Film Review: The Mutilator (1984)

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When it comes to films that are so bad they’re amazing, only a few come to mind. I think about movies like Dreamaniac, Hell of the Living Dead, and Spookies. The Mutilator, however, aka Fall Break, is on the top of my list. It really makes me question the consistency in my own reviews though. I wonder how I can absolutely love a movie like this, and then turn around and complain about something like Crying Wolf or Zombeavers. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe I just expect higher quality out of our generation, or maybe I’m just a complete jerk. I don’t know. All I know is that I love this movie.

This has always been a highly sought after VHS purchase for the collector. Arrow Video saw the need for this film’s release and went all out with it. Their release has upgraded the picture and sound. They have also provided the fan with tons of extra features. These features include a great documentary that will really make you appreciate how and why the film was made. Usually with Arrow releases, I tend to have a hard time shelling out the extra cash. Many of the films just aren’t very good. As I receive more of their films, however, I am starting to find a few that I would pay for. This film and The Tenderness of Wolves are two, for instance, that I would highly recommend.

The film itself is one of pure indie genius. If you haven’t seen this movie, you need to prepare yourself for some pretty memorable shit. The actors are absolutely ridiculous. They are full of goofy one liners and immature jokes. A couple of them even have really annoying voices to go along with their bad line delivery. This is an eighties slasher though; so, who the hell cares if the actors are bad. What we really want to know about is the violence and the gore.

As a slasher, it has great kills and awesome effects. It even has one of the most memorable kills in slasher history. That picture above is just a hint. You really need to see it to believe it. This is a restored director’s cut version of the film, so that kill (along with some others) is extended and enhanced in this version. The gaff hook kill is downright is brutal as hell. It is something that was way ahead of its time in regards to graphic depravity and gore effects. As for the other kills, you will find some nice ones. They are clever and original even for today’s standards.

Aside from the violence, the plot has holes and the characters are constantly doing weird stuff that doesn’t make any sense. You will find yourself laughing your ass off at the actions of the characters. There is a reason that there are horror film cliches after all, because many of them were very real and very popular for a very long time. With that being said, this is film that hopefully gains some popularity today. It is a great release, a great piece of film history, a great example of indie film-making, and a great collector’s item. It is horrific, gory, comedic, and cheesy. It has something for every fan of every genre of horror, and I highly recommend it to everyone. It will be released in the U.S. this Tuesday!

Author: Steven Paul

Born and raised in Michigan, slowly dying in Florida. I’m here to keep you informed about everything in the world of indie horror. I also specialize in all genres of exploitation, cult, and extreme cinema. As part owner and Editor of Film and Television for Beneath the Underground, it is my responsibility to provide vast amounts of information for the horror fan and an outlet for the filmmaker.

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