Monday, May 27, 2013

Horrors of YouTube: The Mangler

Sometimes YouTube provides when Netflix cannot. I found some slimy horror movies that aren't available on Netflix in either streaming or disc form, one of which is Tobe Hooper's 1995 pancake of shit The Mangler, starring scare icons Robert Englund and Ted Levine. It also stars Vanessa Pike, who plays a girl approaching her sixteenth birthday but looks forty.

She'll be fine.

The Mangler is based on the Stephen King short story of the same name, which appeared in his awesome 1978 Night Shift collection. This movie is not awesome. This movie is full of half-assed special effects; leaden dialogue that doesn't resemble any human conversation I've had or heard to date (if that sounds intriguing to you, save your energy; it's the result of horrible construction rather than weirdness); women who are useless at everything except dying, crying, and screaming; and embarrassing "old man" facial prosthetics.

Handguns work on possessed laundry machines made of solid iron. It's science. 

The plot unravels before our blank stares and leaves us with a bunch of unanswered questions and the urge to sever our internet connections.  Ted Levine is John Hunton, a surly detective who hates his job and is haunted by his reponsibility for the car wreck that killed his wife. Hunton investigates some nasty occurrences at the Blue Ribbon laundry, which involve the titular "character": a hulking, toothy folding machine that works fine on hospital bedsheets but not so well on shrill employee Mrs. Frawley, who makes the brilliant decision to stick her fingers into the mouth of the machine to retrieve an antacid tablet.  She ends up looking like the melted and blood-drenched Chucky doll from the end of Child's Play 2, and things roll downhill from there as Hunton and his occult-studying brother-in-law Mark beat up a murderous refigerator, ask a woman if she's a virgin with no explanation as to why this is relevant (the Mangler enjoys a good virgin sacrifice), and throw a crucifix and holy water at the demonic Mangler while yelling the Lord's Prayer.  The movie is as deadly as the Mangler in its desire to be taken seriously but is dull and insulting to the intelligence instead of uninentionally funny, which makes the whole mess a total waste. Robert Englund's Bill Gartley, the nasty laundry owner who serves as part of a conspiratorial deal with the Devil, doesn't even get any flinch-inducing wisecracks. Unless you want to feel what could have been a perfectly good hour and forty-six minutes mangled to death, avoid this movie.

1 comment:

  1. Allow Mr. Gartley to shove his crutch up your ass with your blog on its stump--to get it deep in there, you little skid mark.