18th Feb2016

‘The Mutilator’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Matt Mitler, Ruth Martinez, Bill Hitchcock, Connie Rogers, Frances Raines, Morey Lampley, Jack Chatham, Ben Moore, Trace Cooper, Pamela Weddle Cooper | Written and Directed by Buddy Cooper


If you are a fan of slasher films, the beauty is that there are plenty to see. Not just the recent ones, but a vast history of films that span decades, and some many of us haven’t had the chance to see yet. One of those for me was The Mutilator, which has recently had the Arrow Video Blu-ray treatment…

Years after accidentally killing his mother while cleaning his father’s guns, Ed Jr. (Matt Miller) and his friends take a vacation at his father’s beach house. With signs that Big Ed (Jack Chatham) has been around they give it little though, but at the teenagers start to disappear, the teenagers soon work out that everything is not all as it seems.

In many ways The Mutilator is a typical eighties slasher. Where it stands out though is the special effects that we see. The murders are quite extreme, to the point that the MPAA slashed the film itself even to the point of ruining one of the best scenes. In this release though we get to see The Mutilator in all its gory glory, fully uncut.

The 2K restoration of the unrated version looks good, and is shockingly violent, even for a film that came out around the time of the Video Nasties. I won’t spoil the big pay-offs, but it is fair to say that the main highlight of The Mutilator really is the gore on show. Some of the acting, especially in the character’s death is often a let-down, but this does not detract from the fun of the piece.

As with a lot of Arrow Video releases, where this Blu-ray shines is in the special features. With two commentary tracks, you get plenty of details into the making of the film from the director and the cast. The documentary included, Fall Breakers: The Story of The Mutilator, is a feature-length documentary that is a must see. It shows the love that went into making the film and goes into interesting detail about how it came to be.

Having seen many slasher films, especially the ones that can be seen as generic clones of the more popular movies, I found it nice to see that The Mutilator, or Fall Break as it is also known, isn’t just another slasher that is easily forgotten. The killer himself is given a strong back story and the characters are likable. We care about the teens who are destined to die, and we even have a reason to feel pity for the killer. There is a well thought out story at work in the film and that is what makes it a strong offering.

It is fair to say that The Mutilator isn’t the best slasher out there, and does have some scenes of questionable quality. What it is though is a film that has a lot of love put into the production, and it tends to show on the screen. With plenty of special features and a good restoration, this is a must buy for fans of slasher film history.

****½  4.5/5

The Mutilator is available on Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray now from Arrow Video.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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