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Mutator (1989) HD online

Mutator (1989) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Horror / Sci-Fi
Original Title: Mutator
Director: John R. Bowey
Writers: Lynn Rose Higgins,Lynn Rose Higgins
Released: 1989
Duration: 1h 31min
Video type: Movie
A beast gets loose in a laboratory, killing all in it's way. A former scientist, now working as a custodian tries to stop it.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Brion James Brion James - David Allen
Carolyn Ann Clark Carolyn Ann Clark - Taylor
Milton Raphael Murill Milton Raphael Murill - Travers
Embeth Davidtz Embeth Davidtz - Jennifer
Neil McCarthy Neil McCarthy - Adam
Lindsay Orbach Lindsay Orbach - Tina
Greg Latter Greg Latter - Murphy
Brian O'Shaughnessy Brian O'Shaughnessy - Axelrod
Denis Smith Denis Smith - Professor
Lyn Hooker Lyn Hooker - Receptionist
Tjaart Potgieter Tjaart Potgieter - Blinky
Charles Comyn Charles Comyn - Harry
Martin Dewee Martin Dewee - Bookie
Brad Morris Brad Morris - Workman One
Sean Beukes Sean Beukes - Workman Two

Reviews: [5]

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    I'd have to say that my favorite actor is Brion James. He became a recognizable face when he got a part in `Bladerunner,' and since then kept himself very busy; landing supporting parts in dozens of B-movies. I was quite upset when I found out, through this website a month after it happened, that he had passed away in August of 1999, a heart attack at 54. Since then I have made it my mission to see as many of his movies as I can. Slowly I have been chipping away at my list (I currently have 50 legitimate titles remaining). Recently, I went on a Brion James binge, and tracked down five titles I had not seen before. The fifth one, `Mutator,' I found in the horror section completely by accident and was very glad to have stumbled upon it. See, James was a character actor, and rarely headed the cast. Previously, I had assumed the only starring role he had was in `The Horror Show' (and even in that Lance Henrikson was top-billed), so I was overjoyed to find this, his only other starring role.

    The plot is neither new nor creative. A genetics corporation named Tigen did some bizarre experiments, adding newly created cells to a female cat. The cat gave birth to a litter of deformed creatures that subsequently escaped. The bullheaded corporation head, worried about the company's reputation, kept any word of the experiments quiet and apparently chose not to look for the creatures, which are hiding out somewhere in the large laboratory complex. One day, one of the security guards `disappears' (although, during a slow opening credits sequence, the viewer knows he is killed by a creature). With a security guard position freshly open, Tigen gives David Allen (James) a call. Allen's living in a run-down boardinghouse, and is more than happy to accept the position he applied for at Tigen. That night, he goes to Tigen and is shown around by the head guard. Meanwhile, the corporate head's rebellious, animal-rights fanatic daughter and her two friends sneak into the complex with the plan of setting free the test animals. Also in the building are the corporate head himself, the public relations head (the most horribly underdeveloped character), and a scientist. Coincidentally, the cat creatures choose this night to all come out to feast on anyone they come across. So when Allen figures out what is happening, he rallies everyone together so they can all get out of the building. Problem is, there is a time lock on the front doors, so the only exit for escape is through the sewers, and to get to it they must get past the creatures.

    While this may all sound familiar, I didn't think it was that bad. I might be a little biased in that James is heading the cast, and he is good in what little he has to work with. There are moments in the dialogue that made me think James was improvising, such as the moment he is mixing two chemicals together in a bottle and has the scientist hold a funnel while he pours:

    JAMES: `Hold it steady.'

    SCIENTIST: `Don't spill any.'

    JAMES: `That's why I want you to hold it steady.'

    In addition to James, there were other good cast members. Yes, that is really Embeth Davidtz in the cast, good as the rebel daughter, though her character, like most of them, gets sidetracked in the final act. I also liked one of the other guards, nicknamed Professor (Denis Smith), who was funny in his dialogue and hand gestures that you rarely see in such a low budget movie. Speaking of the budget, there wasn't much of one here. I usually respect filmmakers that can make good entertainment with modest money, and set the rule that no filmmaker should ever try to do more with special effects than their budget allows. John R. Bowey does not exceed his limitations. He keeps the lights low to produce a decent feeling of creepiness, but not so dark that you can't see what is going on. He also doesn't give us a full shot of the creatures, showing as little as possible, and it usually works. It's more eerie just seeing the creature's hand reaching out to grab someone than if we saw the whole thing, given that a full shot might produce laughs with such a low budget. There aren't too many gore effects, but they are done in an effective manner, though cheap enough not to exceed the budget. That's not saying that the film isn't without other problems. MAJOR SPOILERS ALERT!!! For one thing, an interesting aspect is that David Allen was a former head scientist at Tigen before being fired. For reasons known only to him, Allen wants to get hired as a guard so he can do some unfinished business in the lab. I kept thinking they were going to get into this, that Allen's reason would be exposed, but it never is. Not even a hint, and whatever it was, it had nothing to do with the cat creatures. Even more annoying is the timing of it all. If the creatures have been hiding in the complex for a number of months, why haven't they been seen before and why haven't they come out and attacked someone prior to the previous night? I don't think it would have taken too much to explain this plot point away, but it isn't addressed. Finally, the chase during the second half loses momentum with both the viewer and the cast. The final showdown feels hurried and is lacking in action that was desperately needed. END OF MAJOR SPOILERS

