The 80s Sci-Fi Horror Hidden Gem With Mutant Zombies, Stream Without Netflix

By Brian Myers | Published

mutant movie

The blend of science fiction and horror was never better than it was during the 1980s. Crossover films like Night of the Creeps and Lifeforce attracted fans of both genres and paved the way for cult film status. A long-forgotten crossover film from earlier in that decade was the 1984 production Mutant, a movie that capitalized on fears surrounding industrial pollution and its impacts on the environment.

Starts With A Road Trip

mutant movie

Mutant begins with brothers Josh (Wings Hauser) and Mike (Lee Montgomery) on a road trip through the southern United States. After they are run off the highway by a group of punks, they find their way to a little town and are greeted by the local sheriff (Bo Hopkins).

The movie sees the road-worn brothers are taken to a local home where they are put up for the night and allow them to regroup.

The Zombie Infestation Begins

Unbeknownst to Josh and Mike, a local chemical company has been illegally dumping its industrial waste into the wastewater system. This has slowly led to the nearby community’s inhabitants falling ill and going through gradual physical changes.

Mutant, like many movies of this sort, uses the pollution as a mechanism to turn the affected characters into zombies.

Things Don’t Look Good

Mike is attacked in the middle of the night by one of these creatures and dragged under the bed in his room. Mutant sees his brother Josh spending the following day looking for him, leading him to a local school teacher named Holly (Jody Medford).

Throughout the rest of the movie, the pair experiences numerous typical horror movie tropes that keep sidelining progress; disbelief from law enforcement, violent attacks from the people behind the pollution, and the death of the one person in authority that does believe their story all paint a bleak picture for Josh and Holly.

The Effects And the Cast

mutant movie

Mutant as a science fiction movie is a bit weak, as the use of industrial negligence is a tired plot device. As a horror film, it fairs a bit stronger.

The creature effects are realistic, the jump scares well timed, and the overall sense of impending gloom and doom is helped along throughout the 99 minutes of screen time by Richard Band’s film score.

Mutant gives Wings Hauser a great shot at a film lead, and he does a praiseworthy job as Josh. Even working from a movie screenplay that could use some peppering up, Hauser plays a very convincing everyman who wants nothing more than to find his brother.

Lee Montgomery also gives a great performance as Mike, though his time on screen was more limited.

Stream It Now


With a decent level of acting and a storyline that catches interest, Mutant is a good example of mid-80s horror. Fears of contaminated drinking water, acid rain, and other human-made maladies were dominant in this era and often played out in films.

This particular movie does well capitalizing on these fears, though the device itself was a bit worn out.

Mutant is a must-see movie for fans of 80s science fiction and horror.

You can stream Mutant free with Roku, Vudu, Tubi, and Pluto or rent the movie On Demand through AppleTV and Prime.