Mutantis is the latest feature from Dire Wit Films, a lower budget Astron 6, and it’s an homage to the terrible midnight movies of the 70’s. It’s another film in the rising trend of no budget homages to the films that the makers grew up watching, with intentionally bad acting, editing, and crappy effects. Mutantis starts as it means to go on. The sets are terrible, props made out of cardboard and the dubbing is awful. It is quite an amusing nod to the films but after a while it does start to wear thin. The overall presentation of the movie is reminiscent of a Reeves and Mortimer sketch that has been stretched out over an hour and the punchline was delivered in the first ten minutes. The dialogue in the movie is razor sharp however, absolutely hitting the nail on the head when you compare it to the movies it’s sending up, the character types and the settings.
Much like the films of its time, it uses sex and liberation as a plot device, and more than likely to pad out the running time too. If you were to cut the scenes where people were trying to get laid or were mentioning sex, the film would be 20 minutes long. The creature in question, Mutantis, is hilariously bad, and looks like monster of the week in one of the 60’s episodes of Doctor Who. Half human, half chicken/mantis(?), the Mutantis is a freak of nature, created by nuclear waste dumping and drunken promiscuity, the hermaphroditic beast lives to mate, but when it does, like the mantis, kills its mate afterwards. Cue lots of weird sex scenes involving dismemberment, decapitations, and carnivorous genitalia.
Mutantis is sleazy, crude, vulgar and at times very funny in its send up of no budget midnight movies from the 70’s, playing on every single cliche in the book. The only problem being is that it’s the celluloid equivilant of someone telling a very funny joke, everyone laughs, but then that person goes on to explain the joke in great depth with graphs and charts for an hour. It’s genuinely funny, but does start to drag, however it’s a perfect post pub movie to enjoy with friends and a few beers.