Mutant (1984)

You know the sign of a good movie? If Wings Hauser is in it. I’m kidding, but Mutant is one of those movies. Only it’s a zombie movie. Only they’re weird chemical zombies that need blood to survive, so…toxic vampires?

Wings Hauser and a guy playing his little brother end up in the most redneck small town imaginable, where white trash run them off the road, the sheriff is a drunk, and people are creepy, dying, or both. Eventually it’s up to Wings, the sheriff, and the local schoolmarm to take down a horde of blood-eating zombies which burn people with the chemicals that spew out of their palm vaginas. I really wish I could claim I had made that sentence up, but nope, it’s really what happens in this movie.

On the upside, Bo Hopkins plays the sheriff. He was great in The Wild Bunch and is one of the best things here, though even he can’t save this movie from dragging along. It’s like an hour before you really get to see a proper zombie, instead focusing on the “mystery” of the town in a way that is overly long and uninteresting. I’ll just say it now, Mutant is no Nightmare at Noon, which also starred Bo Hopkins and Wings Hauser fighting toxic zombies in a small town. That movie is way better than this one. Plus, it has Brion James playing an albino who wishes he was in Devo.

But back to this movie. If you like bars covered in Confederate flags and representations of rural people as white trash assholes who are sexist and don’t like city folks but don’t want to get into Deliverance-type territory, you might be more inclined to like this movie. Also, we’ve got a deus ex-machina ending here. Joy. What does this movie get right? Well, imagine a horde of zombie children attacking a kid in a school bathroom. Best scene in the movie right there, folks.

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