Mutant Reviewers From Hell
(commonly abbreviated "MRFH
") is a website devoted to reviewing offbeat or "cult
" films. Founded in 1997 by college students Justin and Kym, the site's stated goal is to provide an alternative to stuffy, pretentious movie critics by offering humorous reviews from a more relatable perspective. Originally devoted solely to cult flicks, today MRFH covers a variety of films from all genres, both obscure and mainstream, with 1900+ unique reviews of more than 1100 movies. Updated approximately 6 times a week, MRFH's name (shortened from the original "Revenge of the Mutant Movie Reviewers From Hell VIII") is an homage to classic B-movies of the past. In addition to reviews and articles, the site includes forums divided by subject matter (films, TV, video games, books & music, etc.), including "My Suggestions," where readers can recommend movies for review.
MRFH is comprised of a staff of 8 reviewers, with numerous others having left or "gone into retirement." (In 2007, to celebrate the site's 10th anniversary, a series of articles featured past and current Mutants sharing their favorite memories of writing for MRFH.) In the early days, anyone who asked was allowed to become a staff member. Today's standards are more stringent, with applicants required to submit sample reviews and be voted on by the site's leaders. Current staff members include:
- Justin, co-founder of MRFH, responsible for the upkeep of the site
- Kyle, California wild child and horror film buff
- Lissa, science nerd and avowed Harry Potter fangirl
- Sue, known for a love of horses and handling jokes about her age with good grace
- Drew, highly sarcastic (but not surly) comic book geek
- Al, fan of martial arts films and karaoke
- Mike, goateed artist and Joss Whedon expert
- Kaleb, longtime forum poster and anime devotee
In 2007, Eunice joined the staff as a "cub reporter," maintaining MRFH's news blog to provide info about upcoming films, TV shows, and other forms of media. In addition, longtime contributor PoolMan enjoys semi-retired mutant emeritus status, with freedom to submit reviews as he sees fit. Former Mutants include Kym, Toni, Andie, DnaError, Bobby, Alex, Clare, Rich, Nancy, and Shalen.
Aside from reviews, MRFH offers a wide range of articles pertaining to cult subjects. Some of the most popular recurring features include:
- Cult TV, devoted to DVD reviews and discussions of cult-related shows
- Mutant Viewings, where staff members type up their thoughts on movies while watching them, in the manner of DVD commentaries
- Year in Review, in which Mutants look back at the past year of movies and discuss what they're looking forward to in the coming months
- Mutant Summits, chronicling those rare occasions when staff members meet in real life; the largest to date was Justin's wedding in 2005
- MRFHline, where reviewers answer questions provided either by readers or each other
- The Annual Mutant Awards, in which staff members choose irreverent categories and nominees, then allow readers to vote on the winners
Occasionally the site will host theme weeks where all reviews and articles pertain to a given subject. Past theme weeks have included Whedon Week, Rocky Week, Superhero Week, Gender Clash (in which male and female reviewers partnered up and assigned each other traditional "guy" or "girl" movies), James Bond Week, Police Academy Week, 80s Week, Trek Wars Week, and House Party Week. In addition, every October 31st brings HalloHorrorWeen, a day of multiple reviews and articles devoted solely to horror/sci-fi/monster movies.
MRFH has received writeups in Premiere, USA Today, and FHM Australia, as well as Fark.com. It was SciFi.com's Site of the Week in December 2005, and a Cool Site of the Day in January 2005. It is also listed in the "Critics" section of Rotten Tomatoes.