The Mutilator (1985)

There isn’t a better slasher film tagline than “By sword, by pick, by axe, bye bye.” So how does the movie that it’s promoting live up to it?

Young Ed Jr. is cleaning his dad’s guns as a birthday surprise and accidentally shoots his mother. Big Ed never forgives him. So of course, when Ed Jr. and his friends are looking for a fun activity for fall break — is there even such a thing? — they follow him to close up his dad’s beach condo for the winter.

When they get there, they find Big Ed passed out drunk, dreaming of killing his son. So of course, they stick around — as you do. Mike and Linda go skinny dipping, which allows Big Ed to drown the girl and kill the boy with an outboard motor. Then he chops up a cop with an axe. And he’s just getting started!

There’s Ralph, who gives stabbed in the throat with a pitchfork. Sue, who gets stabbed in the crotch with a hook and decapitated. But Ed Jr. and Pam succeed in figuring out the killer and knocking him out — that is, until he attacks them by trying to get through the roof of their car. Pam responds by cutting Big Ed in half with the car, but he’s still strong enough to kill a cop by chopping his leg off before laughing until he dies.

Then, the movie plays a song called “Fall Break,” which is the original title of the film. It’s a happy go lucky song that stands in stark contrast to the exercise in goofy dialogue and bloody gore we’ve just witnessed. Sure, this isn’t a great movie, but it’s entertaining as hell, packed with some really brutal kills. It was directed by one and done director Buddy Cooper and released unrated, as it would have had an X rating for all the gore — so know that going in.

You can grab The Mutilator in its newly released Arrow Video format at Diabolik DVD or watch the film on Amazon Prime.

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