MUTANT (NIGHT SHADOWS)
(director: John “Bud” Cardos; screenwriters: Peter Z. Orton/story and screenplay by Michael Jones & John C. Kruize; cinematographer: Al Taylor; editor: Michael J. Duthie ; music: Richard Band; cast: Wings Hauser (Josh Cameron), Bo Hopkins (Sheriff Will Stewart), Jody Medford (Holly), Lee Montgomery (Mike Cameron), Carry Guffey (Billy), Marc Clement (Albert Hogue), Jennifer Warren (Dr. Myra Tate), Stuart Culpepper (Mel), Mary Nell Santacroce (Mrs. Mapes); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Igo Kantner; Vestron; 1984)
“Just another below average zombie flick trying to come to life around a toxic wastes plot line.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Just another below average zombie flick trying to come to life around a toxic wastes plot line. John “Bud” Cardos(“Legends of the West”/”The Buffalo Soldiers“/”The Dark”) directs from a stale story and screenplay by Michael Jones & John C. Kruize. Peter Orton is also a co-writer.
Two aged twenty-something brothers from an eastern city, the older Josh and Mike Cameron (Wings Hauser & Lee Montgomery), take a wrong turn on a country road while visiting an unnamed Southern state and when some yokels in a pickup truck ram their ’68 Camaro into a creek and laugh about it, the travelers have no choice but to hitchhike into the nearest town–Goodland– and report the incident to the hick sheriff (Bo Hoskins). The sheriff’s lady doctor friend, Dr. Myra Tate (Jennifer Warren), is asked to help investigate when the boys report they saw bodies disappear on their way into town.
When Josh wants to split, his younger brother vanishes. So while searching for his bro, Josh begins to enjoy himself again when he meets the local ‘hottie’ school teacher and bar maid Holly (Jody Medford) and makes a sleazy play for her. Things weird out again when we observe because of the toxic wastes in the water supply, the rural locals have blue faces, goo oozing out of their hands and are suffering from a flu-like plague. All the townies soon morph into zombies and start looking at the muscular Josh as if he were their next meal. We learn the private company that caused the contamination is trying to cover-up their part by not cooperating with the sheriff’s investigation. So before you can say derivative, our boy Josh experiences A Night of the Living Dead-like monster attack.
It’s dumb stuff, that I found tedious, poorly acted and not pretty to look at. But some viewers might be pleased with its campy humor and not care if the film is so bad that it should come with a warning that it might be hazardous to your health.
REVIEWED ON 2/26/2015 GRADE: C+