Mutilations Film Details
Overview: A High School Science Field Trip is stalked by an Alien!
Review: As you gather by the film’s title, these are not your friendly extra-terrestrials. Professor Jim McFarland takes his student on a field trip to a small southern community which is experiencing lights in the sky and cattle mutilations. What they do encounter will have them fighting for their lives. “Mutilations” is very much on the cheap, rather camp horror Sci-fi taking inspiration from the 1950’s alien invasion crop with its story-telling, but 1980’s excesses shows within its execution of its effects and shocks. That’s not taking anything away from it either. For it’s makeshift budget, the puppetry along with screen work (just think off Bert I. Gordon’s use of it) and stop motion animation effects while crude, still amuse and offer up an effectively nasty surprise or two. Like the creative use of the claws and the icky aftermath they cause. The term cheesy rings true for “Mutilations”. Everything about it, is cheesy. But you can’t help but think it was purposely so… although there are moments were you do question its intentions. The acting and dialogues are what you expect for such a project. Sometimes animated, other times wooden with constant gawking, slow reactions and ponderous ramblings… while throwing out lines like “I’m going to wash my face” when trying to escape aliens or the obvious “…killing and eating the cattle RAW”. Also there are stupid moments aplenty too, which will have you raising an eye-brow. One is at the end involving a stick of dynamite. But again these don’t seem to surprise. Actually the story and get-up is rather predictable with fairly one-dimensional direction, but its snappy pacing makes sure it doesn’t outstay its welcome. It goes for just under 70 minutes. A character during one stage in the film tells the group to “Stay calm and cool”. I wish someone would have told that to the music composer. Very random in the cues, as the organ/or synthesizer blasts away. It was just odd with its timing… “How much do we owe you”? “15 will do it”. Then the music would chime in highlighting something horrifying. Yes, I guess they were gypped. On the other hand the sound effects were quite atmospheric, especially the unusually creepy mumbling coming from the aliens. Visually it does look low-rent with its sets, but still it creates something foreboding and moody, as you can’t go wrong with a fog machine and light show. For the first half-hour we only get to see camera shots of claws and legs of our outer space guests, but later on we get to see the full design in all its glory. These stop motion creations aren’t too bad, but watching them in battle is quite rib tickling due to the use of editing and screen work. Sure “Mutilations” won’t set the world alight, but its a fun throwback with some eye-popping effects… the good and the bad.
Duration: 70 min
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Also known as: Mutilations