Mutant Hunt (1986)


USA. 1986.


Director/Screenplay – Tim Kincaid, Producer – Cynthia DePaula, Photography – Thomas Murphy, Music Supervisor – Tom Milano for Don Great Music, Special Effects Supervisor – Matt Vogel, Makeup Effects – Ed French, Production Design – Ruth Lounsbury. Production Company – Entertainment Concepts Productions/Taryn Productions


Rick Gianasi (Matt Riker), Mary Fahey (Darla Haynes), Taunie Vrenon (Elaine Elliott), Ron Reynaldi (Johnny Felix), Bill Peterson (Z), Stormy Spill (Domina), Marc Umilie (Dr Paul Haynes), Leanne Baker (Pleasure Droid), Doug DeVos (Hydro)


At the Inteltrax company, the ruthless Z changes the programming of Dr Paul Haynes’s Delta 7 androids and infects them with the narcotic drug Euphoron, which turns the androids into uncontrollable mutant killers. Haynes’s sister Darla manages to escape and goes to beg the help of the mercenary Matt Riker. Riker gathers his team to hunt down the Delta 7s. However, the Delta 7s have been programmed to telepathically sense danger and instead come hunting Riker and his team.

Mutant Hunt was one of the first ever films made that was released directly to video, rather than going through a cinema release first. Mutant Hunt was made by Tim Kincaid, who has a reputation as one of the worst directors to have worked in the low-budget science-fiction/horror genre during the 1980s. During this time, Tim Kincaid also made infamously bad likes of Breeders (1986), which was shot back-to-back with Mutant Hunt, and Robot Holocaust (1987); produced one of Empire’s worst films Necropolis (1987); and directed other genre films such as The Occultist/Maximum Thrust (1987) and one mainstream comedy She’s Back (1989), which featured Carrie Fisher as a ghost. Kincaid has since retired from the sf/horror/fantasy genre and now makes gay porn films under the name Joe Gage.

Mutant Hunt is expectedly a terrible film. Tim Kincaid has clearly set out with the intention of making an ultra-cheap mixture of Blade Runner (1982) and The Terminator (1984). Mutant Hunt is Blade Runner conducted as a zero budget action movie – one where the city of the future is represented by a few blocks of contemporary New York City and the androids and bounty hunters engage in poorly choreographed martial arts sequences. Kincaid’s action direction is laughable – the funniest sequence in the film is one near the start where one of the androids invades hero Rick Gianisi’s apartment and we are treated to the sight of Gianisi in a pair of white underpants and an android in a boiler suit pursuing one another back and forward across the top of a bed. The cast at least play with a basic competence. There are some entertainingly cheap makeup effects with android faces melting down, being blown up etc – the most amusing of these is one sequence, blatantly stolen from Scream and Scream Again (1970), where Rick Gianisi handcuffs an android to the radiator in his apartment and it stretches its free arm several metres up to the wall to grab an axe and then chops its cuffed arm off at the wrist.

Mostly, Mutant Hunt is utterly dreary. Almost nothing happens in the film – lots of running around the streets, various martial arts encounters with boiler-suited androids and a climactic showdown in a factory. Mutant Hunt is the sort of film that groups of enthusiastic teenagers with budding ambitions to break into filmmaking used to get together to make in their backyards with 8mm and video cameras – an amateur film that accidentally obtained a commercial release. Kincaid even seems confused as to the differences between an android, a cyborg and a mutant.

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