Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Mutantis" and the Citizens Capture Film Makers; Kelly Fitzgerald and Mark Leake For a Round of Questioning

5 of 8 Viewers "Liked" "Mutantis" (2014, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Math Mage - "This movie is amazing! Any discussion of it's plot elements would make this film sound more serious than it is. Usually when a movie is intended to be hilariously bad it ends up simply bad; but this is a fabulous train wreck of a movie made even better by the deliberate inattention to detail." - 5 Stars

KillDozer - "A little bit of goofiness goes a long way! The Troma spirit is alive and well with this one. Zero budget films at times can be a guilty pleasure . We love the cheesy gore but can barely stand the acting or horrible writing . This movie was made with love and you can feel it through the hilarious mock dubbing (70's italian style) , the insanely bad creature effects (50's style),and the cheesy gore (80's style). This is a popcorn flick made to be watched with friends making funny riffs and having a good time . Long live no budget cheese ball films that only add fun and diversity to our monster kid community! A special shout out goes to the amazingly composed score . Put this one on at your next party and prepare for your friends to love, hate, laugh, cry, and be confused and repulsed all at once." - 2 (really fun) Stars

Lord Battle - "Amateur in tone, brilliant in context. This film is a lot of fun, be it the black comedy or the lesson in low budget film making. " - 3 1/2 Stars

Book Wyrm - "The movie was well made, the soundtrack was solid and the campiness was done very well. I thought the mutant was really weird and over the top but it fit. I enjoyed the obvious dubbing too." - 3 Stars

The Berkely Blazer - "A schlock microbuget masterpiece that works off of it's low-fi novelties without ever really becoming tedious, which is quite a feat. Mutantis manages to be absurd, revolting, laughable and hilarious, often at the same time. The humor is juvenile but never strays from it's self-awareness of this fact, and this makes all the difference in how the viewer navigates the banalities and offenses to humankind that litter the narrative. Mutantis the monster is much like the film: while a laughable zenith of hermaphroditic ridiculousness, is also one of the most vile and disturbing creatures I've seen in recent memory; it's delightful." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "This is definitely a one of a kind movie, it had some of the most creative low budget problem solving I've ever seen, it paired perfectly with the weird plot. Nothing was predictable." - 3 1/2 Stars

Unicorn Slayer - "First I must say, it is obvious the bad filming and voice over is intentional, they clearly knew what they were doing. The style of filming, effects, and music are so effective in submerging you in a 70's setting,you overlook the purposefully awful costuming. Props to the costume designer of the Mutantis monster, the details put into monster genitals and sex scenes were cringe worthy and perfect. Aside from distasteful redface, the film makes for a good party/group gathering, drunken shenanigen film. While I may suggest people must behold it's awful glory, it is something I will most likely not watch again." - 3 Stars

Ice Giant - "Not even the drugs I was on could save this movie, I understand movies are made this way on purpose and some of them have redeeming qualities...... this is not one of those movies, it feels like the guy who made it saw an episode of family guy and thought "What if the chicken was a mutant chicken and was rapey" while also on drugs of his own. If Lord Battle hadn't just shown us Terror on Tour this would be the worst movies he's made us sit through but as it stands it's only the second worst. - 0 Stars (Default 1)

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*

I typically use this section of the review for any theories I have about the film or to discuss any important themes. This time however, we are doing something a little different... I reached out to Mark Leake (Writer of Mutantis & Isle of the Damned) to see if he and director Kelly Fitzgerald would be up to answering a few questions. They agreed and I asked all the coherent reviewers present at the screening to think of 1 question they could ask the film makers and here are the results:

Lord Battle - "What was the film budget (assuming one was set) and how much did it cost in total to make?" 

Kelly Fitzgerald - "The money just came out of our pockets. There never really was a budget. Leake, Colegrove, and I brought supplies as we needed them. The only time that I am aware of needing a lump sum was to have the DVD's pressed, so we pre-sold them along with other products on indigogo for that money."

The Berkeley Blazer - "It is apparent that in addition to "low-budget charm," a lot of work and love went into making this film consistently entertaining and interesting. From the director's perspective, are the ways these elements play off each other present during filming and, if so, how does that factor into your directorial decisions?" 

Kelly F. - "Yes, given the conditions in which we made this film (springs/summers in east coast heat, any Sunday it didn't rain) love of the genre was the life blood - along with long term friendships and collaboration from everyone involved. Whenever a problem arose, everyone on set had creative solutions and input. Seeing strengths in these individuals and putting them to good use was key in no budget film making. We kept the mood light and had a lot of fun with making this film."

KillDozer - "With this being a low budget film, what did you consciously choose to be "cheesy" for entertainment value and what was simply the result of "cutting corners" to get the film made?" 

Kelly F. - "The line is so blurred between intentionally and beautiful mistakes that I dare not try to separate it. But when dealing with effects like the helicopters, we always thought the cheesier the better. Knowing your limits (budget wise) upfront and being logical about it helps the creative process, as does knowing what you can pull off and what ideas need to be re-constructed to fit realistic expectations." 

Huntress - "How did you hire the staff that wasn't already friends or acquaintances?" 

Kelly F. - "You want to help make a movie, you're hired! Everyone that had involvement was an acquaintance and/or friend of someone who was working with Dire Wit Films. The amazing thing is that the majority of everyone who worked in production had been doing projects with Dire Wit Films for years. This was their 2nd, 3rd - and even for some - 4th film with us. These movies are made off of the backs of those who selflessly give their precious time to come out, usually to the woods and at times with no bathrooms and no craft services, simply for the sheer love of movies!!!" 

Math Mage - "Why was the decision made to have two different actors play Father Joy? Was it a creative solution or was it written that way? Either way it was an amazing choice.

Kelly F. - "It was a creative solution that we decided early on would be entertaining to let some of the scenes start with one actor then in the middle change the actor. 

Unicorn Slayer - "Whose job was it to create the brutal penis/vagina combo, and how did they go about making it?"

Mark Leake - "Well, Unicorn Slayer, I was the one assigned to engineer the shellgina, and I went about making it with cardboard, latex and love. The biggest challenge was making the functional urethra from which the beast could spooge, but after a few test trials with that rubber medical hose that junkies tie their arms off with, I finally had the eureka moment, and Mutantis' manhood/womanhood was ready to procreate all over the silver screen."

Book Wyrm - "If you could go back and redo any one aspect of the film, what would it be and why?"

Kelly Fitzgerald - "I have a dew characters I'd change the dialogue to. During post, I felt some of the ADR jokes kept me limited, and it drove me nuts from time to time. I wanted to perfect the delivery if it, but instead I felt backed into a corner. Needless to say, in the end I am very happy with the movie and any problems I ran into became a good lesson for the next film."

I hadn't read any of the answers until just now and I have to say this was a lot of fun putting together. I was considering not adding this next bit since IMDB tends to report about things that don't get made but it looks like Kelly and Mark are signed on to work on another project together, this one titled "Pig Pen". If said project does come together I know we'll be watching it. Thanks again Mark Leake for reaching out to us!
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others at the screening got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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