Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mutant Hunt (Tim Kincaid, 1987)

You know what they say: You can't keep a stretchy-armed cyborg handcuffed to a radiator for long. I don't know who "they" are, or why exactly they're going around saying such nonsensical gobbledygook. But as far as stupid utterances go, this one happens to be soaking in truth sauce. The amount of time you can keep a cyborg handcuffed to a radiator is fleeting at best–and, believe me, I should know, as not a day goes by that I don't find my place of residence infested with drug addled cyborgs. Even though I'm someone whose walls are completely devoid of machetes, cyborgs are still managing to find machete-based ways to break free from their restraints. Isn't it weird how that happens? Anyway, enough about my nonexistent cyborg problems, let's see a show of hands: How many people out there lurking in the darkness knew I was going open with a bit about handcuffed cyborgs? Interesting, hardly anyone. Okay, how many people were shocked that I didn't start off with a woefully misguided yet crotch-pleasing tangent about the forceful manner in which Mary Fahey crosses her shapely legs while sitting on a bed? Really? That many, eh? The reason I began with the whole cyborg handcuffed to a radiator routine—you know, instead my "I'm obsessed with organic materials" one—was because I couldn't get over the fact that the cyborg in question was attempting to cut off its hand in a manner that seemed counterproductive. You see, the cyborg, who's been handcuffed to a radiator during a close-quarter melee by our hero, decides to free itself by chopping off its hand with a machete that wasn't close by (it had to employ the extreme stretch feature of its unshackled cyborg arm to grab the out of reach machete). While it might seem rash to the non-cyborgs in the audience to remove one's own hand like that, to a cyborg, it makes perfect sense, especially when you consider the fact that its cyborg partner in crime was currently enganged in one humdinger of a pickled situation, and needed some swift assistance.

The only problem, and this succinctly sums up the wonky appeal of Mutant Hunt, was the shackled cyborg was cutting at the wrong side of the manacle. It didn't matter in the end, because when the hand is lopped off, the cutting area is clearly located on the other side (the side most commonly associated with extreme handcuff separation). But it did give me something to think about it. Which, I've been told, is somewhat of a rarity when it comes to films that are written and directed by Tim Kincaid (Riot on 42nd Street), the master when it comes to low budget science fiction, horror, women in prison, and gay porn films that are set in New York City. Opening with a shot of the city's iconic skyline at night, the film (which was apparently "too gory for the silver screen" upon its initial release) quickly ushers us into the offices of Inteltrax, a multinational corporation who produce cyborgs, digital alarm clocks, and childos (hands-free dildos for the woman on the go). Of course, I didn't know that right away; silly me thought that "Inteltrax" was the headquarters for the Manhattan chapter of the Front 242 fan club. Sporting sunglasses, black utilitarian jumpsuits, and industrial haircuts, these cyborgs are Delta 7's, and they're the top of the line. What makes these cyborgs so special? Why, they're jacked up on euphorine, that's what, the drug of choice in the twenty-first century. Since the marginally deranged cartoon villain/CEO of Inteltrax, Z (Bill Peterson), needs tons of euphorine to keep his all his cyborgs sufficiently intoxicated, he's stockpiled enough to last a lifetime.

A rival cyborg manufacture named Domina (Stormy Spill), who is upset over the fact that Z is hording the drug all for himself (she's addicted to euphorine). As you would expect, Domina spends most of her waking hours planning his downfall. When two of Inteltrax's employees catch wind of Z's diabolic plan, they make a feeble attempt to stop him. Unfortunately, Dr. Paul Haynes (Mark Umile), the designer of the Delta 7's, is apprehended before he can sound the alarm. On the other hand, his sister, Darla Haynes (Mary Fahey), manages to escape on foot. Pursued by two cyborgs who are shooting lasers at her, Darla runs straight to the sparsely furnished apartment of one Matt Riker (Rick Gianasi), the city's most accomplished mercenary. It's a good thing he lives just down the street from the Inteltrax offices, or else Darla and her little black dress would have been zapped into oblivion.

