Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Mutilator

**1/2 (out of four stars.)

Man, it's been a long time since I've last posted a film review. Truth is, I'm just being lazy. It's not that I haven't watched an abundance of films; I just haven't written about them. Since November I've shot a short film and I've completed principle photography for a commerical. So... this gives me a little slack... I guess. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not completely lazy.

I sat down last night and revisited 1985's The Mutilator. Buddy Cooper is responsible for this slasher and if you haven't seen it, well, I'm hoping this review will make you try and hunt it down. If anything, you'll find something enjoyable out of this flick.

All of the [slasher] elements and formulas are present in this film: You've got bad acting, paper thin plot and some decent gore. In my opinion, you can't ask for more! Buddy Cooper wrote and directed this film. Seeing the cover, any slasher kid would eat this up. It depicts four or five teens hanging from hooks. Looks of horror are on all their faces. Yes, The Mutilator is just one of those cheesy 80's slasher films that you have to take at face value.

The film starts out with a mother preparing a birthday cake. A young boy is playing with a gun, thus resulting in accidentally shooting his mother. When dad comes home (seconds later) he tries to exact revenge on the little brat. Luckily, the son runs off to safety, leaving dad to mourn his wife.

Now, years later, the young lad has grown into the character we are introduced to: Ed. Ed sits with some friends at a bar and gets a phone call from his father. Big Ed wants his young son to clean up his condo for the winter. Ed and his friends get the bright idea that perhaps cleaning the condo could also mean a party for the weekend.

Once they get to the house, it's obvious that others have been there. The house is littered with empty whiskey bottles. It's seems that Big Ed has trashed the place. As the teens' party commences, they eventually break up and find other sources of entertainment. Of course, this would mean SEX!

It's apparent as to who the killer is. This much is established early in the film. Obviously, it's Big Ed; the father. Seems that after years and years of drowning his sorrows in booze; he's finally lost his marbles. We see Big Ed in the garage of the condo. He lies silently in the dark, listening as the teens party above. He's also plagued with dreams of killing his own son. Oh the horror.

We sit through some awful dialogue and some equally bad acting. I would guess that none of the actors are veterans of their craft. But don't get to uptight; we're talking about a slasher film here.

Big Ed starts his onslaught and really lives up to the film's title. There are some graphic scenes of gore and I commend the film based on that. When you're watching a slasher you don't particularly pick out bad plot points; just as long as there's some gore involved. Give me some eye candy I say! Boobs and blood. Now that's a slasher.

Anyway, Big Ed kills the teens and hangs them on hooks in the garage of the condo. His killing is typical slasher fare: Machetes to the head, pick forks through the neck, a hook through one girl's vagina. Yeah, you read that right! Through the vagina. All around good effects for a cheap little slasher film from the 80's. Although poorly lit in some scenes, you'll appreciate the gore.

This film plays it straight all the way through. There are no real mysteries as to who the killer is and it's very predictable from start to finish. The ending is memorable though. After ravaging all the other teens, only Pam and young Ed are left. The two manage to get the upper hand on the killer and they're in the car and ready to go...

...but of course it doesn't start!

So now, Big Ed is on top of the car roof, trying to kill the remaining survivors. They back the car into a wall, severing the killer's legs. He's lying on the ground screaming when two police officers finally make it to the scene. In the final seconds, the killer emerges for that final jump scare and hacks off the officer's legs. Big Ed then dies laughing... literally.

Overall this is a film that you should watch. I know this review sounded a little like I was making fun of it, but honestly, it's just one of those rare, fun slashers. Grab a few friends, a few drinks, maybe some weed and a big bucket of popcorn. You'll definitely have a good time. Too me, it never gets old.

Cast: Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock and Connie Rodgers

Written and Directed by: Buddy Cooper

Run time: 86 mins

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