The New Mutants 86.1: Control Control Control Control Control and Control

So now I’ve got a new hobby/mission in life, which is to get really drunk and trash-talk all the terrible non-MCU Marvel movies on the film podcast The Signal Watch. In the latest episode, host Ryan Steans and I venture into the spooky haunted hospital of The New Mutants, the 2020 X-Men movie that you keep wondering if you should get around to watching at some point.

This is the story of five X-Teens trapped in a sinister prison orphanage mental hospital, unable to escape despite the fact that they are magnificent supermutants who could easily use their powers to wreck the place and run away. It’s the film that dares to tell the truth about how many bears there are inside you, and gives you step-by-step instructions on how to not do whatever the hell the spooky doctor who runs the institution is trying to achieve.

This movie has everything, including scolding therapy, hand puppets, lesbian romance, tambourines, a breathtakingly gorgeous naked dude, solitary confinement that looks exactly like their regular confinement, an inefficient email system, a guy who won’t shut up about working in the mines with his dad, and a cast of six annoying characters who fail at literally everything that they try to do.

Please come and join us on this adventure, because seriously we don’t want to be left alone with this movie.


2.54: The Scene of the Crime

Movie list

— Danny Horn

12 thoughts on “The New Mutants 86.1: Control Control Control Control Control and Control

  1. Yay! Something to listen to this weekend!

    The shame is, this movie COULD have worked. Making the Demon Bear story a horror story set in a psych hospital is not on its own a bad idea. The casting was decent, especially the “breathtakingly gorgeous naked dude.” It just didn’t come together. I’ll be interested in listening to y’all discuss why it didn’t work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was expecting the movie to be based on the Demon Bear story for the comic. It sounds like that was not the case.


  2. I took a quick look at the Wikipedia article for the film.
    Wow, the plot summary sounds as demented and wacky as those vintage Superman comics you showed us.

    “At this point, the studio believed that the reshoots required were more extensive than previously considered, with intentions to reshoot at least half of the film.”
    Is there ever a time that this happened, and the movie recovered, climbed off the operating table, and became a success?

    Looking forward to a listen.


  3. > This movie has everything, including scolding therapy, hand puppets,

    Sounds like one of Stefan’s hot-‘n-happening clubs from SNL…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beverly Hills Outsiders Breakfast Club of St. Elmo’s Sunspot?

    Love your twist at the ending of the fake Native American parable!

    Had some background noise while I listened. Best moments, as I think I heard them:
    “Okay bro, if that’s like your coping mechanism, than fine.”
    “I don’t pronounce it, I have other people to do that for me.”
    The incompetence of the characers as the filmmakers’ “write what you know.”
    “Her one power is, she’s incredibly Irish.”
    “We mostly just see her being mean with a hand puppet. Which I like.”
    “It’s not like snakes learn. It’s not that they go to snake school.”
    “Put up a poster! Get a plant! Organize some activities!”

    You guys can sure ramble all day about this stuff! Nice to get to “the number one thing we need to discuss” more than half an hour in…

    Sounds like a perfectly bad film for people who want to talk back at perfectly bad films!


    So it’s got the unique combination of the bogus Native American Two Wolves story, mixed with Monsters from the Id but through mutant magic, not a Forbidden Planet’s worth of technology.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can understand Sam always talking about the mine, since that was his whole world before coming here. It’s all he knew. I had a roommate in college whose parents owned a potato farm in a rural location. Coming to university was his first time out of his home town. And so for him everything was about the potato farm. He even decorated his portion of the room with the three sizes of potato bag (empty) from the farm. Every call back home was about how the new tractor was working, or how the crop was coming in. The other guys on the floor took him for his first haircut that wasn’t his mother with a bowl. So that aspect of Sam feels real to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you spent plenty of time talking about how gorgeous Henry Zaga is in this film. I was initially excited when he was cast as Nick in the latest version of The Stand. What a disappointment, beauty-wise.

    As for Roberto always doing dishes or laundry, I figured he was always being disciplined by given the equivalent of KP duty. Illyana was probably assigned chores, too, but she just ignored them. Or she got Berto to do her chores as well.

    Oh, and note that Rahne is Scottish not Irish. I’m told it makes a difference to some people.

    The 110 minutes of this podcast were much better spent than the equivalent of the film itself. Except for Roberto in the pool. I still think they should have been able to make the story work as a horror story, even with teens with superpowers. The body horror surrounding Rahne’s transformations. Roberto’s and Sam’s guilt over hurting people with their powers and so not wanting to use them, even to escape. Illyana’s bugnuttiness and demon connections. The nightmares Dani was causing. Dr. Reyes’ and Mr. Sinister’s evil intentions for the kids, giving them hope of joining the X-Men but deliberately sabotaging their powers and making them feel like fuck-ups whose only alternative would be to join Essex Corp. instead.

    I hadn’t heard the rumor about Jon Hamm as Mr. Sinister. Now I’m having visions of Mr. Sinister with a hammaconda. Talk about horror!

    Ah well, lots of what ifs ahead as Danny examines why the 80s movies up next went so wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was a fan of the comic when it first came out and read it until it got weird with Longshot and the bionic Jabba the Hut nonsense. Anyhow, Cannonball’s powers manifested during a cave-in and he saved everyone’s lives by rocketing out of the mine. Hmm, I might have to dig out my collection for a re-reading now.


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