22 December 2001 | RareSlashersReviewed
A worthy rental for a night of harmless and memorable cliches!
My guess is, if you're reading this review, you're already aware of those movies that are indeed so bad they're actually quite enjoyable. Well, THE MUTILATOR is a prime example of such a flick, at times comical and on the odd occasion impressively gruesome.
It opens grimly with a tragic and fateful accident. A young boy - who we later find out is called Ed - who's cleaning his father's rifles, accidentally fires one of them, killing his mother instantly. Daddy arrives home , and lets just say that he doesn't seem like the forgiving type! He slaps the kid round the face and points a loaded shotgun at him forcing the petrified child to flee from the house. We are then left with an effectively chilling scene showing the dad looking clearly disturbed, pouring whisky into the corpse's mouth before downing some himself. Fast forward ten years and Ed is now a wise-cracking teen. To make matters worse he's made himself some stereotypically cheesy early eighties friends that all look like they make up the perfect ingredients for a good old fashioned blood bath! Before long they're all of to close down Ed's dad's secluded beach house , and guess who's ominously creeping about armed with a chainsaw and watching them...
Ok, ok so there are certainly no Oscar nominees here (Watch out for Mike played by Morey Lampley, he's a real budding thespian!), and at times the film can seem to drag a bit - mostly in what seems like hours of character building. But what saves this surprisingly gory (in it's uncut version) little flick from becoming a total loss is how at times it manages to generate a genuinely macabre atmosphere. This is most evident when the maniac dreams of slicing his infant son's throat with a battle axe, or when he impales the heads of his victims on to spikes in a rack as if they're some kind of trophy. All the other trademark cliches are included: the clearly asthmatic killer (heavy breath, a virgin final girl, a dopey sheriff, an axe, chainsaw, pitch fork and even a giant fish hook! Mark Shostrom's gore is also a lot more visible now (in the UK prints) thanks to VIPCO's extreme version and a much more lenient censor!
So all in all not brilliant but not rubbish either, a worthy rental for a night of harmless and memorable cliches!