The Mutilator (1984)

The Mutilator

Arrow has been spewing out fantastic movies at a breakneck speed ever since they crossed the pond to dispense goodness with us colonists. It’s astounding how many titles they’ve churned out in such a short time, all stacked with extras and restored from the ground up. The Mutilator is one such title that they’ve give the royal treatment. It’s a film with a history of being very difficult to find. It has been released on vhs and dvd but both formats went out of print quickly. The elements themselves were lost for a long time thus rendering the film neutered. Arrow rescued this obscure slasher flick and wiped it clean for our viewing pleasure.

The Mutilator is about a killer who butchers young people. Isn’t that every slasher though? Let’s dig a little deeper. The film begins as Ed jr. is cleaning Big Ed (his dad)’s guns for his birthday. Tragedy strikes and Ed jr. mom is killed. Big Ed loses his marbles. Fast forward to the present and Ed jr. is having a fall break party at his dad’s sweet condo at the dunes. He’s brought five of his friends, including his ball breaking, kung fu flipping, virgin girlfriend. They party like true animals: they eat a bland meal, drink cheap beer in moderation, play monopoly, and frolic on the beach. Blandest party ever. Anyway it isn’t long before Big Ed starts hacking up the kids one by one.

I’m not going to lie, having never seen this film and lacking the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia, this one was kind of dull. The characters weren’t very interesting and didn’t do any naughty stuff. Their partying was too chaste and their characters too bland. It took 35 minutes to get to the first kill (after the shocker of an opening), and the movie is only 86 minutes long. The kills however are very inventive and graphic as hell. In fact, they become more graphic as the movie goes on, slowly ramping up for a stunner of an ending. The Mutilator is a film that gets better as it goes and if you can hang with it, rewards with plenty of the red stuff by the final act.

The film looks absolutely fantastic. Gone are the notoriously dark scenes where it was impossible to see what was going on. The film looks totally brand new and pristine. Knowing the film’s past it is amazing how great everything looks, including the often excised gore. The disc is once again stacked with bonus material from commentaries, to a mini doc about the film, a supplement about the music, and a whole bunch more. If you’re a fan of The Mutilator, this is the disc you have to own.