Troma Entertainment (The Toxic Avenger) brings Portuguese director Fernando Alle’s odd, gory, silly yet witty, funny, and brilliant sci-fi/horror Mutant Blast (2018) to a Blu-ray player near you. There’s a fine line between honest homage and tasteless un-funny spoof and Alle respects that line.
Fearless soldier Maria’s (Maria Leite) mission is to steal the human super soldier TS-347 (the muscular Jaoquim Guerreiro) which she does but due to some malfunction with the serum or something like that, everyone in the (government?) complex is now a bloodthirsty zombie and gore galore begins. After battling her way through those zombies with the help of TS-347, she stumbles upon a goofball with a hangover and a penis drawn on his face named Pedro (Pedro Barão Diaz) whose friends were killed or turned into zombies. TS-347 is accidentally terminated during another attack and Maria grudgingly decides Pedro can tag along with her on her trek back to base. On their way to Maria’s seaside pick-up location, they are waylaid by sexual deviant hobos but are “saved” by a nuclear blast. The nuke, launched by the government in response to the zombie apocalypse, mutates, in some way, those not killed by it. Maria gains an extra ear and Pedro, well his hand becomes a small rat.
An alternative super soldier, TS-504 (Guerreiro again but in mutant makeup) is sent to hunt down Maria, this ramps up the action, gunplay, and decapitations/head smashing. Maria and Pedro then come upon a group of survivors whose mutations range from sprouting extra limbs and other body parts to horns or changed skin color. They also discover that humans were not solely affected, some of the area’s animals have also mutated in some way as there is a French-speaking man/lobster among the survivors. More odd fun ensues as they encounter a giant killer rat which Pedro’s “hand” saves them from. They all get to know each other quite well as they dodge TS-504 and listen to Jean-Pierre the giant lobster wax philosophically poetic about life on Earth. The whole thing comes to a head in an epic battle on the beach that involves Maria, Pedro, TS-504, Jean-Pierre, and a samurai dolphin.
I was surprised with how much I enjoyed Mutant Blast. It was filmed entirely in Portuguese and French so it’s annoying when the subtitles go out of sync half way through the movie making it hard to keep up at times. That aside, it’s witty, weird, and gore-filled without being over sexualized or too disgustingly gross as Troma movies can sometimes be (Poultrygeist). One never knows what to expect from Lloyd Kaufman and the Troma Team but Mutant Blast is actually good and enjoyable overall. The Portuguese government even helped augment the budget once they found out Troma was involved with the project.
The lone Troma mandated sex scene happens during a fully clothed, hilarious, Lord of the Rings-inspired dream sequence. The placement of jokes and timing of the quirky dialogue between characters works well. The acting is B movie perfect and the comically, cringey moments are handled well. The practical effects and gore are on par with other movies of the genre while the creature costumes are comically hokey and unbelievable without being purposely sickening. Plot holes abound but Alle and crew don’t mind at all.
They don’t mind because they don’t take themselves too seriously and know they walk a fine line between gross nonsense and creative oddball fun. Alle’s poking fun at the government and a movie genre he loves. He even goes so far as to bleep out the word zombie (audibly and visually on the subtitles as Z***ie) when used during most of the movie. It’s his play on the tradition of not using the word zombie in most horror movies to describe the monsters ambling after people.
There’s an entire second disc of behind-the-scenes, making-of special features which provide a good look at what went into the effects makeup and costume designs. There’s also some fun footage of the gang at various Mutant Blast events and the premiere. The audio commentary with Alle, Guerriero, and Barão Diaz is funny as we listen to them sit around, drink beer, and laugh at the screw ups they made, the fun they had on set, and the things they totally forgot happened over the few years it took to complete the movie. They also reveal wonderful, quirky secrets of movie magic like the communications device used by Maria is actually a computer mouse. It really was fun to watch a second time with their comments.
Disc Two #Fantoxically Futuristic Extras Include
- Making of “Lobsterman Caws” (I think this is supposed to claws)
- Rat Pre-Production Test
- Trailers: Original Teaser, International Trailer, 30 Second Trailer, Full Trailer
- Mutant Blast goes To Korea – Days 1,2,3 (this is not actually on the disc. It’s just not there and if it’s some kind of Easter Egg, I did not find it. I also didn’t try very hard either.)
- Portugal gets Hit with a Mutant Blast
- Mutant Blast Special Effects
- Mutant Blast Bloopers
- Mutant Blast Bottle Cap Challenge
- Mutant Blast or how Lloyd Kaufman Became a Portuguese Zombie
Mutant Blast is a smart, gory, zombie, mutant mash-up filled with genre tropes and plot holes but it’s got “cult classic” written all over it. I laughed and said “WTF?” many times throughout and that’s okay because as Alle himself says, “it’s okay to laugh. This movie is not serious.” It’s damn funny though and worth at least one viewing.