was bringing out my thoughts, Motherskille lost his own in shooting duel with Bain. Still, the final confrontation is between Nicole and Savary , where she uses her newfound superpowers (?) to burn mannequin dressed as an evil doctor. At the very end, she announces that it is not over yet (we certainly hope it is) and walks away with the only surviving mutant Dudu, thus leaving Bain with dumb xpression on his face.

 

Conclusion: The script is quite bad, but it’s managed fairly well by the actors, who do the best with what they have. Fortunately, most of the actors are very good, and that means that Transmutations is at least watchable. It’s following the storyline that becomes the killer here, because it’s a horrible maze of characters switching back and forth between good and bad guys while Bain tries to tell the difference. The story is simply a mess of ideas that do very little of anything, and not even the dark wave, saxophone-riddle soundtrack can make this film any more interesting. Nicole’s role as the damsel in distress is both boring and generic. There are some other characters who are supposed to be more important, like Motherskille (how can that name not cause you to foreshadow his role as supreme villain?) and his  crooks. Transmutations even makes note of the terrible character writing by referring to one of the goons as a parrot; it’s a generous compliment. As for the mutants, at first, the viewer might question why the “monsters” of Transmutations aren’t really that scary. Sure, they growl a lot, and some have glowing eyes while others get bulbous growths on their faces, but there’s nothing about them that seems overtly threatening. See, it’s fine and good if Transmutations wants the monsters to be misunderstood. It often works for films of this nature. But not when the movie spends little time with them, and barely tries to develop them beyond their physical characteristics alone. This film wasn’t easy to find and maybe that’s a good thing, because a film this bad will die out without its lifeblood – the audience. The movie isn’t an evolution of the horror genre, but a mutant that is doomed to die off because of its fatal errors.

If 80s bad movies would ever make a party one flick would be pushed away from the others and would spend entire party time sadly standing alone in a corner with dumb expression on its face. Very few of them would show a pity (or ignorance) and come approach to the guy in a corner, politely asking for his name. Answer would make them to shudder and turn their backs with expression of utter disgust. For Neon Maniacs is the name!!! Very rarely do you seriously come across a movie with no redeeming values whatsoever. Lovers of extreme cheesiness and bad B-movies rejoice! This is a truly cheesy, utterly bad film that you fans of z-level entertainment can totally immerse yourselves into!

This is what you get for watching this movieThis is what you get for watching this movie

San Francisco in sunrise. Golden Gate Bridge, to be more accurate. One fisherman under it is preparing to depart. No catch for him this morning, He collects his gear and takes a shortcut under the bridge. There he finds a bundle. What is inside? A trading cards with pictures monsters on it! It seems that he did catch something after all. A deadly catch for he got slayed a moment after while he was still looking at poorly designed cards! Muahahahhahaha

Lets play tapLet’s play tap

After intro credits, we see a bunch of drunken teenagers driving in a car and singing birthday song to their friend Natalie (played by Leilani Sarelle). Their stop – a local park where they are going to celebrate Natalie’s birthday. Somewhere in between they stumbled upon nice, but feeble-minded guy Steven (played by Alan Hayes in person), who thinks it is cute to name your pet after specie they belong to in animal kingdom (his dog is named Dog). Of course, good girl Natalie, who is also very nice (and equally feeble-minded) obviously have a crush on him. Sparkles between them can be seen even from the last row
in cinema (that is, if anyone went to watch this crap at all). Anyhow, Natalie’s Neanderthal friends used this opportunity to make a couple of jokes on account of Steven’s “creativity, shove him off and continue their way to before mentioned park. There, they celebrate birthday in orgies of alcohol, drugs, and low-rated, barely-shown teenage sex.

