When anyone ever says ‘genetic mutations’, what do they actually mean? Do they mean someone who has their abilities enhanced? Or is it someone who has been inherently born with them? We’ve decided to look back on some of cinemas classic mutations (both genetic and experimental) in film to celebrate the release of X-Men: Apocalypse, which arrives in UK cinemas 18 May.
Frankenstein may just be the one of the foremost films to kick off the horror genre. Based on the classic book from Mary Shelley, the film tells the story of Dr Frankenstein, whose sole goal is to build a body amassed from dead corpses and bring it back to life. Pretty morbid, huh? Spoiler alert: it works. Frankenstein arises and wreaks havoc on all those within his grasp. This is truly one of those must see classics and definitely comes under the experimental mutations title.
When thinking about Deadpool, the phrase ‘doesn’t hold back’ comes to mind. In the smash hit, Ryan Reynolds plays the merc with a mouth, brandishing outrageous violence and a dirty vocabulary to boot. On discovery of the fact he has cancer, Wade Wilson makes the decision to take up a shady gentlemen’s opportunity to rid his body of disease and with that, abilities we mortals only dream of. But betrayed and subjected to endless tests, Wade becomes the alter ego Deadpool. If you haven’t seen this yet, where have you been?!
Immensely beautiful music and cinematography partner this incredible science fiction original. Oscar Isaac stars as the reclusive CEO of one of the world’s largest Internet companies, who invites a lucky employee, played by the brilliant Domhnall Gleeson, to come and see what he’s been working on. State of the art AI has been transplanted into a beautiful robot woman called Ava. The relationships of these three are fascinating and makes for one of the most thrilling psychological trips of the past years.
The Maze Runner
Based on the bestselling literary trilogy, The Maze Runner centres on Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) who awakens to find himself in the middle of a clearing, surrounded by boys his age with absolutely no memory of how he got there or who he is. He soon learns that they are at the heart of a giant labyrinth, protected by ‘grievers’, a biomechanical type monster that prays on anyone daring enough to enter the maze at night. Now not only are these grievers a type of genetic experiment, but so are the main protagonists. A virus known as the ‘flare’ has wiped out the human race but somehow these boys are still alive. The first instalment of a thrilling set of movies, this really is a fantastic film to delve into.
When talking about mutants, the automatic response is to think of the X-Men. These are a group of exceptionally skilled humans with abilities beyond that of mere mortals. Powers such as telepathy, flight, the ability to manipulate metal and the capacity to shoot lasers from their eyes is just scratching the surface. Apocalypse was the first mutant in civilisation’s history, worshipped as a God by the Egyptians and one of the most powerful beings on Earth. Awakening thousands of years later, he discovers a world not to his liking and recruits a number of mutants to help him destroy and rebuild the Earth to rule over it as he sees fit.
Along with The Sixth Sense and Lady in the Water, this film may be up there with M. Night Shyamalan’s best works yet. Bruce Willis plays David Dunn, the sole survivor of a devastating train crash that he walks away from without a scratch. Questions start to be asked from family and better yet, himself, as to how he survived. The plot thickens as the film progresses and past experiences come back into play as well as a mysterious third party who seems incredibly interested by David and his abilities.
One of the grittier superhero films around, Watchmen is based on one of the most celebrated graphic novels of the DC universe. Set in 1985, a group of retired superheroes are called back into action when one of their own is murdered. A sprawling case of violence and intrigue leads Rorschach, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre into a conspiracy that will alter the course of history. With powers of The Watchmen ranging from the control of subatomic particles to super intelligence and strength, this film takes mutation to the next level. However, half of these Watchmen don’t have inherent abilities and are simply normal human beings and yet, with the use of money, skill and drive, they have transformed themselves into superheroes. A wholly underappreciated film, this is a must see for comic book fans.
X-Men: Apocalypse is in cinemas on 18 May. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the film with the latest issue of SciFiNow.