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ACCION MUTANTE [a.k.a. Mutant Action] (1993).

The producer of this Spanish splatterama, Pedro Almodovar, has always strived to mix comedy and perversity. In director Alex de la Iglesia he's found a colleague who's up to the same tricks in the genre of blood-caked science fiction. And this futuristic, post-apocalyptic black comedy is ripe with high style and lowbrow laughs. Our heroes are a likable pack of bumbling cripples and freaks, who comprise the terrorist group Accion Mutante. Tired of being 4th class citizens, they drive around the burnt-out remains of civilization in an ice cream truck (accompanied by MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE music) and lead murderous raids on rich, beautiful aristocrats -- striking terror into the hearts of trendy and hip elitists. Their latest mission: To machine gun a fabulous wedding and kidnap the bride (Frederique Feder). Everything goes rather well (OK, so a lot of people are brutally slaughtered. So?) and the blood spattered bride is soon an unwilling passenger on their greasy, filthy spaceship -- her mouth stapled shut (ouch) to keep her quiet. But loyalties are fickle in the future, and the mutants' domineering leader Ramon (Antonio Resines) slowly begin trimming down his squad of ragtag assassins with the aid of the huge, hungry mutant "cat" in the ship's hold. The acting is appropriately broad, with Feder a stand-out, looking lovely even when covered in dried blood. And it's obvious that the filmmakers had a relatively luxurious budget to work with, evoking the dinginess of BLADE RUNNER crossed with the demented humor of a top-level Troma pic! For example, what happens if you've got siamese twins, and one dies? Why not stuff the dead one and drag him around for the remainder of the film? And wait until you meet a nomad family of in-bred males as vicious (and twice as stupid) as the TEXAS CHAINSAW clan -- since they've never seen a real live woman, they ejaculate in their shorts the moment they catch sight of the sexy Ms. Feder. Once Ramon and his kidnapee arrive at the desert planet of Axturia, the "Stockholm Syndrome" hits and she suddenly falls in love with the unscrupulous thug. This pic is packed with colorful chaos, razored satire on the media and high society, and cool special effects (from the same crew who worked on DELICATESSEN). Perhaps a little too much is packed in, because first-timer Iglesia switches gears so often that the larger picture is often lost. Still, he never lets up, with his manic energy and maniacal sense of humor driving the film to its comic massacre finale. It's a wild ride, and just wait until you see the Accion Mutante dancers doing a congo line to their theme song.

© 1994 by Steven Puchalski.