The Mutilator

Back in the 80’s slasher films were being released literally like wildfire, of course we had the Halloween’s, Friday the 13th’s and one of my favourites The Burning.  Right in the middle of this boom was a little film called ‘Fall Break’ directed by a chap named Buddy Cooper with some help from another fellow, John Douglass.  Shot in 1983 and released a couple of years later, the film drifted onto video and then into the depths of time after being renamed ‘The Mutilator’.  We here in the UK had a cut version from the infamous VIPCO and now Arrow have restored the film to it’s full glory with help from the film makers themselves.

After a terrible accident where his Mum is shot, we fast forward a number of years where our main character Ed has been asked to close up his Dad’s beach house for the summer.  Ed’s old man loves his booze and has lost the plot after his wife died.  Ed arrives at the beach house with his girlfriend and buddies to tidy up and have a good time.  Of course nothing goes to plan and soon they are being carved up by a psycho.

The Mutilator features some excellent make up effects for the deaths and considering they have been co-created by Mark Shostrom of Evil Dead II fame, you wouldn’t expect anything else.  One particular demise actually had me squirming as it is really nasty especially if you are a female.  The film hasn’t an original bone in it’s body and at times the acting seems a little amateurish, but some of the characters are quite likeable and the loony killer is great.  My only real complaint is that it could have had a higher body count but the deaths do make up for it.  The film has your usual slasher’esque score and easily the most inappropriate  theme tune for a horror film ever, it really belongs in a Porky’s style comedy and it’s bloody catchy as well.

Arrow have gone to town with the extras with commentaries, docs, trailers and even the screenplay.  It’s isnt’t the best example of a madman on the loose picture but it is rather quaint and fun.  I’ve always got a soft spot for 80’s horror and whilst it’s not a classic, it’s entertaining and the locale makes a pleasant change from the woods.  It might put you off taking up fishing as a hobby as well.

  • Starring Matt Mitler  Bill Hitchcock  Frances Raines  Jack Chatham
  • Director Buddy Cooper and John Douglass
  • Distributor Arrow Video