While cleaning his Daddy’s rifle as a surprise birthday present, young Ed accidentally blows his Mom away. Pops isn’t so forgiving and years later calls upon his son to close down the isolated beach house they own. Ed takes his friends for a mini “fall break” (cue theme song/original title) and sooner than later his friends start to meet their blood-soaked end. Has Daddy derailed and begun taking vengeance out on his boy or is something more sinister afoot?
Oh, The Mutilator
. Where to even begin with this movie. I’m so conflicted because the overly judgemental part of me wants to rip this movie to shreds, but there’s something tremendously entertaining about it and I’m sure it has something to do with the surprisingly inventive kills and the amped up gore factor. It’s not unlike many of the early 80’s slashers that toss a mismatched, banal group of kids into situation X to meet their demise. They serve little to no purpose other than bleeding out.
|Dad had this picture on the wall. Hanging. On the wall. Really.
What makes this film so (painfully) enjoyable to watch is the forced camaraderie and “good times” they attempt to portray having while simultaneously being a gang of very contrasting talents. They run the gamut from some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen…to competent….to way over the fucking top. Granted, most of them only made this one film or have very limited careers, so you can’t really fault them for (I assume) having a good time making a horror movie. Who among us wouldn’t have done the same, right? Needless to say, you’re pretty fucking excited to see them meet their maker. (Morey Lampley’s performance as Mike needs to be seen to be believed. Truly.)
Please don’t misunderstand, I fully back this movie and believe it should be part of everyone’s collection. The poster and tagline are awesome enough to stand alone, but when coupled with the carnage this flick provides you’ve got yourself a certified winner! If you really think about it there are scads of 80’s slashers that don’t come anywhere near making the grade. (I could start making A LOT of bad jokes using the various school-themed titles but will save myself the embarrassment and you the heartache) Frequently you sacrifice a decent story for sub-par gore and a few tits. The Mutilator while certainly not winning any awards for breakthrough performances (Bill Hitchcock was by far the most natural of the bunch) it would have definitely taken home a few in the “most shocking kills” category. (Why don’t they have that category?)
I’d also like to note that while most horror films of this era rely heavily on sex to sell seats, this film didn’t play that card. They relied more on an original story (how many flicks have you seen that showcase a father fantasizing about killing his young son in a variety of brutal ways?) and some truly unique ways to slice and dice some kids. That’s definitely a movie that I’ll gladly slap some hard earned money down for!
What I probably like most about this movie (and I realize I could very well be in the minority here) is that I can vividly recall seeing the VHS box on the shelf of EVERY SINGLE video store I ever frequented. It’s a nostalgic trip to a happier, more carefree time when there were Mom and Pop rentals on every corner and the weekend just meant that you were gonna hang out with your friends, watch movies and get the shit scared out of you. (ok, and maybe
see some hot sluts showing off their ample racks)
|Battle-Axe. Fuck yea.
The Mutilator may very well only appeal to old crotchety fucks like me who lived through the video-boom and spent our formative years basking in the warm blue light of the tube t.v. while the VCR hummed along feeding us our wildest dreams.
Back then you only needed the gumption, a little money and a lot of heart to get shit made. I’m not suggesting that movies weren’t made purely for profit, but at least it required some semblance of effort and genuine spirit to get it accomplished. Which is why The Mutilator is a proud part of my collection and I’ll never witness the soullessness of something akin to Paranormal Activity.
Grumpy old bitch? Possibly.
Know what the fuck I’m talking about? You know it, droog.
|How cool is this fucking 7″?
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Jocelyn lives on 35 acres of woodland in an undisclosed Appalachian location. When not boozing it up or fighting the power she's tending her organic garden or collecting punk/soundtrack albums. Her best friends walk on 4 legs. She does not own a cell phone.