    `Mutator' winds up being neither good nor bad. I think the presence of Brion James makes me more forgiving of it (but that is not always the case; even I was embarrassed watching `Return to Frogtown' as James must have been acting in it), yet at the same time he elevates what would otherwise be a poor creature feature. It could have and should have been better, I know, but I was still glad to have seen it. I miss Brion James. It was great to just see his name on the top of the credits. Zantara's score: 6 out of 10.
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    Tigon Corporation is a global giant delving into genetic experimentation. Naturally, their scientists have created something horrible and it is loose in the building. Looks like security guard David Allen (Brion James) picked the wrong day to start work! And the CEO's environmentalist daughter (Embeth Davidtz) picked the wrong night to break in with friends and free the cute animals. Never fear though because Allen is really a former Tigon geneticist who is "undercover" in hopes of taking care of this unfinished business. Director John Bowey cut his teeth editing exploitation pictures, so it is surprising this is so flat. The film's biggest problem is that half of the ten people trapped in the building make it out alive. I believe this is a violation of Horror Movie Code no. 3948, which states that only the male and female leads should survive and walk off into the sunset. The deaths we do get aren't particularly gory and we rarely see the creature - which looks like a big mutant cat - in full. I will give the filmmakers credit for casting James as the heroic lead. I take back all of that credit for the scenes where James is shirtless. Davidtz made her debut with this film but moved on from classics like this to trash like ARMY OF DARKNESS and SCHINDLER'S LIST. Of course, the biggest question is who would win in a fight - MUTATOR or SYNGENOR?
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    To me, there are two types of poor film. The first type are those that you fall asleep watching. Yet this is not one of those. This film is of the type that is supposed to be a horror and yet it makes you laugh and cringe at how bad it is. But here is the weird thing with poor horror's. You sit there, usually until the end laughing at how bad the "scary" bits are. And this film is the undisputed king of "tacky horror" - a genre that is supposed to be horror and yet turns out to be a comedy. Would I recommend this film? Not to a person who loves to be scared by a film. Not to those who would turn off a film because its so poor (and this film is by no means an exception) But to people who thought that The Exorcist was more of a comedy than a horror and who watch it because of this reason - this IS the ultimate movie for you.

    Terrible in one sense - Sensational in another!!!
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    Two *very* similar B-movies. A dubious choice for this double feature, perhaps. But I know I'm most definitely not the only one around here who would voluntarily watch rubbish like...


    I had no idea I already saw "Mutator" before, once upon a full moon, until I started watching it. Yes, it's that forgettable. Brion James plays an unlikely character (for his likes, at least): A friendly ex-scientist turned custodian who at the end, saves the day. The creature costume is mildly amusing (with some parts of it having developed more cat-like features and others still human). But the creature action is severely lacking in this tedious film. Only film to my knowledge to ever feature a Humanoid Cat-Beast Mutant.

    Yes, "Time Of The Beast" (or if you want to call it "Mutator", fine) is a pretty bad movie, but actually, it's not bad enough. You can't even make fun of it, because it's just dull. The only thing you could watch it for, is seeing Brion James do nothing, really. And for the titular beast, of course, which doesn't do much either, except for killing people off-screen (except for one girl who gets her head smashed against a grid - nothing special).

    Funny thing is, in the plot they mention 'the offspring' numerous times, indicating there's more than one cat-beast running around. Only you never get to see more than one. It's just the same guy in the same monster-suit appearing on screen every time.

    But the most important thing still is that I forgot I'd already seen it. To my knowledge, this is the only time that ever happened to me. I was even confusing a few specific scenes of it, to be in "Metalbeast". It's like "Time Of The Beast" tries to make you forget it ever existed after you've seen it. An amnesia-inducing flick. That's a first one.

    And where's that good bit of female nudity when you need some? Oh, right, yes, this was not a crappy slasher movie. Sorry, my bad. It's about some humanoid cat-beast thing, right? Well then, where's Natassja Kinski when you need her?


    Level of Appreciation: Subpar/Moderate
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    Mutator is a rather disappointing entry in the mutant monster on the loose genre. The creatures appear to be bipedal, muscular, slime-dripping cat creatures, but they're never shown very clearly. The only notable thing about this film is that one of its characters is (coincidentally) named Kevin Murphy, appropriate since Mystery Science Theater 3000's Tom Servo is voiced by an actor sharing that name.