Life is created in a natural way, no matter if we are talking about humans, animals or other species. We all have a purpose on this planet, and we are all needed to make this planet function. Humans have always had a unique connection to animals, where we learn to understand their behavior, and why they act in certain situations. But what if an animal have been exposed to experimental formula, that actually makes the animal mutated? And that is exactly what happened in the 1980 sci fi horror film Alligator, from director Lewis Teague ( who also directed the 1983 horror film Cujo, based on the novel by Stephen King ). Alligator begin in 1968, when a teenage girl purchase a baby American alligator, while her family is on holiday in Florida. She takes the baby alligator back to their home in Chicago, where she flushed the alligator down their toilet and into the city´s sewer. 12 years later, the alligator survives by feeding on covertly discarded pet carcasses. These animals had been used as test subjects for an experimental growth formula. But the project was cancelled when they discovered that the tests did not go as planned. The alligator in the sewer, is becoming bigger and bigger while feeding of these carcasses, becoming mutated. Alligator is a fun animal B horror movie that does not take itself too seriously, that have some fun characters as well. Director Lewis Teague knew how to make this film entertaining, by using simple but effective methods. There is a sequel called Alligator 2: The Mutation, that i actually have not seen. Maybe because i heard it is quite bad. But the first film is definetely worth checking out on DVD or Blu Ray. Horror films with mutated animals have been a theme used for a very long time, especially in independent horror films. If you are interested to check another good title out, i would highly recommend the 1999 horror movie Lake Placid. It actually have some simiar ideas to the 1980 film Alligator, though in Lake Placis you have a enormous crocidile attacking. A fun film with a great cast, and is directed by Steve Miner ( director of the 1989 classic horror film Warlock ). Definetely worth checking out on physical media as well. I do see a lot of British independent horror films every year, and i have especially reviewed some of the film from director Scott Jeffrey. So far i have published reviews of Cannibal Troll, The Curse Of Humpty Dumpty and Spider In The Attic, and as i went through his list of films i discovered a very interesting film called The Mutation. A mutated rat attacking innocent people? Sounds exactly what i needed during the holiday. Is this a fun B movie worth checking out, or should you leave The Mutation alone for all eternity?
A scientist body is discovered in his own laboratory, shredded into pieces. No one knows what really could have done this, but police bring in specialist zoologist Allen Marsh ( Ricardo Freitas ) to investigate if an animal could have done this. Allen is about to find out, that this is no ordinary animal.
Going into a film such as The Mutation, you might as well know that this is not a film for fans of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey ( i have seen all seasons and loved every episode so far, i might as well admit that ). I would say that this is a film that will most likely be more appreciated, if you enjoy films such as Alligator, or the 80´s classic Rawhead Rex ( a must buy on Blu Ray from Arrow Video ). There is not doubt that this film also feels like a throwback to the monster films of the 80´s, especially when you see the costume design of the creature. And i really appreciate when a director tries to bring back a classic genre, even if we have seen similar films before. Let´s talk about the best parts of the film first, and i definetely think that the design of this mutated rat costume looks great. Not fantastic, but still good enough to work in a film like this. That they actually use a costume instead of CGI effects is something i really appreciate. If you are going to make a mutated animal, you should go for a costume instead of special effects. Not only does it help the film become more fun to watch, but it works much better for the plot of the film. I also think the scenes where the mutated rat attacks looks quite funny as well, even if there are some cheesy parts. I especially enjoy seeing the mutated rat attack with it´s claws, as the victim get a lot of flesh wounds. And this is all done by actor Derek Nelson, who must have had fun as the mutated rat. The main character Allen Marsh ( played by actor Ricardo Freitas ) is a great match to this film, who is investigating what is behind these brutal attacks across town. Even if Ricardo does not give a strong acting performance, he is one of the few actors you actually feel making an effort to make his character interesting. Now to my biggest issue with this film, and that is that some of the female characters feel very weak in this film. They don´t get a chance to shine on screen, and a film without good female characters, is definetely a missed oppurtunity. I don´t know why they were not given a chance to deliver more dialogue, maybe their characters were written to do very little screen time. One actress that thankfully do get a chance to bring out her character, is actress Amanda-Jade Taylor as Dr. Linda Rowe, while most of the other female actors fall pretty flat. And i really would have liked to see more of wonderful actress Megan Purvis ( who i enjoyed in Medusa: Queen Of The Serpents ), because i know she can deliver interesting characters. Overall, i do enjoy The Mutation as an old school monster movie, and director Scott Jeffrey manage to make this film fun. If you love this genre, i have a feeling you will enjoy The Mutation. Don´t go in with too high expectations though, just enjoy the ride for what it is, a love letter for fans of old school horror monster films.