The Mutilator, 1984.
Written and directed by Buddy Cooper.
Starring Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley and Jack Chatham.
A group of teenagers head off to a beach condo for the winter for a few days of alcohol fueled partying. However, before too much fun is had, they find themselves stalked by an axe and hook wielding mystery figure…
By sword, by pick, by axe, bye bye. It’s a classic tag line that, much like the movie that it’s promoting, brings about a wry smile and lets you know the kind of movie that you’re in for. A holiday slasher from the mid-80’s is what it is, and as a movie very much in line with the more famous films that helped inspire it – Halloween and Friday the 13th primarily plus a large dose of holiday camp shockers such as Sleepaway Camp and Madman. The one and only Buddy Cooper directed horror movie, The Mutilator is a perfectly fine slice of humorous trash horror but one that’s unlikely to stay in the memory for too long.
Focusing on a group of teen friends who are weekending at one of their father’s beach house, the film tracks their progress through partying, flirting and dying. Featuring a glut of lurid effects and make up techniques, the film contains a solid handling of shock tactics. A nice juxtaposition between the breezy start to the holiday summed up in the catchy theme ‘Fall Break’ (the original title of the movie, by the by) with the more doom laden synth score that follows is offered in this enjoyably wonky, yet always fun, production.
Something to enjoy with friends and a six-pack, perhaps.
Brand new 2K restoration of the unrated version from original vault materials
Introduction to the film with writer-director Buddy Cooper and assistant special make-up effects artist/assistant editor Edmund Ferrell
Audio Commentary with Cooper, Ferrell, co-director John Douglass and star Matt Mitler
Audio Commentary with Buddy Cooper and star Ruth Martinez Tutterow
Fall Breakers: The Story of The Mutilator – brand new feature-length documentary on the making of the splatter classic featuring interviews with Cooper, Douglass, Ferrell, Mitler, actors Bill Hitchcock, Jack Chatham and more
Mutilator Memories – special make-up effects artist Mark Shostrom looks back at one of his earliest projects
Tunes for the Dunes – composer Michael Minard reveals how The Mutilator’s unique score was created
Alternate Opening Titles
Trailers and TV Spots
‘Fall Break’ Theme Song (Original and Instrumental Versions)Opening Sequence Storyboards
Motion Stills Gallery
Original Fall Break Screenplay (BD/DVD-ROM content)
Reversible sleeve featuring two original artworks
Robert W Monk is a freelance journalist and film writer.
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