These 2 sisters are regular guests at every partyThese 2 sisters are regular guests at every party

But different kind of orgies is about to start soon. Orgies of blood, gore, organs and intestines (my personal favorite). You see, while Natalie’s slutty friend Lisa (played by Amber Austin) was trying to convince birthday girl into losing her virginity (yeah, right), other couples have already split and went to their secret places. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, bunch of hilarious, colorful monsters pop-up from wherever their lair is. First lucky couple to go are Sue (played by Katherine Heard) and Wally (played by none else but Jeff Tyler). Wally died after he left horny Sue on bench and went behind the trees to vomit and take a piss. Another slut bites the dust when some kind of mutant samurai had her decapitated while she was giving a blowjob to her boyfriend. He dies a moment after, still with expression of satisfaction on his face. What a way to die! Next ones are Lisa and Ray (played by James Atcheson), both trying to convince Natalie into having sex by having one right in front of her! Or at least they tried to, since they got interrupted by these strange creatures. Lisa attempted to escape but mutant samurai killed with picado dart shot from crossbow (?!), while one-eyed man-fish was hanging Ray onto nearest tree. As for the rest of Natalie’s friends, mutant war veteran, Neanderthal Chuck Norris , biker monster, crazy cartoonish surgeon and mutant Indian took care of them. Natalie SOMEHOW manages to escape. She goes straight to police. Of course, they don’t believe her so they let her go home. And what does she do same night when her 6 best friends were killed? Instead of mourning them, she takes a nice, long, relaxing floating in her swimming pool while having wet dreams about Neanderthal Chuck Norris. Who is the real monster here then?

Prehistoric Chuck Norris

Next day Natalie goes to school as if nothing had happened. There she meets a horror movie director wannabe Paula (played by Donna Locke). Inspired by recent events Paula wants to film some kind of “Lost” horror where vampire is drinking virgin blood on local graveyard in broad daylight! I believe that Joseph Mangine ,director of this movie, is not much more skilled than Paula. Anyway, Paula continues with her investigation about monsters and, one night, she finds out their hideout and that they are vulnerable to, hold your breath, WATER!!! Simple, plain water! Then why they are living under the bridge, I ask you? No
one bothered to explain. Also, Paula recorded a murder of the cop with her camera but she didn’t find it enough important to show it to police. Meanwhile, another group of mutants/monsters/dolls/cartoons/men with makeup killed bus driver during their encounter with Steven and Natalie. Those two lucky bastards had yet again escaped long arm of monster justice. Damn it! Next night they attacked Paula at her room but she managed to repel them with squirt gun!

Hail to the bus driver, bus driver, bus driver...mutantHail to the bus driver, bus driver, bus driver…mutant

Now it is time to take an action! Paula informs Natalie about monsters’ weakness and hideout. And what does Natalie do? She decides to go to the battle of the local loser bands show instead of trying to get people to help her and kill the creatures! One must ask himself what are her priorities? As you may have already guessed, one of the loser bands has Steven as their front man. You can’t have a loser band without such nincompoop. Anyway, monsters, all 12 of them, busted a party with machine guns (I know, I know….bear it with me. Soon it will be over), killing everyone in their way including wiping out loser bands. Though, Steven had managed to escape again, together with Paula and Natalie.

I bet you expected another arrow to the knee referenceI bet you expected another arrow to the knee reference

They finally decided to inform a police and do something about killing monsters. It didn’t take too long for such action. Only a couple of dozens corpses. They stormed in their lair armed to the teeth with various arsenal of squirt weapons. But no one was there. Monsters had escaped! Or did they? One detective was persistent in investigation after everyone else left, which had cost him a life. Let’s just say he got really hooked up (literally). Muahahahahha

Conclusion: Who are they? Where did they came from? Why they are killing? What is their origin? Why they are living under a bridge when they are vulnerable to water and they are not trolls? These are the questions no one even bothered to try to give an answer. The movie has some of the worst music ever committed to a motion picture. Ever seen one of those crappy ass wedding videos with that terrible synthesizer music on the background? Well that’s exactly what they used through out this whole movie! As for monsters themselves, we haven’t seen much of them either. They kept them mostly in shadows, probably due to low budget being insufficient for a proper make-up. But low budget can’t be excuse. For example, “Freaks” had been filmed with stolen camera and special effects done by a local butcher. And that movie is the masterpiece! As for end itself, it left a huge space (almost as big as space in plot holes) for a sequel. Until this day, no sequel has ever been made. And praise the Lord for that! One question for the end: What is your favorite Neon Maniac?