Following Darla upstairs, the two cyborgs, their skin dripping with yellow slime, enter Matt Riker's apartment. Big mistake, fellas. Standing there in nothing but a pair white underpants (it's nice to know that his genitals are always nestled in practicality), Matt greets the unwelcome house guests with a good old fashion ass kicking. After utilizing almost every weapon at his disposal (what his apartment's decor lacks in visual flair, it more than makes up for it in wall-mounted crossbows, machetes, and unloaded shotguns) to destroy the mutant cyborgs, Matt is probably thinking about celebrating his victory by penetrating his pleasure droid (LisaAnne Baker), the Lois Ayres/Sharon Mitchell/Anne Carlisle/coked up Helen Hunt lookalike, with his workaday penis.

As much as I would love to see you probe the insides of her soft, allegedly synthetic flesh, I'm afraid you are going have to keep it in your pants; which you can put back on, by the way (it's hard to take you seriously while you're wearing nothing but that particular style of underwear). Why can't he, have sex with her, that is? Well, the reason Darla ran to your apartment, and not to one belonging to the thousands of other mercenaries and bounty hunters who live in the neighbourhood, was because you're the best, and she requires your cyborg-stomping expertise.

While Darla is explaining the situation (the cyborgs are sex maniacs who need to kill every six hours) in her usual deadpan manner (the effortlessly seductive Mary Fahey is the best when it comes to recitng ridiculous dialogue in a dispassionate, "I don't really want to be in this movie," sort of way), the pleasure droid chimes in by asking, "Who would want to get robots high?" Excellent question. In fact, her question was so excellent, that it caused me to dispute Matt's post-mortal assertion that the attractive blonde in his bed was merely a "pleasure droid." I'm no rocket scientist when it comes to pleasure droids, but if there's one thing I know about pleasure droids, it's they're not exactly known for their inquisitiveness. Their sole purpose is to serve the needs of their owner, not to ask pertinent questions regarding the drug habits of sex-crazed cyborgs.

Suddenly, just as Darla was regaling us with tales of the "space shuttle sex murders," another slimy cyborg bursts into Matt Riker's apartment. The pleasure droid, for some strange reason, starts to scream (she didn't make a sound during the previous encounter with the cyborgs). This alerts the cyborg, who, without hesitation, picks up the pleasure droid, and proceeds to throw her out the window. She protests this action by screaming louder and kicking her legs, which are now dangling from a blue nightie. But it's all for naught, as her body crashes to the pavement below. Sure, it looked there was a pool of egg yolk-coloured brain matter (all cybernetic organisms in this particular universe have yellow blood) congealing on the ground near her head as she lay in the street, but that mess could have easily been left there by some lame as fuck news reporter trying to prove how hot it was by frying an egg on the sidewalk. In other words, I'm not fully convinced LeeAnne Baker was a pleasure droid. My theory is that the reason Matt Riker told Darla she was a pleasure droid was to mask the pain he was feeling over her death (keeping your emotions in check is one of the keys to being a successful mercenary).

Let it go, man. Pleasure droid or not, she's gone. But I thought LeeAnne Baker was going to be Matt Riker's plucky blonde sidekick. "But I thought LeeAnne Baker was going to be..." Ugh. Stop being such a baby. It's not going to happen. Try focusing your energy instead on Darla, or, better yet, check out the next scene. Itching to assemble a team (yep, even the best mutant cyborg hunter in the business needs help on occasion), Matt Riker heads down to Club Inferno to meet a colleague named Elaine (Taunie Vrenon), a bounty hunter/private ops/dancer of the seven veils (she moonlights as a dancer), and enlists her in the fight against Z's rogue cyborgs.

After eavesdropping on a conversation that took place between Darla, Matt Riker, and Elaine (she was sitting on the bar stool next to Elaine), Domina calls up Z on her mobile communications device, and uses what she overheard as a bargaining chip to acquire a freakishly large amount of euphorine. Why does she need so much euphorine? Is her habit that bad? Don't be naive, Romina is working on her own cyborg project, and needs the euphorine for a project she's been working on. Developing a "Delta 8," Domina hopes to unveil her bandaged creation at Z's warehouse during the film's action-packed finale.

