Monday, March 24, 2014

The Mutilator - Review - @BrandonCSites / #Horror / #Slashers

The Mutilator (1985) ***
D: Buddy Cooper
C: Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Morey Lampley, Frances Raines, Jack Chatham
Plot Synopsis: A teenager and his friends head to his father's beach house to close it up for the winter. However, it turns out dear old dead is lurking around the property and is intent on killing off his son and friends for the accidental death of his mother years ago. 

Please Note: This review is for the Unrated version.

Review: In The Mutilator, we are introduced to a group of college aged kids. They engage in tomfoolery. They drink more then they should. There's some 80's inspired teen antics, but, overall, these kids seem like normal, well adjusted kids. The Mutilator has a low budget, teen comedy feel to it at first. While these scenes are entertaining, they aren't deep or meaningful, but they do serve a purpose. They get us acquainted with the characters and to actually care about them. 

Director Buddy Cooper might have been a slasher film newbie when he made The Mutilator, but he certainly understands the mechanics of the sub-genre well. There's scenes in which the characters go about their daily routine. Unbeknownst to them, there's a killer waiting in the wings, watching there every move. Cooper has fun playing with the cat and mouse elements of these scenes by showing the characters doing various things with the killer lurking in the background. The suspense starts to become palpable as we're left wondering as to how these scenes are going to resolve themselves.

Even when it comes to the killings at hand, director Cooper allows these scenes to play out. The killer stands over his victims to be, teasing, taunting them. These scenes are all the more effective, because as a viewer we are genuinely invested in the characters and don't want to see bad things happen to them. Director Buddy Cooper knows exactly which buttons to push and when. He plays the audience like a fiddle as he mounts an ever increasing sense of danger and unleashes it with precision. [Unrated] 86 mins. 

AKA: Fall Break
Also available in an R-rated version.

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