The Mutilator (1986) (dvd/Blu-ray film review).

March 6, 2016 | By | Reply More

Shares in tomato ketchup suppliers must have gone up dramatically during the production of this movie, ‘The Mutilator’, because gallons of it will have been used. With a synopsis entitled, ‘by sword, by pick, by axe, bye bye’, it couldn’t be anything else. From 1986, here we have an outrageous example of gruesome horror. For those of you who like 1980s slasher stuff, this one gets no better. It has a low-budget, pathetic acting and a terrible script but it’s great!


Directed by Buddy Cooper, it encapsulates everything you would want in a slasher movie from start to finish and it’s all about Ed. You see it all begins when young Ed is busy cleaning guns, a bad thing to do if you are a bit stupid and naive, especially so when one of them fires off and kills his mother. This act irritates the father, Big Ed, no end and he swears to get revenge on the son. Many years pass and it seems that everything is forgotten. One day, Big Ed asks Little Ed to lock up and clean the family Condo for the winter, a task which he volunteers to accept and, turning it into a party location, he invites many of his friends along for a bit of a shindig thus converting this movie into the standard teen-age romp.

So begins the murderous ways of Big Ed. You must admit he has inventive powers of making new ways to kill the victim, varying from axe to sword and to on-board motor. What? An on-board motor? Yes and he uses it to disembowel the unfortunate Mike after drowning his girlfriend just for fun. This gives you an idea of what it’s all about.

The special effects were created by Mark Shostrom who did work on ‘Evil Dead 2’ and other movies of a similar ilk. You would think after this brutal act, all the other teenagers would disappear but, no, they all stand in the queue ready for slaughter and what a slaughter it is! An investigating policeman gets his head cut off by a drunken Big Ed who by this time is in full swing.

As you would guess, the murderous ways continue relentlessly by every means possible and saying any more would ruin the movie for you. Even the end and, to be sure, the guy does have an end, is not without one brutal act even when he is cut in two. Now, how could a halved person do anything to anyone let alone cut off the legs of a deputy police officer? Well, Big Ed doesn’t do things by half. To the end, he continues his way of brutal acts making it all a bit of a cliché joke.

The characters are not very likeable and you don’t seem to bother when they get cut up into pieces. They are like sheep lining up ready for the slaughter. You wonder how someone like Big Ed could exist and then you think of the mass killings that seem to go on in the USA today. Yes, it has got a tinge of reality about it. Suffice to say, by the end of the movie, your mind is bamboozled to what is going on, making you avoid ketchup for quite a while.

There are plenty of extras included in this package. First of all, the restoration from the original crappy picture is made very watchable using computer techniques into high definition in the Blu-ray case. There are sub-titles in English if required, no less than two audio commentaries and an introduction by the director. There is a very long feature on the making of the movie and I mean long, lots of interviews with all concerned and something about the special effects. There was a piece about the music which was especially irritating to the ear. Apart from this, there are the usual sequences of still pictures and trailers, making the extras into a bumper addition to the movie itself. You couldn’t ask for anything more comprehensive.

Arrow Films have gone overboard in getting this for release. Top marks to them on this occasion because it is a movie which encapsulates everything in the slasher diary, making it unforgettable in the worst possible way. It’s a movie which will go down well in a gathering and not one to watch alone. You just have to share the gruesome acts with friends but it’s not one to give to a relative, even to a mother-in-law. Go out and get this one. It’s definitely recommended.

Rod MacDonald

March 2016

(region B/2: Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD: pub: Arrow Films. 2 disks 86 minute film. Price: £14.99 (UK). ASIN: B00ZFS8ZKY)

cast: Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez and Bill Hitchcock

Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English

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Category: Films, Horror

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