Mutant! (aka: Night Shadows)
by: Dr. Boogie


Someone has raided her fridge and made off with several containers full of blood. The doctor asks the obvious question:

"Who would want to steal blood?"

Put out an APB on Clive Barker.

Back at "The Goodland School", Holly discovers that Billy, her only healthy student, has shown up for class in spite of school being canceled on account of a suspicious, widespread illness. Billy explains that he came to school because his parents have disappeared. Holly sends him away, assuring him that there is no reason to be scared about his parents disappearing without a word. Alone again, Holly and Josh continue flirting. Suddenly, they are distracted by loud roaring. And I was distracted by the boom mic dipping into the shot.

The noise leads them to the boiler room, where Freddy Krueger kills them and the movie ends. That's what I wish happened. In truth, Josh proceeds in alone and discovers a door splattered with yellow go, a dead kid, and a guy he knows.

In spite of being a crazy, bloodthirsty redneck, Albert is apparently a master tracker. He emerges from nowhere and taunts Josh, claiming that everyone will think he killed the girl. Albert then decides framing Josh would take too long, so he tries to bash his head in with a pipe. Josh grabs a pipe of his own, and the fight is on. At no point does the screaming and banging of pipes become so loud that Holly is drawn to investigate.

In between fits of maniacal laughter, Albert starts breaking random pipes around the boiler room. One such pipe happens to be full of steam, which Josh uses to temporary blind Albert and make his escape.

We don't see how Josh managed to get away, but apparently, he did so without going back to check on Holly. Some time later, the sheriff arrives to interview Holly and Albert about what happened. Albert gives an extremely flimsy story wherein he tries to blame Josh for the dead body. Holly tells the sheriff that Josh was with him the whole time, but the sheriff is still not sure. "If he's so innocent, why did he run away?" the sheriff asks. I don't know, sheriff, maybe because the guy who tried to kill Josh and his brother the night before, the one who you let walk away because you wanted to get drunk, was trying yet again to kill him. Horatio Caine this guy is not.

The Captain calls to inform Stewart that he's going to have to take care of this himself because there are two other calls to take care of, and there aren't any more cops around to help. Lucky for him his doctor friend happens to have her own ambulance/hearse. Luckier, still, that no one notices him taking a long pull off his whisky bottle.

Myra and her assistant arrive to haul the dead girl away amidst a flock of reporters. She explains to the sheriff that not only was she killed by something not human; she's covered in the same substance the sheriff showed her the other night. Stewart insists that the coroner take a look at the body, but Myra insists that she get a crack at it first. It's not exactly standard procedure to let any doctor who wants it to examine a corpse, but Myra is less than understanding. Eventually, Stewart caves in and gives her one night to look the corpse over. He and myra share a tender moment before he drives off to tell the dead girl's parents that some inhuman creature killed their daughter and smeared her with yellowish blood goo.

We then cut to Holly's car. Josh emerges, revealing that he's been hiding there the whole time. It's a short, fairly unremarkable scene, but it's worth nothing because you can actually see the edge of the green screen as the camera bobs up and down:

Framing a green screen during a driving scene is not hard to do. If you want it to look like the car is going over a rough road, you can get some PAs to jostle it around off camera. Instead, the director decided to bounce the camera itself around. What a pioneer. Way to think outside the box by literally showing it!

At the Mitchell house, Sheriff Stewart notices that the papers are really starting to pile up. Plus, the door is unlocked, and the house is sealed up so that no light can enter it. Mighty suspicious, especially he finds that the bulbs have been removed from all the light fixtures in the house. Moving further into the house, he finds a door with a burning hot knob. Normally, that would indicate a pretty serious fire on the other side of the door, but luckily, there is no fire going when the sheriff kicks the door in.

The door leads to an enormous pantry that holds, among other things, Mr. Mitchell. He's covered in the same strange sores as the corpse Mike and Josh found earlier. Stewart tries to get some information out of him, but all he can say is "the hands" before he keels over.

There's still no help to be had from his boss, either. It's enough to make the sheriff take another drink, but this time he decides to dump the rest of it. Good for him. If only all cases of alcoholism were this easy to beat.

Holly takes some time out of chauffeuring her big-headed friend around town to care for her sick uncle Jack. In the back of her mind, she has to be thinking about killing him so she can lay a claim to Jack's Tavern. Holly's Tavern does have a nice ring to it. Anyway, she finishes caring for sick uncle Jack and goes back to caring for whiny idiot Josh.

Josh is worried about his brother's mysterious disappearance. It's the first time in the film that he seems legitimately worried about Mike, but Holly quickly talks him out of it with some flirting. Some sweeping music kicks, and it looks like the camera is going to pan over to the curtains, if you know what I mean. Instead, Josh doubles over in pain. Probably menstrual cramps. Nevertheless, they take him to the doctor, who will hopefully give him something for his terrible personality.

The doctor tells him that he's having a toxic reaction to touching that dead girl earlier. She assures him that even though touching the body for a fraction of a second caused him to cramp up and pass out, she's sure everything will clear up in the morning. If not, I'm sure they can call Albert to massage the poison out of him with a pipe.

On the other side of town, the Police Captain finally arrives to check out Stewart's latest crime scene. There's just one problem: the body is gone. The Captain is deeply insulted. He flings some surprisingly personal insults at Stewart, and Stewart blurts out that he gave Myra first dips on the dead kid. The Captain points out that, being a general practitioner, she probably wouldn't have a lot of autopsy experience. And he's right.

