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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘Mutant Chronicles’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…

(It’s red-band, but I don’t see anything here that warrants it.)


Looks like it’s back to the future for a war between humans and “mutants” (who gets to define “mutant,” I wonder…?) in the trenches of World War I — at least, that’s what it looks like to me — with swords! Excellent.

This is most amusing, however:

In the year 2707, war rages between earth’s four giant corporations as they battle over the planet’s dwindling resources.

If there are still resources to be dwindling 700 years from now, it’s gotta be down to, like, a couple of paper clips and some dustbunnies from under the bed.

The four giant corporations, of course, are Wal-mart, Microsoft, GE, and Taco Bell.

In an era marked by warfare and social regression, the earth is on the verge of ruin, destruction is everywhere; battles explode on every ravaged continent.

Oh, you know: What era hasn’t been marked by warfare and social regression? When is the earth not on the verge of ruin? Please. Is this meant to scare us? Tell us an unkillable immortal zombie George W. Bush VI was declared King Forever in the year 2548 if you want to scare us.

Still, if there’s battles exploding in Antarctica (assuming it hasn’t melted away), that could be cool. No pun intended.

Amidst heavy combat, an errant shell shatters an ancient buried seal releasing a horrific mutant army from its eternal prison deep within the earth.

See, now this is where it get implausible. Why would someone imprison a horrific mutant army in an eternal prison deep within the earth? And if you really feel you must do so, why would you put it under a seal that could be shattered?

Why do our evil overlords never think?

As the mutant scourge threatens human extinction, a single squad of soldiers descends into the earth to fulfill the ages-old prophesy of the MUTANT CHRONICLES and save mankind.

Ah, well, why didn’t you say in the first place? Everything is going to be fine. And thanks for spoiling the ending for us.

Starring: Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, John Malkovich, Devon Aoki

Oh now this will be fun. You know Malkovich will be chewing up the scenery and Aoki will be as hilariously terrible as always and Perlman will growl a lot and Jane will be smokin’ hot and probably devoured by manly angst.

So all in all: should be awesome, though not, perhaps, in the way the producers intend it to be.

(Watch the green-band trailer at Apple.)

Mutant Chronicles played in U.K. theaters in October 2008; it premieres on HDNet Ultra VOD on March 27 and opens theatrically in the U.S. in limited release on April 24th.



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  • Mike

    They played this movie at Comic-Con in San Diego over the summer, though it might not have been the final cut. Our impression was that they very lovingly applied every war movie cliche (in infantry grunt, bomber crew, and submarine flavors) they could think of to their zombie/monster doomsday flick while using the plot from Lord of the Rings. Except it’s the Dirty Dozen headed to Mt. Doom, not plucky hobbits.

    It wasn’t what we expected, and it was cheesy, but we had fun. Plus, it had coal-fired spaceships.

  • JoshDM

    I think “Mutant Chronicles” was some sort of “Not Quite Warhammer 40k” game that came out in the mid-90’s. Didn’t think it had the pull to be noticed let alone become a movie.

  • Chuck

    Wait… I thought this looked somewhat familiar. This was apparently moderately successful as game franchises go. It’s from Sweden. It started as a pen and paper RPG, became two different collectible card games, and two video games. Recently they released a collectible miniatures game based on it. And of course as we can now see, a movie. That’s second only (in proliferation) to Dungeons and Dragons as far as role playing games go. I used to play “Doomtrooper” (one of the CCGs) back in high school. It wasn’t bad as CCGs go, but “not quite Warhammer 40K” is exactly how I’d describe the setting. Though, coal-fired spaceships and no electronics? How can this movie not be awesomely bad?

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