Mutants aren’t solely in the sole purview of the X-Men, kids. Even if they never matriculated into Prof. X’s academy for the gifted, Godzilla, Gill-Man and X, the Man with X-Ray Eyes (too name but a few) have all done plenty of fantastic things thanks to the benefits of radiation, birth defects and radiation-caused birth defects. Mutation may be the source of so much sorrow in reality, but it’s the source of so much fun at the movies. So what say we look at the coolest muties out there? Let us know what you think about this list, and give any of your own nominations in the comments below!
5. Kuato from Total Recall
Get that SNL skit with Scarlet Johansson out of your mind! Telepathic stomach babies are serious business, damn it, so put this critter’s Hollywood close-up on your list of most shocking reveals ever.
“Hey, are you this rebel I’ve been hearing so much about?”
“No, but you’re getting warm. Here, let me unbutton my shirt.”
I can’t help but think of the classic Metallica ditty “Leper Messiah” whenever I see this guy. There’s something… thematically potent about a vulnerable, deformed proto-form like this guy leading a resistance movement, isn’t there? Of course, there’s something outrageously gross about it, too.
Do yourself a favor. Don’t Google “Leela” with the filter off. Look, I thought the gag about her doing something “really impulsive” with Fry at the end of that one “Anthology of Interest” episode was kind-of hot, too, but in a humorous way. I didn’t want to say a butt-kicking cyclops has sex appeal, but if you can't argue with results, then you definitely can't argue with search results. There’s clearly a large audience who finds the hot and cold games she plays with Fry to be terribly frustrating. Me, I still can't get over how this is the Mom from Married with Children.
3. Flukeman from the X-Files
Ugghhh… is it even possible to get more hideous? I can't imagine having the McFarlane toys figurine of this freak on my desk. Just... ewwwww.
I’m the one pulling the puppet strings for these lists - - the Rod Serling of this Night Gallery, as it were - - and I’m even getting queasy writing about this bugger. Flukeman’s a very visceral reminder of just how scary the X-Files was in its early years. Outside of Twin Peaks, I’m struggling to think of any other show that got away with much f'ed up material on network TV as this did. I mean, this shuffling monstrosity will puncture you and drop a tape worm in your guts! That's what a mutant would really be like.
2. Beast Boy from Freaked
Give the kid some credit from making lemonade out of the lemons life - - or Randy Quaid - - has given him. If half your body’s going to get warped into something scaly and reptilian by some nasty goo, then you might as well put on a boyish Dennis the Menace-style and just own it! The whole cast of Freaked really deserves a mention on this list, but there simply wasn’t enough room for the likes of Ortiz the Dogboy, Sockhead and the Bearded Lady as portrayed by Mr. T. Actually, let me take this opportunity to point you all to the time I featured beastly Ricky and his pals in Welcome to Weird and reiterate my strong recommendation that everybody seek out Freaked. The impressive creature art above is just a tiny taste of a flick that's got creativity saturated all the way down to its genes.
1. Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Leonardo was my favorite turtle as little’un, but I’ve grown to appreciate the bad boy of the bunch more over the years. Being "cool, but rude" gets more appealing than leading once you get around the block a few times. He's the only turtle who realizes the tragedy of his mutation and his rage and frustration over that gives his nasty brawls with the Foot a lot more dramatic oomph than his brothers' bouts do. The part where he's brutalized by that evil gang is really one of the more memorable beat downs in movie history.
Also, if you go back and rewatch the first TMNT movie, it's damn near impossible to miss the sexual tension between Raph and April O’Neil. The subtext is just oozing under their dialogs. Oh, it gets dropped like a bad habit once Casey Jones starts moving in on her, but it’s totally there for the movie's first half.