The return of Mutant Reviewers, one year later

Last week, alarm bells suddenly went off in my head to make me aware that we were coming up on an anniversary of sorts. It was then that I realized that a full year ago marked the occasion when we dusted off the long-dormant Mutant Reviewers and brought it back to life. Back then, we were in the midst of the first wave of the lockdown pandemic world and the thought of pouring energy and interest back into an old favorite project held great personal appeal for me.

What I didn’t anticipate was just how great this revival would be. Initially, I thought it might be good for a few posts a week, bringing over archived old reviews to preserve here, but the whole project quickly blew up in scope. We got a new look to the site, a custom-designed banner, and several past Mutants trickled in to offer the occasional new review or article. We learned what everyone’s been up to over the past decade. We pulled a new person, Wolfy, onto the team and put out the call for others. We ran a few theme weeks, posted a full month of TV show reviews, and wrapped up 2020 in style.

Of course, the meat-and-potatoes of Mutant Reviewers has been and always will be the cult films, and this is where we focused a lot of attention these past 12 months. Every single review page on the site got fully updated to look less messy and more amazing. We finished adding all of the old A, B, and C reviews from old Mutant Reviewers. We got a nifty “read a random review” button on the site.

And personally, I fell in love with cult movies all over again. At the start of this project, I wasn’t really thinking about reviewing new stuff, but gradually — slowly at first, and then far more rapidly — I got back into the pattern of seeking out weird little movies and writing about them. I started a list of cult films we’ve yet to cover in this space, and I saw it grow from a dozen entries to something like 500 titles.

So now we’re posting two reviews a day: one refurbished old review and one brand-new one. It’s gotten us noticed by the larger internet and we’ve seen our traffic grow and people visit from Reddit, Twitter, and word-of-mouth. It feels like a good, sustainable pace, and my only wish is that we saw more like-minded writers join up with the cause.

In summary, it’s been a really terrific year. I’m so glad we didn’t pull the plug on Mutant Reviewers entirely, and I love reading old reviews from the staff as we keep posting them. Everyone who worked for this site was so talented and I am privileged to be in their company.

Thanks for a great year — and here’s to another one for the cult record books!

Justin

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