Mutant War (1988)
What‘s This About: Like its critically-acclaimed predecessor, this is set in a post-apocalyptic landscape and Harry Trent tries to help a young girl rescue her sisters from a group of armed mutants that are being led by a human madman.
This was a leftover review for Schlocktoberfest IX: Schlock Nine From Outer Space
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- I can’t believe Battle For the Lost Planet/Galaxy Destroyer has a sequel. I can‘t believe I watched both.
- A Chapter Two Enterprises Production. More like Chapter Eleven amirite?
- Oh good Matt Mitler is back.
- CAMERON MITCHELL!
- Music by Astral Warriors? Is that the heavy metal band from Yugoslavia?
- Harry Trent is back and still doing VO. So expect a ton of horrible rambling.
- Oh good more stop motion animated monsters. By the way this is 1988.
- If Harry has a car with a giant laser cannon attached to it why is he strolling around this wasteland looking for half-empty bottles of booze and Playboy magazines?
- So after they detonated the weapon that destroyed all the aliens from the first film, Harry explains that that weapon also released mass quantities of radiation that is slowly killing the Earth. That’s why there are monsters and mutants running around. This doesn’t explain how Harry seems to be fine and normal though.
- Hahaha. As Harry drives closer into frame in the woods, he smiles and looks at the camera and says “Alright.” Was that supposed to be edited out? Because who’s he talking to?
- There’s this runaway vagabond girl running around being chased by a mutant. Nevermind how she has crimped hair.
- Her name is Spider. So naturally I have to continue this review with a ton of Goodfellas references.
- Harry is out of gas and takes Spider on as a companion to search for more fuel. Let’s start this adventure already.
- Why is Harry explaining the facts about Neptune. Why does Neptune matter in this flick and why do we need to know it’s the 8th planet from the sun for?
- So Harry also says that when he was searching for gas he learned that one of the alien ships like from the first film is flying in space around Neptune towards Earth. How did he learn this?
- Mutant War…sponsored by Amoco.
- You can’t siphon gas from an underground tank at a gas station. Thats not how siphoning works idiots.
- I believe this is the same type of stop motion monster that attacked Dana in the first film. Glad they’re reusing their old props and effects.
- I’m Okay Spider?
- Not Okay Spider.
- Harry found a well. Said the water seemed OK. Didn’t he tell us that the Earth had terrible radiation fallout from the weapon and now he’s trusting well water.
- Somehow Spider got injured. I must’ve missed that part.
- Now Spider is so emotionally distraught she’s mistaking Harry for her dad. Unless that’s something she’s really into. No judgment.
- It’s quite possible that the only thing I may like from this flick is the awesome headlights painted to look like eyeballs.
- Morlock reference. Cute.
- I get the fact that the camera view is a small circle because they’re looking at the mutant base with a telescope but why are the visuals grainier than they should be?
- OK. That giant head over the mutant base was out of nowhere. Kinda like Zardoz.
- Has dressing up like the enemy and walking around their base ever really worked?
- Glad that the mutant/monster makeup/masks are as top notch as the previous installment.
- Harry and Spider are following the mutants taking a random girl into the base. Spider is trying to find her sisters and thinks that whereever the mutants take that girl that it might be the same place that her sisters are. Harry remarks: “Why are we doing this, that isn’t even your sister!” Classy hero.
- Are the mutants eating or raping that girl?
- I get that the budget is so low that they need stop motion monsters but couldn’t they at least not make them so cute?
- Why would putting on raggedy clothes help convince the other mutants that Harry and Spider are mutants taking the rescued girl prisoner? That makes no sense. Originally she was wearing her normal human clothes when the other real mutants had her as prisoner walking around the base.
- Hahaha. Harry tells the girls “Looks like we’re safe” and almost immediately after he’s clubbed in the back of the head by other humans.
- That clubbing in the back of the noggin didn’t even slow Harry down. He’s still able to fight them off for a while.
- OK. This scuffle is going on long enough.
- Some random guy holding Spider yells “What is this?!” Hahaha. I don’t know if he was referring to the situation or to Spider.
- Why did they guy give Harry his club? Because as soon as Harry took the club he hits the guy in the head.
- This is the fifth time in this “series” that Harry meets random strangers and they fight a bit, but now are fast friends and have total cooperation. In reality these different groups or tribes would act in their own self-interest and be distrustful of outsiders. Especially ones with fuel and a vehicle I would imagine.
- Wait a minute, he left Spider with this new group?! I guess he really didn’t like her.
- What is happening now? It’s like it’s a whole other movie. I can’t even describe what I’m seeing. It’s someone walking in a very dark place mumbling to himself. I can’t make out the words.
- Now Harry is fighting a mutant or something on a pogo stick.
- The movie just took a left turn and is going off the coherent rails! It’s become nothing but nonsense!
- All I know is Harry is captured by some bad dudes. Their leader looks like a fat Squiggy from Laverne & Shirley with a huge unibrow.
- “And If they don’t like it….The Hamburger!” That’s what I think the unibrow Squiggy said. Unless he attempted to pronounce “The hell with ‘em!” But I’m pretty sure that‘s not what he said.
- I just remembered that Cameron Mitchell is supposedly in this feature. Where the hell is he?!
- Harry drinks something from Unibrow Squiggy and starts to hallucinate. We even see clips from the first movie. This is what’s called padding in the industry.
- Oh Mad Dog, oh how I miss you so.
- Everyone in these movies just rambles on when the speak. One guy from the group that has Spider, is asking (off-camera) where Harry is and that he has the car and left them with the kid. Another guy mumbles over that guy (again off-camera) saying yeah left us with the kid. That sort of dialogue happens for a few sentences. But that happens a lot in these movies. Just very unnatural sounding dialogue. Some of the worst I ever heard.
