Sunday, 22 August 2010



Blimey, a modern zombie movie with a relatively happy ending! If not a hearts and flowers conclusion with sweeping violins and the total eradication of the undead hordes, at least a ray of hope and sunshine in what had been, in all fairness, a pretty grim and grey tale. And okay, strictly speaking they're infected with some kind of contagion, and aren't officially zombies, but this is a zombie movie in the way 28 Days Later is a zombie movie.

Mutants is a French movie in which nurse Sonia and her driver boyfriend Marco are travelling through a contaminated area following the outbreak of an unspecified plague that turns its victims into flesh-eating monsters. So far, so Romero - she's pregnant, they have a soldier with them; they stop for fuel, mutant zombie thing attacks, Marco gets chomped but isn't dead yet. Unlike most of these zombification virii, this one takes three or four days to complete the transformation so Sonia has time to attempt to cure him with a blood transfusion - not only is she not infected, but she's somehow immune as she'd been bitten some time before. But then their refuge is threatened first by some charmless badass survivors who've picked up her Mayday calls, and then by the mutant hordes outside....

It's generally pretty good gruesome fun, though it's shot in that very jittery, handheld shakycam style that I don't particularly care for, and with a drained, washed-out look to it that renders much of the blood as black rather than red. There's plenty of splattery effects work (and if it's CG, it's very good CG but it looked like prosthetics and makeup to me) and, as with many zombie movies, the tension comes as much from the antagonistic humans as the mutants - not to mention how much of the Marco monster is still Marco the man? I rather liked it.

* (I'm not actually sure why I assumed that spoilers would be feminine in French, but I made the word up anyway so I guess I can assign whatever gender I like.)


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