THE MUTATION (2021)
Monster flick finds zoologist Allen Marsh (Ricardo Freitas) drawn into the case of a scientist’s murder, when it appears the killer was some kind of animal. Soon he finds himself teaming up with two cops (Andrew Rolfe and James Robertson) and the scientist’s wife (Amanda-Jade Taylor) when the killings continue and evidence mounts that some sort of massive rodent is the perpetrator.
Old-school monster flick is written and directed by Scott Jeffrey, who missed a golden opportunity to have a good time here. He chose the old-fashioned man in a suit technique to portray his critter and while it’s more cuddly than scary, it is a charming throw-back to 80s style B-movies, as is the plentiful and graphic practical gore that is the result of the creature’s carnage. Here is where Jeffrey makes his mistake. He should have saw this as an opportunity to cut loose and have a bloody good time with his cheesy rat monster and it’s making a gory mess of the local citizenry. Instead, he takes his story of science gone amuck way too seriously and it creates not only a somber and mirthless tale, but plenty of eye rolling as characters talk with deadpan seriousness about a man-sized bipedal rat monster lurking about in the city. It also makes the wooden acting by the cast even more obvious. If Jeffrey had gone all Humanoids From The Deep here, this could have been a nostalgic good time. Instead, the flick takes itself way too seriously and kills more fun than our rat critter kills locals. Flick is now available for streaming and gets a little extra credit for going with a charmingly cheesy man in a suit and saving the CGI for it’s overblown and unintentionally funny climax.
Cute little guy, isn’t he!
IT CAME FROM BELOW (2021)
Film opens with a man (Stuart Packer) barely escaping a cave system with his life, claiming that he encountered a horrifying creature within. Now his daughter Jessie (Megan Purvis) enters the cave system with some of her friends to prove her father was telling the truth. Be careful what you wish for spelunkers!
Routine low budget monster movie owes a lot to The Descent with it’s story of a strange and possibly extraterrestrial creature stalking young cave explorers deep below the surface. Flick is directed in a fairly by-the-numbers fashion by Dan Allen from his script with Sam Ashurst. There isn’t all that much to recommend here, as we’ve seen much of it all before and it really doesn’t add anything new to the monster movie sub-genre. The creature is a sufficient enough critter and there is some bloodshed, but there are also a lot of scenes of crying, screaming and melodrama, too. Allen really doesn’t infuse it with anything all that special to set it apart from the dozens of other direct to VOD monster flicks that arrive constantly during the year. If you are a monster movie completest or just like seeing dumb twenty-somethings in peril, flick is available to screen today on Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms.