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Mutant (1984)

Night Shadows (original title)
Two brothers discover that the residents of a small Southern town are being infected by a form of toxic waste, turning them into blood-ravenous zombies.

Directors:

John 'Bud' Cardos, Mark Rosman (uncredited)

Writers:

Michael Jones (story and screenplay), John C. Kruize (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wings Hauser ... Josh Cameron
Bo Hopkins ... Sheriff Will Stewart
Jody Medford Jody Medford ... Holly Pierce
Lee Montgomery ... Mike Cameron
Marc Clement Marc Clement ... Albert Hogue
Cary Guffey ... Billy
Jennifer Warren ... Dr. Myra Tate
Danny Nelson Danny Nelson ... Jack
Mary Nell Santacroce Mary Nell Santacroce ... Mrs. Mapes
Stuart Culpepper Stuart Culpepper ... Mel
Johnny Popwell Johnny Popwell ... Captain Tom Dawson (as Johnny Popwell Sr.)
Ralph Redpath Ralph Redpath ... Vic
Larry Quackenbush Larry Quackenbush ... Harve
Ralph Pace Ralph Pace ... Art
Wallace Wilkinson ... Mr. Mitchell
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Storyline

When two brothers, Josh and Mike, go to a small southern town for a vacation, they find most of the residents either dead or missing. When Mike himself goes missing, Josh teams up with the local sheriff and an attractive school teacher to find him until Josh discovers that the whole town and most of its people have been infected by a form of toxic waste, and they have all turned into toxic vampires whom prowl the streets at night for human blood! Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The seed is planted... The nightmare grows. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pestilence See more »

Filming Locations:

Norcross, Georgia, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Laurelwood Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer John C. Kruize stated in an interview that the monsters were never "intended to be pasty-faced, shambling zombies." See more »

Goofs

In one scene as Holly is driving her hand is not on the steering wheel. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Best of the Worst: Ninja Movies (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fun slice of 80s B-movie horror.
1 September 2006 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Wings Hauser, star of many a straight-to video movie in the 80s, stars in this decidedly silly, but enjoyably unpretentious slab of sci-fi/horror tosh.

With a script constructed from a hotchpotch of well-worn genre clichés, Mutant's director, John 'Bud' Cardos opts to play things straight where others may have aimed for a more tongue in cheek approach; the result is a fun filled B-movie which, despite its hackneyed script and cheesy plot structure, works extremely well.

After being run off the road by truck-driving rednecks, brothers Josh and Mike Cameron (Wings Hauser and Lee Montgomery) set off on foot for the nearest town. Unfortunately for them, the nearest town is infected with toxic waste (being dumped by an unscrupulous chemicals company) that is turning the residents into acid-secreting mutants.

Josh, along with pretty schoolteacher Holly (Jody Medford), battles for survival, while trying to convince boozy sheriff Will Stewart (Bo Hopkins) that the town is under threat from a horde of killer mutants.

Director Cardos perfectly captures the B-movie vibe and his likable cast throw themselves into their roles with gusto, giving some decent performances. Bo Hopkins is particularly good as the alcoholic cop and he shares some nice scenes with Jennifer Warren, who plays small town doctor, Myra Tate.

Cardos, obviously no stranger to the genre (his mutants closely resemble the zombies from Romero's Dawn of the Dead) has the good sense to kill off characters that you would lay money on to survive in most horror films; this means that, with the gloves off, Cardos can have fun playing with the audiences expectations.

In an exciting finale, in which Josh and Holly are surrounded by mutants, Cardos toys with the possibility of a downbeat ending, before the good sheriff and his men arrive to save the day.

The make-up FX are simple yet effective; the mutants are blueish in hue, with some yucky 'splits' in their palms from which they secrete corrosive yellow gunk. When the infected turn into mutants, we get some impressive examples of that mainstay of 80s horror movies, the 'bladder effect'. Skin undulates and veins pulsate to nauseating effect.

If you're after an undemanding and fun viewing experience, you could do a lot worse than to pop Mutant into your DVD player.


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