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Mutants And Monsters Double Feature - Uninvited/Mutant

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    Ian Jane
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  • Mutants And Monsters Double Feature - Uninvited/Mutant

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    Released by: Liberation Entertainment
    Released on: 6/29/2009
    Director: Greydon Clark/John 'Bud' Cardos
    Cast: George Kennedy, Toni Hudson, Eric Larson/Wings Hauser, Lee Montgomery, Bo Hopkins
    Year: 1988/1984
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    The Movies:

    Liberation Entertainment teams up a pair of low budget eighties horror offerings. Dubbed the 'Mutants And Monsters Double Feature,' this disc contains two fun B-movies. Here's a look:

    Uninvited (1988)

    If you've ever wanted to see George Kennedy take on a killer cat, this is the movie for you. Proving that animal experimentation will lead to no good, a cat that has been used for testing escapes a lab while at the same time two guys, Walter Graham (Alex Cord) and Mike Harvey (George Kennedy) decide to take a trip from Florida to the Cayman Islands in some sort of odd attempt to make a lot of money. Walter decides to invite a bevy of chicks to accompany them on their trip, who invite along a few dumb joke type guys to go along with them. Last but not least, one of the girls brings aboard a kitty cat she so kindly rescued from the docks where the boat set off from.

    Can you guess what happens next? The cat that the kindly blonde twit rescues and brings on board is of course the cat that's escaped from the lab and naturally it goes on a killing spree aboard a boat full of people with no means of escape. Well technically it's the weird creature that lives inside the cat that goes on the spree but it's kind of hard to make that out because the effects aren't exactly all that good. At any rate, killer creature on board, people die, or sometimes swell thanks to the killer cat's poisonous bite, engine dies, everyone's screwed if they can't get rid of this beastie…

    Wow. Just wow. What a bad movie. If seeing an awkward looking George Kennedy lumbering around a boat wasn't cause for alarm in and of itself, the creature effects really sink this one to the bottom of the barrel. Basically a bad kitty puppet with teeth, this is a creature some entirely not frightening that you can't help but snicker at it any time it shows up on the screen. The acting is pretty horrible across the board and the movie is just as ridiculous as it sounds. It's fun in 'holy shit why did they make this' sort of way but in no way, shape or form does this at all resemble good.

    Mutant (1984)

    Josh (Wings Hauser) and Mike (Lee Montgomery) are two brothers who decide to leave the big city and head south to the country to take themselves a little vacation. Their trip soon takes an ugly turn when they almost hit a truck full of local-yocals, resulting in a bit of road rage resulting in the two tourists landing their car in a pond. As they walk towards town they're eventually given a lift by Mel (Stuart Culpepper) who, after dropping them in town, warns them not to hang around too long, especially once the sun goes down.

    Of course, they don't listen and before you know it, the sun is down and the pair finds a dead body. Mike tries to call the cops but runs into the road rage rednecks that knocked them into the pond and soon he and Josh get into a bit of a scrap. The local sheriff (Bo Hopkins) shows up just in time but when they try to show him the corpse, they only find a passed out vagrant. They hit the sack and when Mike wakes up, he can't find his brother. A friendly female school teacher (Jody Medford) takes him to a gas station where they assume he might have wandered off to, but a pit stop at the school soon leads to trouble when yet another dead body appears. Mike, now the prime suspect, has to go on the run and soon realizes that the townsfolk are turning into zombies and that if he doesn't figure something out and fast, he'll share their fate.

    While it takes a little while to get moving, Mutant (also known as Night Shadows) reaches a pretty satisfying conclusion and makes up for its slow start with a well paced and effective final third act. The character development is nothing to write home about but the zombie make up is neat and there are some pretty cool sequences towards the end. The film's low budget is painfully obvious in spots (the car in the pond scene was obviously done with a toy!) but the zombies are eerie enough to carry things and as cliché ridden as the plot might be (will anyone be shocked to learn that toxic chemicals are the cause?) the film's got a good cast, some cool performances, and a decent amount of atmosphere.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Both films are presented in fullframe transfers that generally look pretty good, even if they are interlaced. Colors are fine and while fine detail can sometimes disappear in the shadows and in the darker scenes, both films are completely watchable. There isn't much in the way of print damage to complain about though you might spot some minor compression artifacts in a couple of scenes. The previous Elite DVD release of Mutant presented the film in 1.85.1 widescreen. Without that disc available to compare it to, it's tough to say if this release is cropped of just open matte but by and large the compositions look fine here.

    Each film is presented in English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. There's not much here in the way of channel separation but things sound fine. The dialogue is easy enough to follow and the levels are properly balanced. Some mild background hiss might pop up here and there but it's never a constant and overall things sound good enough.

    Aside from the plain, static menu screens this release is completely barebones.
    The Final Word:
    A no frills releases if ever there was one, the Mutants And Monsters Double Feature from Liberation at least gets these two entertaining eighties entries out on DVD. They're not specifically good films, but as dopey as they are in spots at least they're entertaining.
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