- The mutants recaptured Spider, that fuckin‘ mumbling stuttering little fuck.
- After Harry took Squiggy to the old camp and noticed that they were attacked and Spider gone, Harry gets a little mad, more annoyed really, and gently takes Squiggy out of his car. Squiggy says that he’s crazy. Am I missing something here? Harry bargained with his life with Squiggy’s gang that he would take him back to his camp to give him more supplies but Squiggy tells him that Harry, in his hallucinatory state, that they didn’t have anything Squiggy would want. Squiggy mentions this to Harry when they arrive in the deserted camp and “we came anyway, we like a good fight.” So if Harry was their prisoner and they at least wanted his car, then why didn’t they put up any fight? And that was hardly crazy behavior. I dunno.
- Here he is…the imitable Cameron Mitchell.
- I just noticed that Harry’s car is named “Big Bird” because it’s written all over the hood of the car. Tough car needs a tough name, ya know?
- Is this the same mutant base as before? Why am I not surprised.
- I love how Harry is a hero but only for a select few. He’s only at the base to save Spider. He finds a bunch of other captured girls and kills the one guard for them but only asks where Spider is. When they ask what should they do, he says “Well, if you try to escape they’ll only stop you. But it’s your choice.”
- Oh my fucking Crom. This movie is so stupid. So that spaceship that Harry said he learned about at the gas station earlier in the flick (as I guessed didn’t make sense) finally arrives and some schmuck with rubber and plastic gear all over his human face approaches Squiggy’s gang. The gear on the human alien guy is so shoddy and shabby I swear they just took 5 minutes to glue some random scraps together. And I could go on about the horrible-looking POV shot with “infrared” Remember, this is 19-fucking-88.
- The armor reminds me of that Captain Power TV show. That, ironically, was also in 1988 and had better production value than Mutant War. But it also didn‘t have Cameron Mitchell so pick your poison.
- Hahahaha. I just noticed that one of Squiggy’s guys has the literal Batman symbol covering his face. Another is wearing a Judas Priest T-shirt. What a joke this flick is.
- I don’t know if this is on purpose or not but when the Alien guy speaks it’s altered to sound robotic and his mouth is moving out of sync to the words he’s saying. It’s kinda like watching Lancelot Link Secret Chimp (look it up!) the way he’s moving his mouth.
- Just so you know, theres no explanation yet as to why this alien dude is here.
- HAHAHA. That huge head on the base is supposed to be Cameron Mitchell’s face.
- Why is Cameron Mitchell wearing feathers all over his coat? Nevermind, I don‘t want to ruin the illusion that this is what Mitchell chose to wear himself.
- So Cameron Mitchell is chatting with his prisoner Harry and of course he likes Harry’s style and warrior skills so he offers him a job as a lieutenant in Mitchell’s mutant army. Harry sarcastically declines and Mitchell asks him if he’s sure and then again, if he’s positive. He then says he has to then kill Harry if he doesn’t join him. But then he says, well how about a tour of the fortress. And here’s the ‘ol Brett Piper humor that I liked in the last movie.
- So Mitchell’s plan is to have these young women that he’s capturing, like Spider, be mated by his strongest mutants to breed better mutants for his army. It’s like the Uruk Hai from Lord of the Rings but way better.
- Harry kicks the giant mutant in the balls and Mitchell yells: “Not there, I’m trying to breed him!” I’m still not sure if I’m supposed to laugh.
- More off-camera wimpy dumb dialogue from Spider. She’s just weakly telling Harry to “get him” “c’mon Harry” and my favorite “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” To the giant mutant.
- This fight is riveting, let me tell ya.
- Harry wins the fight by somehow tripping the big lug and stabbing him in the neck with a shard of broken glass. I wish you could see it right now…it was epic!
- Why are all Mitchell’s mutant soldiers all unarmed? Squiggy’s gang is getting no resistance whatsoever and this is the mutant base.
- I’m sure if Mitchell ever watched the schlock he starred in he would find his death scene in this to be one of his finest performances ever put on celluloid.
- That one lady that Harry saved earlier in the film, not Spider, the other one, tells Harry that she doesn’t know how to thank him. Harry retorts, “we could if we had time.” She then slaps him and then kisses him. And why don’t they have time? What’s Harry doing now, he has a plan after defeating the mutants?
- Wait, Spider is telling Harry that she knows that he loves her and shouldn’t leave her. Gross on multiple levels. Especially with Harry’s VO saying “Yeah, love you too kid.”
Was it Entertaining:
Final Thoughts: More crap from Brett Piper. I‘m not sure why Piper isn‘t mentioned in the same discussion with other Schlock maestros like Tommy Wiseau, Charles Band, Fred Olen Ray and Neil Breen because his stuff is on par with their shit. After seeing his two-parter sci-fi epic I can maybe see myself checking out his later works, after all Galaxy Destroyer and Mutant War were very early in his career so maybe his schlock style improved a bit. And by improved I mean got more refined and more tonally aligned. I swear for the fist third or so of both Galaxy Destroyer and Mutant War, you‘d think they are making a bona fide serious movie but then it turns into a wacky silly mess. It‘s a little jarring so I‘m hoping his style embraced the zaniness in his later work. I‘m not making any promises that we will check out any of his later works but like I said, I could be easily tempted because some parts are worth laughing at, but only after a few beers.
Score: 4 Cue Cards of Cameron Mitchell‘s Dialogue (out of 10)