Mutants & The Terror Experiment

Posted: 07/07/2012 in Movies
Tags: , , , ,

Zombie Movie Night, July 2012 was a Night of Stars….well, maybe more like a Night of Vaguely Familiar Actors. We started the night with famous movie and television jerk, Michael Ironside in…

Mutants

Your Mom always told you not to eat too much sugar. Turns out that she wasn’t concerned about you gaining weight or having too much energy before bed. She must have known about the secret experiments that evil sugar companies engage in to make their sugar super-addictive.

That’s the honest-to-goodness basis of the zombie outbreak in Mutants. They even have an evil Russian scientist on the case (though he looks Puerto Rican and has quite possibly the worst Russian accent I’ve ever heard). Never before has sweet sugar been so incredibly evil.

When they started creating zombies they crossed that line between everyday villainy and cartoonish super-villainy

Things get a little sticky for the company when they accidentally conduct their evil sugar experiments on a couple of kids with families instead of their normal runaways and homeless drug addicts.

THE GOOD: Mutants is a decent film. And even the parts that are less than decent are entertaining, including some really terrible acting, the Puerto Rican Russian guy’s accent, the young female lead who I think was supposed to be around age 22 but looked more like 35, and Michael Ironside being the headlining actor but only appearing in about 1/4 of the film.

THE BAD: Nothing atrocious here, but just about everything I included in the last category could also be put into this one.

THE ZOMBIES: The zombies here are of the infected variety. The most notable thing about them is ineffectiveness. They don’t get loose and attack until late in the film and when they do, they sure suck. By my count only one zombie gets a confirmed kill, all the rest pop up only to be quickly shot dead. Threat Level: 2

VERDICT: Mutants is middle-of-the-pack zombie fare. It’s SyFy level quality and entertaining enough. It’s nowhere near as good as the French zombie film of the same name. If you’re trying to impress a friend with the quality of zombie movies, make sure you grab that one and not this one by mistake. Grade: C

Current ZMN Rank: #43 out of 81

 Then, the star power got amped up to the next level with….

The Terror Experiment

You probably thought you were safe from the evil sugar companies in the relative security of your office cubicle, but you were wrong. Dead Wrong! In The Terror Experiment, a domestic terrorist decides to open America’s eyes by unleashing a violent contagion in a high-rise office building. Inside the building, we find out that if you were on the 6th floor or higher you might be OK, but if you found yourself on a lower floor, you’re pretty fucked. The story mainly follows a dude who looks an awful lot like the dude from Mallrats (turns out there are two twin London brothers, Jeremy and Jason, both familiar yet largely unaccomplished) as he searches for his daughter, who was on the 4th floor at the time of the outbreak. While he and his ragtag group of survivors fight zombies inside, outside the building the real acting heavyweights butt heads on how to appropriately deal with the situation. Making his second ZMN appearance, C. Thomas Howell (Ponyboy) plays the chief of police. He and a spunky firefighter, famous “that guy” Lochlyn Munro, argue for saving the survivors against the wishes of 80’s super team, Judd Nelson (as an cold-hearted FBI? CIA? agent) and Lewis from Revenge of the Nerds (a pragmatic scientist determined to contain and cover up the zombie threat).

THE GOOD: The Terror Experiment actually has some pretty good acting for a zombie film. While the used-to-be famous people outside the building do their share of over-acting and crying, Jason London and the female lead, Alicia Leigh Willis actually put in some good performances in the face of the zombie pandemic. The pace of the film is also good with a nice, quick introduction of the main characters, followed by the initial outbreak, then zombie action with no extended dull periods.

THE BAD: Nothing stands out as being particularly bad, but it’s not a great movie either. I think some of the problem is the lack of originality. TTZ doesn’t really bring anything new to the table and borrows heavily from [REC]/Quarantine and Resident Evil.

THE ZOMBIES: We’ve got infected zombies here again. A conveniently placed scientist explains to the viewers survivors that the contagion is a weaponized gas intended to be used against enemy combatants. It raises the victim’s adrenaline to crazy heights, activating their Fight or Flight responses to insane levels (though all the zombies seem to be intent on fighting, no zombies are seen manically running away because of their enhanced Flight response). The zombies can wield weapons and also seem capable of limited communication, but only if they happen to be your ex-wife. Threat Level: 7

VERDICT: TTZ is another middle-of-the-road’er. Nothing spectacular, but nothing groin-kickingly awful. It gets a few extra points just based on the familiar faces, but it too gets a Grade: C

Current ZMN Rank: #41 out of 81

Current Zombie Movie Night Standings

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