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Students have been going missing from the local college, and the one person who knows what's happened to them is Dr. Noller, a rogue biologist. Not satisfied with the pace of natural selection in driving evolution, Noller wants to push things further by creating his own genetically engineered creations. Having already created some amazing specimins by mixing the DNA of plants and animals, the doctor has now set his sights higher, and want to work on modifying humans, as well.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
An overall poor movie with a couple of interesting scenes
Donald Pleasance stars as Professor Nolter in this sci-fi/horror as a mad-scientist who, in between lecturing at a local university, is conducting bizarre experiments as he tries to bridge the gap between human beings and plant life. To aid him in his devilish research he uses Lynch (Tom Baker), a hideously deformed man who runs a carnival freak show, to obtain for him young men and women to perform his experiments on using the seemingly empty promise of altering the way Lynch looks for the better.
I saw this one last night on Sky Cinema and have to say I was a little disappointed. The premise, although outlandish (though horror is geared towards the outlandish is it not?), seemed quite interesting. Unfortunately, this movie was poorly executed and rather slow-moving which made the movie difficult to watch. The Mutations' has some interesting parts though and is worth watching if only for the Freak Show' part way through featuring some quite disgusting acts.
The acting seemed rather wooden from everybody, including Donald Pleasance, which hampered the film even more. The only performance really noteworthy was from Michael Dunn in the role of Burns, the loveable guardian to the other acts in the freak show. What really was interesting was how to begin with the `freaks' (I really do hate using that term to describe these people as in fact they are just in some way handicapped) seemed like they were menacing characters but over the course of the movie we were exposed to more humanity coming from then than any other character in the film one of director Jack Cardiff's few achievements in this movie.
In the end The Mutations' becomes a barely average sci-fi/horror movie with little redeeming moments and many silly looking costumes. The direction was standard fare for films of this quality and it seems a shame that a great actor like Donald Pleasance was tied up in this, especially as his performance was undeniably lacklustre. The final ten minutes or so seemed hashed together very quickly and were thoroughly unsatisfying though did feature one good effect. I personally don't recommend this film but fans of sci-fi B-movies may enjoy it as it seemed to be made with heavy influence from the similar movies of the fifties and sixties. Though not exactly alike I would personally recommend The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)' over this movie. My rating for The Mutations' 5/10.
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