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The Mutilator (1985)

Theatrical Poster
Directors:
Buddy Cooper Buddy Cooper
John Douglass John Douglass
Starring:
Matt Mitler Matt Mitler
Ruth Martinez Ruth Martinez
Bill Hitchcock Bill Hitchcock
Connie Rogers Connie Rogers
Frances Raines Frances Raines

5.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Slasher Film, Teen Horror
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Review by Nirrad
Added: March 07, 2008
By pick, by axe, by sword, bye bye! Oh how I used to love this tagline. It's simple, and it catches your attention. Back when I was younger I used to always run to the horror section at my local movie store. They had quite the impressive selection of horror films at the time. Every week I would usually pick up a Friday The 13th film along with another movie that I haven't seen. One day when browsing I noticed the tag line "By Pick, By Axe, By Sword, Bye Bye!" I then read the title of the movie, "The Mutilator". Wow, I just had to pick this bad boy up, it sounded like the perfect slasher movie. First time I watched the movie I just absolutely loved it, and it gave me nightmares unlike many of the other horror films I've seen. About ten years later I had the opportunity to watch The Mutilator for the second time. Only this time it wasn't as great of an experience that I had years prior.

After the success of Halloween and Friday The 13th, it seemed like every movie company in the 80's wanted to cash in on the success of Horror films. Year after year there would be cheap knock offs released just to make a quick buck. The Mutilator is one of these types of films. It opens with an older woman who appears to be putting the final touches on a birthday cake for her husband. Her son Ed decides to clean his rifles for him and leave him a homemade birthday card. But when he puts finishing touches on one of the rifles, he accidentally shoots through the door hitting his mom in the back killing her. His father then comes home from work where he finds his dead wife laying on the floor. Followed is one of the most unintentionally funny scenes in motion picture history. The father decides to sit there with his dead wife and feed her whiskey while not saying a word the whole time.

Fast forward a few years and Ed (Matt Mitler) is now in college, has a girlfriend whose name is Pam (Ruth Martinez), has made a bunch of friends, and appears to be doing well for himself. During their "Fall Break" Ed's friend Ralph (Bill Hitchcock) gets the bright idea that they should stay at Ed's father's condo for the whole break to relax. Agreeing to the idea they head to the beach. Here we have one of the weirdest and corniest horror title sequences that I have ever witnessed. While showing the credits it plays an upbeat 80's pop song entitled "Fall Break", and wow does it ever feel out of place. When they arrive to the beach house, they decide to settle in, and prepare for a fun week. Unfortunately for them, Ed's father is waiting in the garage, waiting for his time to kill everyone in his condo. You can expect what happens next in the movie. A couple of people get killed off, couple of scary scenes. Basically what every other horror movie has accomplished in the past.

This movie suffers from a bunch of things. One is the acting. It is beyond awful in this movie. Probably one of the worst I have seen in horror films. The second would be that its' completely unbelievable. Many times when someone dies they let out screams and cries. Considering this all takes place in a garage, someone should have at least heard something. Another problem would be the handful of unintentionally funny scenes. There are just way too many in the movie that it can be distracting, or possibly ruin the whole experience. The opening sequence is just downright stupid and hilarious. The title sequence feels completely out of place. A death involving a buzz saw had me laughing so much that I had to rewind it and watch it over and over. It's quite obvious that the movie was filmed during daytime for indoor shots. Even though its' supposed to be nighttime, the sun is just shining through the windows and there's glare all over the walls. Last but not least are the end credits. I guess they thought it would be a good idea to play the cheesy pop music again, but this time showing bloopers! Wow.

Now it may sound like I loathed this movie. But in all honesty, I actually enjoyed it and I'll tell you why. I really enjoyed Ralph in this movie. The character was hilarious, and always a joy when he was on screen. Bill Hitchcock was the only actor who actually did a decent job. It's just too bad this was the only movie he appeared in. The gore was quite nice in The Mutilator. The version that I watched was the unrated version, and it shows in some places. A lot of the deaths were quite imaginative. One death involves and giant fish hook, and in between a woman's legs. Interested now, aren't you. The others, while not quite up to par with the fish hook scene, are still bloody.

Even though the movie was paint by numbers, and contained bad acting and laughable scenes. It was an enjoyable movie that I plan to watch numerous times down the road. It seems perfect for a night when you have a few friends over for a couple of drinks and need something to just purely enjoy. I suggest anyone who is a fan of slashers to check this movie out.

7/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 03/07/2008, 03:45 PM
Wow! I have not thought of this film in years. I remember watching this all the time on "USA Up All Night". I am going to have to re-discover this film very soon. Based on what I remember of the film, and the 1980's cheese factor, I will concur with your rating -- 7/10.
Chad #2: Chad - added 03/26/2008, 09:03 PM
Pure eighties cheese, and I loved it. Again I ask, where's the DVD? 7/10.
Nirrad #3: Nirrad - added 03/27/2008, 10:56 PM
I've been waiting for the DVD for too long now. Maybe theres a partition somewhere.
Mr. Mistoffelees #4: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 03/28/2008, 02:39 PM
I'm sorry but I have to ask. Nirrad, what the hell is your picture from? It's creepier than an Asian ghost crawling down stairs.
Nirrad #5: Nirrad - added 03/28/2008, 06:57 PM
Lol, it's just a photoshopped picture of a shark popping out of the water, then with a cats head on top. Found it in google images.
Mr. Mistoffelees #6: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 04/10/2008, 04:04 PM
Oh man nice, I didn't even see that until you told me.
benloveshorror #7: benloveshorror - added 08/03/2010, 10:03 PM
I saw this movie for the first time last week on vhs. It was so dark and bad quality. I think I'd enjoy it much better on dvd if they officially release it on dvd.
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