Netflix may be a miracle on par with breathable air and cilantro, but even its Skynet-level intelligence fails sometimes.
Last night, I was betrayed by three things: a three-star recommendation, my weakness for killer robots and an intriguing plot summary.
The problem with writing movie summaries is that movies don't always make sense. Any story can sound pretty good when it's reduced to a couple of sentences, especially if those sentences involve the words "mutants" or "army of cyborg robots." In that light, let me describe 1987's Mutant Hunt as accurately as possible.
In New York, a crummy villain has juiced his cyborg servants up with an illegal drug that has sent them on a violent rampage or something. To justify a nonstop series of awful roundhouse kicks, "scientist" Mary Fahey hires Rick Gianasi, a mercenary who first appears in his tighty-whities and never gets any more appealing from there.
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Mutant Hunt opens as all great movies do: on a scene that winds up with a steaming pile of burly leather-men. We're told they're cyborgs, and they went all woohoo-crazy after being introduced to a drug, but other than that, you are unlikely to take away anything besides the jamming '80s soundtrack and suspiciously Terminatoresque sunglasses.
As for the plot, however, it appears to be about a group of third-rate Arnolds engaging in crummily choreographed fistfights with people who don't actually know what their fists are. Gianasi has a full-fledged medieval armory hanging from his walls, but is perfectly content to stand around and watch while the cyborgs fling his girlfriend out the window, suggesting he got his mercenary training on the back set of Married with Children.
Meanwhile, one of the cyborgs engages in the most lackadaisical chopping-your-own-hand-off scene I've ever witnessed. And I once knew a guy who only worked on severing his own hand on weekends football wasn't playing.
It's that total lack of energy that ultimately cripples Mutant Hunt. Well, that and the fact it makes less sense than The Great Book of Things That Make No Sense Volume VI, the one that's just a transcript of Nick Nolte bellowing into a pickle barrel. But plenty of nonsensical action movies are just fine as long as they've got the right verve propelling them along.
Mutant Hunt doesn't have that. Instead, it has foolish haircuts, a budget of tens of dollars and a villain who stands around more than the grandstands at the Stand Family Standing Competition.
Like terrible movies? There are few worse than this.