Mutant Chronicles: Simon Hunter

30Apr09

by The Great White Gypsy

mutant_chronicles

The sci-fi horror genre should be renamed. I think a more apt title would be “guilty pleasures”. You know these films are awful, but you just freaking love them. Event Horizon, Doomsday, anything by Sam Raimi or John Carpenter. You’re always slow to admit you watched them, and even slower to admit you enjoyed them.
Mutant Chronicles, welcome to the fold.
Mutant Chronicles is, most importantly, a very simple story. Thousands of years ago, aliens put a machine on Earth that turns humans into mutants (kind of a dick move, aliens). They were defeated, and the machine was sealed by a religious order. Cut to the distant future. The world is run, not by countries, but corporations, who are constantly waging private wars for control of land and resources. During one of these bloody battles, the seal is broken, unleashing a horde of bloodthirsty mutants upon humanity. As most of society flees to Mars (yeah, apparently it’s that easy) one priest who believes in “The Chronicles”, an ancient prophecy about the mutants, takes a hand-picked group of soldiers into the heart of darkness to destroy the mutants and save mankind.
Objectively speaking, this film blows. The dialogue is hokey, the effects are sub par, most of the film is shot in front of a green screen (and it’s really, really obvious). Even the bloody war scenes at the beginning get old and repetitive after a few minutes. The fact that this film was on Magnolia on-demand three weeks before it was in theaters tells you something.
Director Simon Hunter only handled one straight-to-video horror film before embarking on this mutant-maiming project. He’s not a young guy, but he does seem to lack the technical experience necessary to justify having John Malkovich in your film.
Philip Eisner hasn’t done much, but he did write Event Horizon, which is enough to make me a fan. The screenplay was possibly the strongest element in this film. It was simple, straightforward, no crazy plot twist or ultimate battle with a super mutant. Just blow shit up entertainment. There were issues throughout (Ron Perlman is adamant that he take 20 of the finest soldiers into battle. Then he takes 8). As I said, the dialogue was pretty bad overall. And, though the story was simple, the ending was still lacking.
Even the acting was no good. Thomas Jane did his best, but his character was inconsistent, and he came across like the tough guy who’s really not tough. Even Ron Perlman, who’s had an impressively broad and lengthy career, was pretty bad. I think he was trying to have an accent, but it kept switching from Irish to Scottish to Danish, and I swear I heard Spanish at one point. This is one thing in any movie that, to me, is inexcusable: if you can’t do an accent well, don’t fucking do an accent. Tom Cruise was the only German SS officer in Valkyrie that sounded like a Hollywood yuppy, but at least he didn’t fake a German accent.
Mutant Chronicles will never be the cult classics that Event Horizon or Doomsday were, but it’s fun to watch; at least I didn’t feel like I wasted two hours of my life.
Final Grade: C

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One Response to “Mutant Chronicles: Simon Hunter”

  1. this sounds like the perfect new movie to add to my B-Grade horror movie nights!! Theres something about a shitty horror that I just cant explain… its the only genre where you can get away with the most absolute bullshit and people will still watch it coz it almost becomes a comedy to watch… something to rag on with your friends for a fun night in :) Im definately ordering a copy to buy


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