Action Comedy

Toronto After Dark Review: ‘Mutant Blast’

October 16, 2019Nick Armstrong

In Mutant Blast, director Fernando Alle may set you up to think you know precisely what you're in for by having our hardened lead character, Maria (Maria Leite), break a test subject out of confinement within the first few minutes. But after introducing our second lead, Pedro (Pedro Barão Dias), a hungover slacker who seems ripe for a redeeming hero treatment, that thread is practically vetoed — and it's not long before a lobster man is battling a dolphin man.

Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape where a science experiment gone wrong causes an outbreak of undead humans, it's easy to feel as though the movie is mutating as regularly as its characters are. Alle uses this strategy quite skillfully in an attempt to constantly redirect audience's perceptions of what kind of film this is. Refreshingly, Mutant Blast side-steps clichés in a myriad of ways, most notably the relationship between Maria and Pedro, which is defiantly non-romantic, despite Pedro's literal fantasies of being a hero that kills bad guys and rescues princesses. The movie also has no shortage of especially goopy practical effects that push it far past the realms of realism, which is perhaps the only way in which it remains beholden to its genre.

The result is a fascinatingly self-aware experiment in repeatedly shutting down what it promises to its audience, to the point where any sense of the mass danger that comes with your typical zombie film is completely erased. If wholly, purposefully unpredictable sci-fi piques your interest, then look no further than Mutant Blast.

Mutant Blast makes its Toronto premiere at the 2019 Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 23 min.

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