Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Accion Mutante (1993, Spain)

A delightfully tasteless, violent piece of low-budget fun from Alex de la Iglesia, the Spanish specialist in black humor. The title Accion Mutante refers to a group of incompetent terrorists made up of freaks, cripples and mutants that, many years in the future, wage a war against beauty and perfection. Just how incompetent they are is made obvious in the opening scene in which a muscle-bound bodybuilder they mean to kidnap ends up being suffocated. Logically enough (?), in the next scene Ramon (Antonio Resines)—the group’s founder and leader—gets released from prison and is picked up at the prison gate by his (known) fellow terrorists. The time has come for The Big Plan to be put in action. Crashing a high society wedding, they shoot up a ton of people and kidnap the daughter (Frédérique Feder) of a multi-millionaire cookie baron, losing two Accion Mutante members along the way. Off they go by spaceship to Axturias, a barren planet where the ransom exchange is to take place; Axturias also lacks any women and is populated by completely crazy, horny miners. (Actually filmed on location in Los Monegros, Zaragoza, Spain, Planet Earth.) Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Ramon plans to kill all his compatriots and keep the money for himself, but before he can finish knocking them all off—and after blowing off the head of one half of the Siamese twins—the spaceship crashes on the planet. Followed by the revenge driven, dead-weight-dragging surviving half of the twins, Ramon and his Stockholm Syndrome suffering hostage get captured by a family of obscenely fat, ugly men out to wet their willies.....
The big showdown is in a sleazy filthy bar full of gun-toting miners, a sensation-seeking television crew, a fanatically insane millionaire with a bomb, Ramon, his love sick hostage, the twin and a mess of trigger-happy policemen.
Filmed as a multi-violent farce, Accion Mutante has no socially redeeming features—which makes it all the more enjoyable. Considering its low budget, the film looks surprisingly good...the sets and the effects may be cheap, but they work, as does the film. The first full-length feature of director Alex de la Iglesia, this purveyer of bad taste went on two years later to make the equally entertaining oddity, Day of the Beast (1993), about a priest, a Rocker and a TV man out to kill the antichrist. In 1997 he was brought to Hollywood to direct the dark, cynically humorous but oddly disappointing exercise in studio-produced violence (and Rosie Perez vehicle) Perdita Durango, but his best films have all been homegrown Spanish productions. They have, on a whole, proven him to be an uncompromising, capable and creative director with a flair for hilariously tasteless violence.... definitely not for the masses, but damned enjoyable for those who like their stuff unadulterated. In this sense, Accion Mutante could possibly be the best of the lot.

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