You'll notice I said, "mobile communication device," well, that's because futuristic gadgets are quite plentiful in the Mutant Hunt universe. Along with cell phones, the film has tablet computers, a global positioning system that helps locate mutant cyborgs, and bluetooth technology. Most of these gadgets come courtesy of Johnny Felix (Ron Reynaldi), a bounty hunter whose sneakers allow him to run as fast as a cheetah. This unique ability enables him to come to the rescue of Elaine when she finds herself face-to-face with one of Z's Delta 7's in a dark alley behind Club Inferno. Luckily for her, the nonexistent length of her black heterosexual mini-dress is what permits her to run fast. It's too bad she doesn't own a pair of cheetah shoes–or maybe she does, but didn't want to wear them tonight because they didn't really go with her heterosexual mini-dress. Either way, Elaine is somewhat embarrassed by the fact that she had to be rescued like a damsel-in-distress ("I hate it when men save me"). Sure, it sounds like someone's a tad ungrateful. But you have got to remember, she's a highly trained bounty hunter, just like, Matt Riker and Felix.

Admiring the cut of her Klaus Nomi-friendly shoulder pads in the mirror (her rival, Z, obviously shops at the same store), Domina is chatting with her personal assistant, a Delta 6 named Hydro (Doug Devos). While she's complimenting him for his loyal service over years (to which Hydro responds with the often repeated line, "Thank you, Domina), I couldn't help but notice that Domina and Hydro had an interesting rapport whenever they appeared onscreen together. It's not a sexual thing, either. You could just tell that they had a deep respect for one another. Which, I've been told, is a rare occurrence when it comes to the majority of master-slave relationships.

Regrouping at Matt Riker's apartment, Johnny Felix gives the team an impromptu demonstration of his latest gadgets; the coolest being a time delayed explosive device. Feeling more or less upstaged by this glorified appliance symposium, Darla tries to draw everyone's attention away from Felix's newfangled gizmos by crossing and uncrossing her legs three times in quick succession. Judging by the bemused expressions on their faces, I don't think they noticed the leg crossing cabaret that was transpiring right before their very eyes (bunch of non-leg cross noticing ingrates). I know this won't bring her any solace, but I knew exactly what Darla was up to the moment she sat down and implemented her first cross.

Not one to be outdone when it comes to flashing some knee skin, Elaine, who is still wearing her heterosexual mini-dress, invites Matt Riker to her apartment to "talk about old times." Standing near a giant shelf containing hundreds of books (girl, you have got to be kidding? there's no way you have read all those books), Elaine reminds Matt Riker of that crazy night they spent in at the Sri Lankan Hilton, and, before you know it, they're filling each other up with globs of buggy wuggy. Oh, Matt Riker. You're such a slut. The body of the pleasure droid isn't even cold, yet, here you are, making it with some floozy who thinks her legs are just as sexy as the ones attached to Mary Fahey's supple frame. Hell, Elaine doesn't even know how to sit with her legs crossed. Fucktard.

I don't why I'm taking all my frustration out on Elaine, when it's Matt Riker's fault the pleasure droid is dead and that Darla's leg crossing theatrics bore no erectile fruit. At any rate, while Felix and Matt Riker battle cyborgs (or "jellyheads," as Felix likes to call them) up in Spanish Harlem and on the Lower East Side, Elaine takes off her heterosexual mini-dress and heads down to the waterfront to search for large quantities of eurphorine with her trusty euphorine detector. The sight of Taunie Vrenon wearing a grey jumpsuit and red high heel boots standing with the city's skyline in the background, her red hair blowing in the wind, is the film's defining Elaine moment.

If you think about it, there would be no Janice from Friends, Lady Starlight, Frank the Entertainer in a Basement Affair, or even Fran Fine if it wasn't for Stormy Spill's subdued performance as Domina, the undisputed queen when it comes to scheming without the aid of pants. Oh, and don't let her thick Queens, New York accent fool you, Domina could careless about kosher grade pastrami or her reputed timeshare in Muskoka, it's cyborgs that scratch her delicate itch; that, and an ear full of euphorine. With the pleasure droid out of commission, Elaine searching the waterfront for euphorine, and Matt Riker off fighting cyborgs (like in Bad Girls Dormitory, the fight scenes do go on a tad too long), it only makes sense that my two favourite Mutant Hunt characters would inadvertently battle it out at Z's super-secret euphorine factory. Finally ready to unleash her Delta 8 to an unsuspecting public, Domina is shocked to find an equally pantless Darla waiting to greet her creation with a laser pistol.

