Mutant Blast (2018) | Directed by Fernando Alle
Written by Fernando Alle, Adrián Cardona | Starring Pedro Barão Dias, Maria Leite, João Vilas
From the moment Mutant Blast entered my psyche I couldn’t shake this nostalgic feeling I was having. Distributed by the legendary purveyors of bad taste, Troma Entertainment, it is undeniable that the golden age of this independent studio has left an impression on director Fernando Alle. Mutant Blast is a low-budget, gore-drenched, post-apocalyptic action/horror film that evokes the Class of Nuke ‘Em High-style of gross-out humour. It oozes (literally!) that Troma-tic DIY influence on its blood-splattered sleeves.
After a night of partying, Pedro (Pedro Barão Dias) awakens hungover to find his apartment in disarray, a penis drawn on his face, and his friends dead… or worse… z***ies! Okay, so they are technically not z***ies. They are the result of a secret government initiative to create super soldiers, but after each subject rejected the experiment, their bodies began to decay… They may have rotten skin, eat people and walk slowly, but don’t call them z***ies, okay? They are not z***ies!
Prior to the
z***ie outbreak, Maria (Maria Leite), a resistance fighter has liberated TS-347 (Joaquim Guerreiro) from Complex 3. As the only known subject to react positively to experimentation, TS-347 has transformed into a super soldier capable of decapitation with just the flick of the wrist. Unfortunately, their escape was without its own complications… A security flaw in the complex allowed for the decaying failed test subjects to overrun Sectors 1 and 4.
Unable to pursue Maria and TS-347 due to risk of z***ie infection, the military cell responsible for these ungodly experiments authorises bombs to be dropped upon Sector 1; eradicating most of the threat before further units can be deployed to Sector 4 in pursuit of TS-347. Normal bombs. The kind that goes… “KABOOM!” Nothing nuclear! Erm…
“I didn’t tell you to cover the entire country in radioactive dust!”
With no other choice, the military deploys the failed TS-504 (also Joaquim Guerreiro), a hybrid of super soldier and z***ie, to Sector 4. Only it can survive long enough in this post-apocalyptic wasteland to find and destroy Maria, and return with TS-347; providing there are no further complications…
From here on out, Mutant Blast becomes all about survival for our two protagonists. Can Maria and Pedro successfully evade TS-504 and escape Sector 4 without developing nuclear mutations? What will become of TS-347? And will their newly acquired bipedal French-lobster friend, Jean-Pierre (João Vilas), let go of his dolphin prejudice and find his lost love, Claudine?
“Dolphins are diabolical creatures! But you can’t wrap that around your heads, because you think dolphins are cute… The truth is, dolphins are motherfuckers! MOTHERFUCKERS!”
Mutant Blast is a blast to watch; the plot mutating from one ridiculous scenario to the other, but acted out with the utmost seriousness the material deserves. It is all played for laughs of course, and it is this fine balance between the slapstick (or splatstick) comedy of early Peter Jackson (Bad Taste, Braindead), and DTV action of 90s post-apocalyptic fare, such as 1990’s Class of 1999 (review) and 1992’s Nemesis (review), that makes Mutant Blast so endearing.
Even more endearing is the collaborative effort of all those involved. Multiple roles are undertaken by each actor – Mário Oliveira deserves praise for his portrayal of Jean-Pierre’s nemesis, Dolphinman (“FILS DE PUTE!”), and the multi-limbed Carlos – whilst the closing credits make it clear that this film is the result of a collective. From João Rapaz and Tiago Borrões’ combination of practical SFX and VFX to the electric synthwave score from Antoni Maiovvi, Mutant Blast packs a nostalgic gut-punch that will please long-standing genre fans, and perhaps encourage those of you who are just starting to branch out into the world of absurd low-budget cinema to discover Troma’s VHS-era back catalogue.