I literally can't think of a holiday that has not somehow been the bas of a slasher film. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Spring Break; apparently, no holiday is safe, because you just know some psycho is going to stalk you and your friends, and eventually kill everyone with the exception of the virgin(s). And apparently, you're not even safe during Fall Break, because today, we take a look at a lost clasc that is sure to appease slasher fiends and gore hounds alike. Be wary this Fall Break, because you just might cross paths with...
The Mutilator 1985 Review
In an eerily lent opening, young Ed is cleaning out his father's rifles for Ed Sr.'s birthday. Thinking the gun is not loaded, he aims it at the door and squeezes the trigger, which causes a bullet to go through the door and into his mother's back. Ed Sr. happens to walk in the door and finds his son grieving over the body. Thinking it was intentional, the father threatens the kid with the gun, and Ed Jr. runs out of the house. Big Ed drags the body into the living room, ts on the sofa, gets out the booze, and shares a drink with the corpse.
Several years later, Ed Jr. is now in college, and it's Fall Break. He and his group of friends have nothing to do, so they plan on just tting at the pub the whole time. However, Ed gets a call from his father saying he wants his son to come up to his condo at the beach to prepare for the winter. Despite Ed's reluctance, the gang decide to head on up there for sex, drinking, and good times all around. However, when they get there, they find the door unlocked, alcohol bottles all over the place, and Ed Sr.'s favorite battle axe is gone, and so is Ed Sr. Thinking nothing of it, they clean up and start having some fun! However, little do they know that Big Ed hasn't forgotten about the matricide that occured years prior, and tonight, he plans on getting even in a most gruesome fashion...
"By sword, by pick, by axe, bye bye," reads the awesome tagline for this ckening, superior slasher. Directed by unknown Buddy Cooper and starring unknowns Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, and Jack Chatham, The Mutilator is one of those movies that just kind of came and went, but thankfully, it currently has a cult following and is now getting noticed. It's not available on DVD, but someday, some benevolent DVD company is going to release this cult clasc on DVD along with Blood Diner, The Keep, Ghost Town, and others. But for now, all we can do is wait. The only recognizable names in the cast are Ben Moore (Two Thousand Maniacs) and Bill Hitchcock (Alfred's coun). The rest are a group of unknowns. Surpringly, they didn't do as bad as you would think. Yeah, the acting and dialogue was pretty bad and unrealistic several times in the movie, but in other scenes, it wasn't too bad.
The film does have some fun moments that you're either laughing at or laughing with. One scene in particular shows how naive these characters are: Ed Jr. is telling all his friends at the condo about his dad's fishing feats, when one of them notices a FRAMED 8x8 PHOTO OF A GUY HIS FATHER RAN OVER WITH A BOAT. Ed tells them what happened, and they pay no attention to it. Um, I'm sorry, but most people don't frame photos of guys they run over with ski boats, but that could be just me. There's also one scene where there's a hilariously misspoken piece of dialogue (I'm sorry, but did he just say his dad wants him to, "fix up his condom on the beach"?). There's also some really annoying characters like Ralph, the gnature prankster. However, the most annoying person in the whole movie is Connie, the virginal final girl. She's one of those girls that's a complete, OCD neat freak, and I just couldn't stand her. Unfortunately for me, she survived and the girl that had the traits of a heroine died.
Of course, the main reason to actually see The Mutilator is for the multitude of gory kills. The effects for the deaths were done by Mark Shostrom (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, The Supernaturals, Evil Dead II, etc.) and Anthony Showe (Chopping Mall). There's a wide variety here, with death by boat propeller, pitchfork, battle axe, machete, and most disgusting of all, fishing gaff. Like I said, the kills are the main reason to see the film, and if you ask me, it's a freaking good reason. They're well worth the price of admison in every way. The way they're executed (pun not intended) is also great, because they don't come rapid fire and there isn't a huge gap between deaths either. However, the fishing gaff death was really painful to watch. In the scene, he lays a girl out on a table, takes the gaff, sticks it up her vagina and has it come out her belly. They don't cut away at all when this is going on, which makes it really disturbing to watch. In fact, I still get nauseous every time I see it! Click below to see a picture of it if you're curious:
All in all, The Mutilator is a really fun, gory movie that should appease fans of the illogical and of '80s slashers. The acting is bad for the most part, the writing is poor, and the dialogue is a joke. Some of the scenes are poorly lit, and there are some slow scenes. However, it remains a very cheesy fun time for those who don't take their movies seriously and want to have a good time when you and your buddies decide to watch a movie. But let me warn you: If you want more in a movie than really, really awesome kills and a creepy villain (yes, he is very creepy), than go watch something else. But I must say, the opening credits song is awesome.
The Verdict: Cheesy, gory, and even unsettling at points, The Mutilator is sure-fire entertainment for fans of 1980s slashers.
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Don't trust my judgment? Here's four other opinions: