August 4, 2009
Thomas Jane as Maj. 'Mitch' Hunter
Ron Perlman as Brother Samuel
Devon Aoki as Cpl. Valerie Duval
Sean Pertwee as Capt. Nathan Rooker
Benno Fürmann as Lt. Maximillian von Steiner
John Malkovich as Constantine
Many different film genres rolled into one, combined with an epic tale of global destruction, tons of overacting and terabytes of CGI files combine to create Simon Hunter’sMutant Chronicles. While not exactly a horror movie, this one caught our eye for a couple of reasons and has something for everyone… or nothing for anyone… depending on your point of view.
It seems that centuries ago an alien invasion of the planet earth almost led to the destruction of humanity. The army of invaders was actually created inside an enormous alien ship out of the dead and wounded human beings captured during various scuffles, and as the death toll climbed the alien combatants increased. Luckily ancient defenders of the earthly way were able to trap the mutant factory space ship under thick layers of ice in the frozen tundra (or somewhere) and all was saved… for a time.
But alas, humanity cannot stop their warring ways, and this time it will cost dearly. Centuries later a battle between unfriendly nations wages in an icy war zone and a large and destructive weapon is deployed that inadvertently detonates over the precise spot where the mutant-factory space ship is buried, uncovering it and somehow pushing the “start” button. Soldiers fall into a pit and emerge deadly mutants, complete with stapled-together faces and large claws that resemble those found on a lobster. Mankind is doomed.
Meanwhile Constantine (John Malkovich), the leader of a secret society of monks trained to fight the mutants if they ever reappear on the earth, very quickly gives up the earth to the mutant invasion and plans to flee to Mars, or somewhere. Luckily for humanity, Brother Samuel (Ron Perlman) has no plans to give up and begs for a small army and a ship to make one last stand against the invasion. Samuel gathers a rag tag group of hard-luck cases and strikes out to conquer the alien mutants and save the world.
First of all, what a cast! Ron Perlman is one of the favorites from Alien: Resurrection (not a popular entry to the Alien franchise, but I liked it…) as well as Hellboy, Masters of Horror EpisodePro-Life and about a million other films and television programs. Did you know that he was a doctor in the soap opera Ryan’s Hope? And John Malkovich – how is it that he seems to turn up everywhere? Thomas Jane plays Mitch Hunter, the hardened tough guy, and brings an impressive horror resume including The Mist, The Tripper, Deep Blue Sea and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The cast was the primary driver to see Mutant Chronicles.
Mutant Chronicles has something for everyone – if you are 10 years old. Action, scares, pithy comments, creepy mutants and acres upon acres of CGI-created scenery of epic proportions can all be found in hearty abundance. Actually, I’m not 10 and I kind of liked it too, but films created for the younger set can be a little annoying in their over-acting and clichéd macho strutting around… plus the whole thing is pointless since Mutant Chronicles is rated “R” and therefore should be inaccessible to 10 year olds. Maybe that’s why this film didn’t do so well – the audience that the film plays to had to get a stranger wearing a trench coat to smuggle them tickets… kind of a pain.
Mutant Chronicles had a limited box office release in the U.S. along with a television release it seems – guess they had to cut it.
In any case, Mutant Chronicles can be as fun as you decide to make it. Just pretend that you are young enough to think that chicks with swords and silent-but-deadly dudes with chips on their shoulders are cool. Wait, aren’t they?