He goes back to insulting Stewart for a while, eventually hinting at Stewart's secret shame: something about shooting some kid. And then he finds Stewart's discarded whiskey bottle. Stewart is an idiot. Most of the people in this movie are idiots, but it's especially bad with the main characters.

Myra, meanwhile, is getting ready to examine the dead girl's body. She belts out a long, movie-science explanation of what happened to the kid. It boils down to this: the body is full of the mystery chemical from before, the victim craves blood, and there are leech-like suckers on her palms for extracting blood. Myra managed to determine all of this seemingly by doing little more than looking at the girl's hand and her strange makeup. Also, for some reason, I now crave Dramamine.

Out in the hallway, her assistant begins a very noisy transformation into one such creature.

Myra turns to ask her assistant about all the groaning and roaring he was doing, but he's not her assistant anymore. Myra watches in horror as his palms into those same leech sucker orifices. At this point, I'm sure her horror is mixed with elation at the fact that she was right about all that explanation she pulled out of nowhere. The mutant lunges at her, but is held up by a table. Then he trips over a wheel chair. It looks like Myra is going to get away, but she somehow managed to lock herself in. While she struggles with her keys, the zombie grabs her, and then there's a lot of off-camera screaming.

Ah, back with the brain-dead 70s castoff and his new girlfriend. While lamenting his troubles, Josh determines that the chemicals from the dead girl must have come from a chemical plant. And why wouldn't you figure that out from finding a dead body in the basement of an elementary school, huh? Give me one good reason!

This leads him to New Era, an energy company hoping to reactivate some old mines in the area. Josh tells Holly to stay behind, because that worked out so well for him the last time.

Beyond the fence, Josh discovers a high-tech chemical facility complete with armed guards and mounted gun empla--ah I'm just kidding, he finds a couple rusty barns and a water tower.

Inside one of the barns, Josh discovers workers pumping something into a pit. Moments into his covet surveillance, Josh breaks the ladder he was standing on and alerts all the guards to his presence. I was hoping they would shoot first, but instead, they take him to see the foreman:

Hey, it's Mel, the creepy, shirtless, unkempt fellow from before! I guess that was just Mel on the weekend. He gleefully explains to Josh that they're dumping chemical waste into pits that run underground for miles. Why? Because they're an evil business, but also because as you've seen, Goodland is kind of a hole filled with dumb-as-shit rednecks and bumpkins. Really, how guilty can you feel over killing those people?

Before Josh can get a close look at that chemical waste, his girlfriend arrives in her car to save his ass again. In the process, she drives over the hose spraying the chemical, splitting it in half.

The hose wraps itself around Mel and somehow manages to sweep him into the pit. I guess the chemical waste is turning inanimate objects into zombies now.

As they drive away, Josh explains that they have "all the evidence they need" to show that New Era is responsible for the wave of illness washing over the town. Really, Josh? And what evidence would that be: the yellowish crap on your shoe from when you were trespassing on private property? Is that what's going to convince the sheriff, who is still looking for you in regards to the dead little girl, that New Era is responsible for an outbreak of blood-sucking mutants? Good luck with that.

Lucky for him, Stewart has already been suspended, despite being given 24 hours to prove what was happening. With him drunk, and the only other cop in the whole town off doing other stuff, things don't look good. Josh pleads with him to take action:

"I know why people are dying. I got proof!"
"So do I. 86 proof."

Oh, you two are such a cute couple. I can't believe none of the networks picked up the pilot for "Josh & Stew: Lawmen".

Holly decides to go home, but wouldn't you know it: her uncle is a mutant now. Light bulbs are missing, the refrigerator is in disarray, it's just bad news all around. Josh and the sheriff arrive just in time to save Holly from a suckin'.

Oh, right, the drinking problem. The sheriff is no good in a pinch, but Josh at least has the presence of mind to pick up the gun and shoot Holly's uncle in the stomach. One bullet isn't enough, though, and the mutant escapes by jumping out the window.

Josh can't close the deal, and the mutant runs screaming into the night... I mean, screaming into the noon.

The three of them head back to the police station to regroup. The Captain refuses to even talk to Stewart while he's suspended, so no help from the other cops in the town, not that there are any. Whatever they do to escape the mutants, they know it has to be done soon because "the light seems to hurt their eyes." Of course! That explains the missing light bulbs, as well as how that last mutant was able to escape in broad daylight with no real difficulty!

They decide to split up: Josh heads back to Mrs. Mapes' to look for his brother, while Holly and Stewart go to pick up the little girl's body from Myra.

There's still more of Mutant to see!
Click here to continue onward to page 3!


Reader Comments

Forgetable Cyborg
Nov 4th, 2010, 02:49 PM
Apparently, the guy who did the lighting for this movie later went on to light Midnight Meat Train. The collapse of FVI can't hold you back when your uncle owns a powerful Dramamine-selling business.
Fake Shemp
Nov 5th, 2010, 03:59 PM
I cannot believe the guy that brought us Kingdom of the Spiders also directed this. What a disappointment. He should have stuck to a KOTS sequel. Or had Rack Hanson star in this one. Either would have worked.
Nov 20th, 2010, 10:08 AM
This was absolutely terrible.
Full of Country Goodness
Dec 13th, 2010, 03:31 AM
I can't get past the screen cap that has Josh and Myra standing in front of the "No Assing" sign.
Forum Virgin
Jun 13th, 2011, 09:59 PM
I'm PRETTY sure I saw the poster for this movie in "CRITTERS"...
Unfunny Python Reference
Dec 2nd, 2011, 04:05 PM
I've just added this to my VHS collection.

Click here to return to the Features homepage