If you have an idea for a horror movie but lack a talented cast, a good script and any inspiration, what do you do? You pump as much of the budget as you can into making gory kills. That's all that can be said about 'The Mutilator.'
Ed is a young boy who accidentally shoots his mother while cleaning his father's rifle.
Years later, Ed (Matt Mitler) gets a phone call that he is to go to his father's remote beach house to close it up for the season. They haven't spoken in years but Ed's friends urge him to go and to take them so they have something to do for the weekend.
The three couples arrive and make themselves at home. It turns out, they aren't alone. Ed's father, Ed senior (Jack Chatham), is there with them and is still quite upset about his wife's death. He begins picking everyone off one-by-one.
Why would it take ten years for a hatred of your son to manifest itself into a murderous rage? If you're going to do something as rash as trying to kill your son and his friends, it seems like it would be a more instantaneous reaction. That's the least of this film's problems.
The musical sequence that plays during the opening credits while the kids are driving to the beach sounds like it was rejected for an '80s sitcom. It is so upbeat and saxophone-heavy, it is ridiculous to include this in a horror movie. There are a few other questionable musical decisions mixed in with a few logical choices. Most offensively, the movie's theme song reappears during the film's end credits while the cast is shown goofing around with each other. This goes a long way toward erasing the horrific images in the climax. That is not how you want to end a horror movie.
The cinematography could have benefited from slightly better lighting. Most of us like our horror movies dark but don't let it obscure the action.
Ed senior's body collection is quite icky which is to its credit. There are only about a half dozen or so kills, but they are reasonably impressive and the only reason to watch this. Look for an especially cruel death by a large hook and another with a motor boat propeller.
Why would Ed Sr. keep a picture lying around of a person he had killed in an accident? The photo is from right after the accident, just to clarify. That's not only incredibly incriminating, it's tasteless. None of the kids seem especially bothered by it, either which is mindblowing.
If you like atrocious acting, you are in luck. Take a video camera and film your non-actor friends using this same script. Odds are, the end result will be at least on par with this. Aside from stiffly delivered, poorly-written lines, there are a few especially boneheaded actions. For example, at one point, we learn the fastest way to flood a car's engine. The car isn't starting? You had better keep turning the key and violently stomping on the gas pedal while sobbing uncontrollably. That'll probably help.
Special features include: a few photos and previews.
A few genuinely respectable kills can't possibly undo all of the fatal flaws that plague 'The Mutilator.' There was a reason that this was out of print for so long.
Watch it if you want to be in awe of how misguided a movie can be.
Add an extra half star.
Rated R 86 minutes 1985