Iska Full Contct Kickboxing Super Middleweight Champion Bruan Schwartz FINALLY makes his big-screen debut in Mutation, which happens to be one of the dullest, silliest, and most aimless horror/action/sci-fi amalgams that ever wandered through 61 minutes of interminable chit-chat before closing the deal with a fight scene that looks a whole lot like some deleted scenes from The Toxic Avenger! Yes, a new action hero is born!
Well, not really, sorry to say.
Brad Sykes, the director of Evil Sister 2, Witchcraft 12, and Death Factory, returns to give the DTV shelf yet another indie flick whose grasp woefully exceeds its reach. For you to mount this story successfully -- that a previously hibernating serial killer would be awakened, only to have the freaky bastard sprout purple bubbles of mutation across his flesh as he learns to kill again -- you'd need a budget of, well, a whole lot more than Sykes had to spend. So we get a half-decent, albeit goofy, concept trapped in a low-budget movie that has no choice but to spin its wheels endlessly -- because dialogue scenes are cheaper to shoot than action scenes.
The no-name cast is filled with local theater enunciating and entirely directionless banter, and every time you think the flick's about to ramp up, beat down the blather, and get into some seriously cheap-looking action mayhem ... the flick reverts back to yet another scene of endless chit-chat spouted by uninteresting folks. Somehow a bunch of hot women get stuck in an isolated area, and Mutation suddenly turns from sci-fi to semi-action to straight horror -- but none of it really works.
All one needs is half a glance at the ultra-scary villain, who spends much of the film with silly purple bubbles growing across his face, to see how seriously you're supposed to take the flick. And once the big Kickboxer vs. Mutated Serial Killer battle gets underway, you'll feel like you're poked your head into a children's karate demonstration while wandering boredly through your local shopping mall.
Video: A rather un-excellent full frame transfer.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0, with all the muffled dialogue and tinny music you'd expect from a flick like this.
Extras: The Sykes family will no doubt get a kick out of the audio commentary with writer/director Brad Sykes and wife/producer Josephina Sykes. Me, I was nodding off after about seven minutes. Also included is an 11-minute behind the scenes featurette, in which the cast & crew members seem to be having a good time, which is cool. The trailer is also included.
Points for trying are due to Sykes and Co. for at least trying to mount something interesting and ambitious -- if not all that original. Unfortunately the ideas here seem to have been limited by the budget, and the result is a flick that talks a whole lot and shows very little.