The Mutilator

The_Mutilator.still
Watch Jaws instead!

With a title like The Mutilator we can dispense with any notions this will be a film about a humble inner city school teacher looking for love in the big city. The Mutilator has practically everything that came to be associated with slasher films of the 80s:

A one line plot description: A group of young people go close up a beachfront condo for the winter and are picked off one by one.

Period references: “I’m gonna set a new high score on video machine!”

Location: An island in the middle of nowhere.

Backstory for lead character: “What happened to his mother?”

“When he was a little boy, Ed accidentally shot her.”

Hook: “[Dad] wants me to close up his condo for winter.”

“How come we didn’t know you had a condo at the beach?”

[Group of cute girls to their boyfriends] “What do you say, four days of r ‘n’ r at the beach?”

The_MutilatorForeshadowing: “I got a bad feelin’ about this”

“Somethin’ doesn’t look right!”

“Why am I whisperin?’, There’s nobody on the island but us!”

(and most tellingly)

“Dad used to tell me, he used to hunt everything but man!”

Homage to better films: The reference to great white hunting, plus a very obvious soundtrack rip off of Jaws.

Potential Red Herrings: “Why don’t we call the cops.”

“There are no cops.”

Clichés: “This is the mask of a Mayan rain god.”

“Priests wore them during ritual sacrifices!”

and….

Mutilatorposter
C’mon, outboard rhymes with sword!

Sexual innuendo: (virgin jokes for the above)

“Need any help lightin’ your fire!”

(re: fishing equipment) “Your rubbers are too big!”

“That’s the first time you ever said that!”

Sounds of the 80s:

Casio keyboard playing “Happy Birthday.”

“I wonder where Mike and Linda are?” “Where are Mike and Linda?” “We have to go find Mike and Linda!”

Peter Yellen & The Breakers’ awful tune Fall Break.

80s cultural sensitivity:

Trickster Ralph is immediately unsympathetic because of his sweater tied jauntily around his neck. While on a beer run, he tells a black shopkeeper a 10% senior citizen discount is “discrimination.” Those crazy college kids, with hairlines that make them look older than your average grad student!

Pedantry:

“That’s a skate’s egg, sometimes called a devil’s pocketbook.”

MutilatorUnique weaponry:

Outboard motor to the chest, pitchfork to the neck, hook to the groin. That’s one mean ol’ man.

The Mutilator is all slow-burn…a rocky start but a terrific conclusion and some great killings put this marginally ahead of its period brethren.

*** (out of 5)

Published by Really Awful Movies

Horror movie authors and journalists who also review exploitation, action, grindhouse, kung fu, sci fi and other genre films. We are hosts of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a celebration of low budget cinema - smart genre film chat, predominantly horror movies.

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