Friday, September 30, 2016

The Mutilator, Artistic Slasher Film

One of the highlights of venturing to the video store in the 1980s was found in the horror section.  The box art on VHS cases often times was better than the films it protected.  Who can forget the subtle eroticism of the case of "The Slumber Party Massacre"?  That film and 1984's "The Mutilator" were my favorite two VHS cases (see picture below).  "The Mutilator" (aka "Fall Break"), as a film, may not be as good as it's box art, however, the final 15 minutes of this shocker probably saves it from being a mediocre slasher film.

As a kid, Ed accidentally shotgunned his mom to death.  Ed's dad (Jack Chatham) returns home to find his now corpse-wife...and doesn't handle it well.  Present day, Ed (Matt Mitler) is in college. With a break in the semester, Ed brings five friends to his dad's beach condo.  As the beach season has ended, Ed is supposed to close it down for the winter, but not before and he and his friends have lots of pre-marital sex and drink lots of Natural Lite beer.  Uh in the cellar is Ed's dad, hidden and waiting.  Oh yeah, Ed's dad clutches a battle-ax like a toddler hugs a teddy bear.
Wouldn't you know it, the pretty Linda (Frances Raines) and hunk Mike (Morey Lampley) find a pool for some midnight skinny dipping.  Ed's dad offs them and with their'll see.  The battle-ax wielding maniac begins going through Ed's pals like crap through a goose.  The deaths often utilize contraptions found in the dad's fishing closet.  This is unfortunate for the very pretty Sue (Connie Rogers).  To see her very gory death, make sure you find an uncut version of this film.  Now Ed and his Linda Blair look-a-like GF, Pam (Ruth Martinez) are next on the dad's list.  Will Ed and Pam survive?  Just how many sharp and pointy objects occupy a fishing closet?
The final 15 minutes of this film is a gory and shocking. When you see Sue's demise you will wince in pain, especially if you are a female. As a rule, when the maniac is killed in slasher films, he isn't really dead, and this film highlights that in a great final scene.  Directed by Buddy Cooper and John Douglass, "The Mutilator" ends up being an effective slasher film, and is available on YouTube.

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