‘By sword, By pick, By axe, Bye bye’. So goes the tagline of Buddy Cooper’s all-but-forgotten slasher, The Mutilator, an effective subtitle for a film that can’t decide whether it’s a black comedy or straight horror, and ends up being little of either. Originally titled Fall Break, The Mutilator is framed with a prologue that sees a young boy accidentally kill his mother while playing with his father’s shotgun. The story then jumps forward in time, and while the incident drove the boy’s father to alcoholism, it has had apparently no ill effects on his son, Ed (Matt Mitler), who seems content to rack up high scores on ‘Video Machine’ with his friends. A trip to his beach house is instigated by an unexpected call from his father, who is mysteriously absent when they arrive.
Christopher Machell | @MagnificenTramp