European zombie movies are usually bleak and brutal, and Mutants is no exception. It features beautiful cinematography and excellent make-up effects, further accentuating the grim atmosphere of a zombie apocalypse. Although Mutants seems painfully simplistic it’s much more complex. That is if you take the time to examine what’s actually going on. The reason why we usually miss this is the fact that this has been examined in almost every zombie movie. Examined to the point that it feels as if everything has been said about the very process and its consequences.
Dealing with our mortality, lack of moral standards in today’s society, and finally empathy, Mutants, perhaps inadvertently, asks a more fundamental question: is it worth it? What would remain of your personality in a catastrophic event like this? A bit slower pacing will leave enough time for you to answer these questions. The Night Eats The World is another great French zombie movie. I recommend you check it out if you’re looking for more of the same.
The atmosphere is really juicy and immersive. You just feel that unease as every sound or squeak could mean that the horde is here. The threat of slow and painful death is always there. Add to this loneliness and lack of hope and you got yourself one hell of a movie. However, I don’t think it’s that depressive. Fucking French, they know how to set up the story in such a way that you simply accept this as a part of life. C’est La Vie as they so often say.
The first days of the zombie apocalypse came and went. Now, the entirety of France is one big danger zone. Two paramedics and a cop roam the empty rural roads looking for gasoline. And trying to figure out what are their next moves in this bleak situation. They don’t know it yet, but things are about to get a lot worse.
So, apart from the whole survival zombie thing we also have a bit of romance. Despite the smaller budget, Mutants looks great. The makeup effects were believable and since most of the story takes place in abandoned buildings, there was no need for CGI. After all, this is more of a psychological horror than an action movie. The zombies look positively terrifying and like they’re really rotting away. And some of the scenes are really graphic and disturbing. We’re not at Martyrs levels but pretty damn close.
With the runtime of just over eighty minutes, Mutants is a refreshing entry in a rather stale zombie genre. So, do check it out if you’re looking for something a bit different.
Director: David Morlet
Writers: Louis-Paul Desanges, David Morlet, Ludovic du Clary
Cast: Hélène de Fougerolles, Francis Renaud, Dida Diafat, Marie-Sohna Conde, Nicolas Briançon