The birth of The Hills Have Eyes as an updated franchise
has introduced moviegoers to a clutch of mutants whose hideous
appearance is eclipsed only by their hideous proclivities.
Of course, not all movie mutants are evil; some are rather
good, as this top-ten demonstrates. As The
Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007) is released on DVD
we search out the ten unforgettable movie mutants, some of
which are malevolent, some of which are benign.
The X-Men [X-Men
X-Men United (2003); X-Men: The Last Stand
it's the ladies' favourite, Hugh
Jackman's Wolverine, or the boys', Halle
Berry's Storm, few movie mutants measure up to
the stars of three blockbusting movies, these comic book superheroes
are all mutants, being the next instalment in mankind's evolutionary
every mutant is goodly, though, and Professor Charles Xavier's
nemesis, Magneto, has collected together his own army of mutants,
featuring the likes of Mystique and Toad. The baddies, it
seems, drew the short straw when it came to acquiring names!
2) The Hulk [Hulk
Gamma radiation is a dangerous thing, as evidenced by its
effect on poor Bruce Banner in Ang
Lee's big-screen adaptation of the cult TV show
In Lee's imagining, Nick Nolte's David Banner, a genetics
researcher who experiments on himself in a bid to improve
human DNA, passes his mutated genes to his son, Eric Bana's
Bruce, who, when he's angry, becomes rather big and green.
What Lee fails to explain, however, is why the mutation turned
Bruce's hulking alter-ego bright green. And why his shorts
still seem to fit, even though their owner has grown somewhat
3) Spider-Man [Spider-Man (2002); Spider-Man 2
(2004); Spider-Man 3 (2007)]
Sam Raimi's blockbusting cinematic interpretation of one of
the comic world's most memorable heroes hews close to its
pulpy source, ascribing the web-slinger's powers to a bite
he receives from some kind of super-spider.
mutation in Peter Parker's genes bestows upon him all kinds
of arachnid abilities, including those wall-hugging hands
and feet and the ability to spin super-strong webs. Of
course, Parker's also blessed with the spider's super strength,
although, thankfully, he does not grow six extra legs and
a cluster of eyes.
4) The Toxic Avenger [The Toxic Avenger (1985)]
most famous of Troma Entertainment's slew of camp B-movies,
The Toxic Avenger casts Mark Torgl as Melvin Junko,
a small-size weakling who turns into something quite different
after tumbling into a vat of toxic waste. Despite his new,
unsavoury appearance, Toxie is a benevolent being, turning
his new-found powers against those that deserve their comeuppance,
chief among them being his former tormentors and the town's
malevolent mayor, whose vital organs are ripped out as the
unusual hero bids to discover whether he has "any guts".
The original movie was followed by a string of sequels - The
Toxic Avenger Part II, The Toxic Avenger Part III:
The Last Temptation Of Toxie and Citizen Toxie: The
Toxic Avenger Part IV - although fans were disappointed
in the later films' lack of violence.
Killer Tomatoes [Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes (1978)]
government programmes can cause all sorts of problems, as
those who come into contact with these mutant killer vegetables
Standing a full six-feet tall, these genetically modified
edibles resist the best efforts of the US army, before finally
falling victim to the odious teen ballad Puberty Love. Upon
hearing the songs saccharine tones, the killer tomatoes are
reduced to tiny, quivering wrecks, and can be turned into
ketchup by the soles of the citizenry's shoes.
The cult flick has inspired three sequels, Return Of The
Killer Tomatoes (1988), Killer Tomatoes Strike Back
(1990) and Killer Tomatoes Eat France (1991), none
of which is as juicy as the tomatoes' first escapade.
6) The freaks of Santa Flan [Freaked (1993)]
The likes of Randy Quaid and Brooke Shields, plus Mister T
and an un-credited Keanu Reeves, star in this flick from Tom
Stern and Alex Winter.
film sees Quaid's evil freak show owner capture a trio of
travellers who he dips into his vat of toxic fertiliser in
a bid to boost his array of mutants, which includes Reeves
as Dog Boy, Mr T as a bearded lady and Bobcat
Goldthwait as Sockhead, a man who has a sock puppet
for a head.
Winter claims that the original producer of the film was fired
by the studio for making too many weird movies. Erm, a case
of 'pot calling the kettle', maybe...
7) Ninja Turtles [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990);
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze
(1991); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993); TMNT
shell-cased mutants, a foursome comprising the artistically
named Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, have
now featured in four movies, the most recent being entirely
Their origins are traced to a weird pink gloop (called mutagen)
found in a New York sewer, which turns whatever touches it
into the animal with which it has last been in contact. So
when a kid drops his four pet turtles down the drain by accident
and they land in the ooze, they morph into human-cum-turtles.
Their ninja skills are acquired by meeting Hamato, a Japanese
ninja who happens to be living in the sewer. Where ninjas
often live, of course.
Paul Verhoeven's camp but fun-packed interpretation of the
Philip K. Dick short story sends Arnold Schwarzeneggar's character,
Quaid, to Mars, where he meets the mutant leader of a bunch
Named Kuato, this mutant looks rather like a baby, and he
lives inside another human's stomach. Not much to look at
- and presumably not too hot with the ladies - this mutant
is, however, a goodly dude, telling Quaid that he must activate
the planet's hidden oxygen-making machine so that his mutant
kinsfolk (descendants of Martian colonists inadequately shielded
against cosmic rays) can breathe freely. Good thinking for
Mutant frogmen [Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988)]
B-movie is set in a post-apocalyptic future where amphibians
rule. Following a nuclear war, very few fertile men and women
exist and, as a result, Sam Hell (played by pro wrestler Roddy
Piper) is recruited to infiltrate a city of frog-people and
rescue a group of human survivors, who happen to be fertile
women (who may or may not have had a frog in their throat).
Piper's character has to wear a protective cod piece that
will explode if he tries to abort his mission.
film was followed by three sequels: Return to Frogtown
(1993), Toad Warrior (1996) and Max Hell Frog Warrior
Infected mutants don't come much prettier than Milla Jovovich's
Violet who, living in the late 21st century, stands among
a subculture of humans that have been genetically modified
by a vampire disease called hemophagia, giving them enhanced
speed, incredible stamina and acute intelligence.
As they are set apart from "normal, healthy" humans, the world
is pushed to the brink of worldwide civil war.
thanks to James Field at Substance
Hill Have Eyes 2 (2007) is available to buy and rent on
DVD from Twentieth
Century Fox Home Entertainment
from 30 July 2007.
to buy The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007) on DVD for £12.98