I don't want to start any controversy, but I've heard that some jellyheads (on top of being Felix's nickname for cyborgs, it's the unofficial monicker for the worldwide network of Mutant Hunt fans) were mildly disappointed by the film's anticlimactic ending. What they fail to realize is that, to these characters, hunting mutants is an everyday part of life. Saving the world on a regular basis is what they do, and I thought Tim Kincaid captured that nonchalance perfectly. In addition, I thought the film had a lot to say about the ho-hum nature of twenty-first century heroism. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go light a candle in honour of a dead pleasure droid.


uploaded by mrparka

This tedious slab of overstated nonsense is dedicated to LeeAnne Baker, Mary Fahey, Stormy Spill, Taunie Vrenon, and, of course, Thomas Duke, a man who knows exactly what's going on in my alley, and isn't afraid to tell me when he's come across something that might be up it.
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8 comments:

  1. If you showed someone those screen shots, you'd be hard pressed to find a person who wouldn't assume that they were culled from an 80s era porno.

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  2. IT'S FUCKING KINCAID WEEK OVER AT THE SELF-INDULGENCE! I SMELL A ROBOT HOLOCAUST REVIEW TO CLOSE OUT THE WEEK!

    Sorry for shouting. Some may have thought that my Mutant Hunt recommendation was a bit extreme, but looking at those stills, I think a clear-thinking person will come to the conclusion that a Mutant Hunt review was absolutely needed over at the Self-Indulgence AKA "The Self-Indulge" AKA "The Dulger"

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  3. This is, without a doubt, my favorite movie ever. I force it on everyone I know.

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  4. Among the finest! I agree with T. Duke though, either Robot Holocaust or She's Back please.

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  5. More Kincaid-y goodness! Be still my blinking robot-mutant heart!

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  6. @Kev D.: Well, LeeAnne Baker (a.k.a. pleasure droid) does have a New Wave Hooker vibe about her in this movie.

    @Thomas Duke: Welcome to Tim Kincaid Week at The Dulge. I'm your host Yummage T. Rockefeller. On tonight's show we'll be auctioning off the tighty whities worn by Matt Riker in Mutant Hunt and conducting an interview with none other than Frances Raines.

    I'm afraid there will be no Robot Holocaust review to close out the week. If I had known you were going to get this excited about back-to-back Tim Kincaid entries, I would have planned a little better, and turned it into the kind of Tim Kincaid extravaganza you were hoping for.

    Oh, and don't worry about shouting, Dark One.

    @Scary Manilow: Coercion is the only surefire way to guarantee that people partake in the Mutant Hunt experience.

    @The Goodkind: Robot Holocaust has been on my radar for quite awhile now... but She's Back?!? Consider that bad boy added to the list.

    Bill Thomas: Screw Tim Kincaid Week, it sounds like I should have done Tim Kincaid month.

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  7. Dude, I was THIS CLOSE to writing a letter to the EW editor because someone wrote that "Kid in King's Arthur's Court" is Daniel Craig's worst movie. Whoever said that is definitely not a Craig aficionado like I am. :D His worst movie is Hotel Splendide.

    Yeah, can the Twilight people just go away?

    We're behind on Jeopardy! again.

    It's finally cold enough to wear my Roots hoodie! Yay!

    Oh, we saw another 2011 movie--Hugo. The 3-D did not give me a headache, but that's another fad that needs to go away like those Twilight mopes.

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  8. I hope the people who do end up writing letters to the EW editor tear the folks responsible for that piece a new one. There's no way "Overnight Delivery" is Reese Whitherspoon's worst movie. (Hello? Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde?) The same goes for "Leprechaun," which is listed as Jennifer Aniston's worst. Granted, I haven't seen "Leprechaun," but it can't be any worse than "Picture Perfect" (or countless other J.A. rom-coms). Oh, and the way the writers seemed to pick on obscure films struck me as cowardly. In other words, they didn't want piss off anyone by choosing more recent, well-known flicks.

    I know hating twilight is cliched and all, but everyone involved seems charisma-challenged (it's like staring into a vortex of pure, undiluted suckage).

    Behind, eh? Okay, then I won't brag about all the categories I've swept this week. ;)

    It's cold enough for me to wear six Roots hoodies. ;)

    I've never seen a film in 3-D. *gasp* Speaking of Craig, I hope the dragon tattoo remake isn't in 3-D (rape scenes in 3-D? talk about tasteless).

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