Title: The Mangler
Directed by: Tobe Hooper
Description (from Netflix because I found it absolutely fucking hilarious): Machines aren’t made to rise up against humans, but in this sci-fi thriller, one does. But why? Police detective John Hunton (Ted Levine) is on the case, as he begins to unravel the strange mystery of a folding machine that seems to yearn not for clothing but for flesh. What’s behind this lust for blood, and just who is responsible for turning it into a mangling creature? The answer may lie with the gadget’s owner, Bill Gartley (Robert Englund).
Tagline: There is a fate worse than death.
Note: For another perspective on this movie, I’ve provided a link to Sean and Joe at The Horror Show podcast, episode three of their Tobe Hooper series. I don’t share their weird hate-on for Ted Levine (hell, I like the guy), but they’re funny as fuck. Check ’em out!
Wow, that description, though. “But why?” is what I was asking throughout this entire movie. Also, the fate worse than death mentioned in the tagline? Pretty sure it’s referring to watching this movie. So, The Mangler came out in 1995, and I’m pretty sure I saw it when it was fairly new on VHS (kids, ask your parents), so I was maybe 15 or 16? I remember renting it when I was at the height of my Robert Englund/Freddy Krueger kick, so maybe more like 16 or 17. Whatever. Moving on. I don’t remember hating it back then. I didn’t remember much about it at all, really, except that I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it . . . and I always thought it was going to be a bit ridiculous, because if you’ve read the original Stephen King story, you have to know it’s not going to translate well to the screen. It’s just not. I mean, it’s a possessed laundry machine that at the end of the story comes to life and becomes mobile, ripping itself off its moorings and killing people (spoilers?), so of course that was never going to play well on screen! So I never really had nostalgia glasses on with this one, since upon rewatching it I realized I barely remembered anything about it from my first viewing. Now I’m pretty sure that was my brain trying to protect me by blocking it out so that I didn’t have to spend the rest of my days obsessing over how magnificently awful it was. Like I’ve been doing ever since I rewatched it, after I asked myself, “It couldn’t have been that bad, could it?”
Spoiler alert: yes. Yes, it could. Continue reading “Recap #2 – The Mangler (1995)”