The Mangler (1995)
What’s It About: A laundry-folding machine has been possessed by a demon, causing it to develop homicidal tendencies. It seems Death Bed has some schlock competition!
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Once again, Tobe Hooper ladies and germs. I’m sure this will be a hoot n’a holler.
- And once again, like Graveyard Shift, this is set in a factory. This does not bode well for me.
- I can’t tell if if this is the present or the past. That’s not a good sign.
- Robert Englund is in some sort of old person makeup and somehow they made it look so bad that his burnt pizza face make up as Freddy Krueger is way more realistic.
- Just for those wondering this film is about an evil possessed laundry folding machine that has homicidal tendencies. Was Stephen King trolling his readers in the 90s?
- He probably got this idea while he was taking a shit and wrote it on the crapper.
- Hey Ted Levine! “It-rubs-the-lotion-on-its-skin-or-else-it-gets-the-hose-again” Ted Levine.
- Yes, the “Goodbye Horses” guy. Don’t make me post the screen cap.
- I never knew the laundry folding industry was this busy. Actually I never knew there was an actual laundry folding industry.
- Some old bitty just got “devoured” by the Mangler! I sure hope we see her “folded” and “pressed” in neat little squares when she comes out the other end.
- Damn. Apparently not. C’mon Hooper!
- Englund kinda looks and sounds like Popeye.
- Blue Ribbon Laundry? Look, the only Blue Ribbon ever is Pabst, got it?
- I really think King wrote silly horror novels with ridiculous premises just to see if Hollywood producers would make a film or TV movie out of them no matter what.
- The ‘ol this-death-is-too-gruesome-even-for-the-gruff-police-detective-so-he-has-to-vomit-at-the-scene gag.
- Man, Ted Levine is not easy on the eyes.
- Gooooodbye Horses.
- Ted Levine is hanging out in some sort of mystical forest with some hippy friend of his. It’s a cross between Pandora from Avatar and the Ewok village. They were also eating steak there. So weird.
- Wait, is this Ted Levine’s backyard. What is going on here?!
- Why is there a bathtub in Robert Englund’s office at the laundry? And why is this young lady asking him if he wants to keep her company while she bathes?
- It looks like Englund’s eyebrows are rubber. Second movie in a row with messed up eye-brows.
- Why is a laundry folding machine technically called a Mangler? Doesn’t mangling mean to rip to shreds or destroy?
- And why does this hippy guy know so much about the Mangler?
- Is it okay for Ted Levine to allow his hippy friend to tag along with him while he works? That doesn’t seem right to me. Can police just have buds accompany them on cases?
- And does this friend have a job or anything else better to do?
- So somehow this ice-box is related to the mangler’s possession. What substance was King on while writing this? And now the ice-box is in someone’s yard. And I’m not being cute by calling a modern fridge an ice-box, this is an actual antique ice-box.
- And now it’s trying to “eat” Ted’s hippy friend’s hand. This is lunacy. I’m wondering if I’m being punk’d. I’m looking for video cameras.
- Ted Levine starts to beat the crap out of the ice-box and some strange blue tornado comes out of the top. Why is this movie only a 27% on RottenTomatoes?!
- How lucky is Ted Levine that he has a friend who knows not only about the Mangler but also demonology, the occult and possession?
- An off-kilter mortician. What a fresh idea.
- Ted Levine puts his head in the Mangler and nothing. He turns around, has a smoke and the Mangler grabs his coat and starts to suck him up. This is cromdamned ridiculous! Was the Mangler asleep there or a moment?
- I wonder if the Mangler is possessed by the spirit of Josef Mangele? That would actually be a scarier premise to this flick.
- There’s a possessed Mangler machine in a factory and Englund is ranting about power. I literally don’t know what’s going on and frankly couldn’t care less.
- I can totally see the possibility that Englund is in old fogey makeup for no real reason except to play an older man. I highly doubt there will be a scene of him younger in a flashback or that somehow supernaturally he de-ages by the end. I bet money on it.
- I don’t know if anyone realized this while writing the movie or making the movie but watching people die by a laundry machine is fucking stupid and fucking boring. And after the third or fourth time it doesn’t get any better.
- I failed to mention earlier about the recurring character that goes by the name “Pictureman.” He’s a photographer. He’s also played by an actor who’s young also wearing old person makeup. Why why why?
- Apparently I missed the fact that Englund was playing the young girl’s uncle. And since it’s her 16th birthday she will be a sacrifice to the Mangler. This is so fucking stupid.
- Robert England should be ashamed of himself.
- I can’t tell if this film is destroying my love for cinema or renewing my love for it.
- How in the fuck is Ted Levine struggling against old man Englund in a fight?! I also failed to mention that Englund needs crutches to walk! All Levine needs to do is lightly shove him. GAH!
- The other girl that was helping Englund is the one who gets mangled. And I think the Mangler is upset at this because now it’s attacking Englund.
- Now I’m watching an exorcism of a laundry folding machine. Ain’t Schlocktpberfest’s fun?
- I was on the fence between watching Firestarter or this and I’m regretting my whole life now.
- Hey remember when Hooper made one the greatest horror movies of all time 20 years before this bullshit?
- Through some sort of snafu (which I won’t bother explaining) the Mangler wasn’t exorcised correctly but is now a horribly CGI monster that is chasing our heroes in the factory.
- It did tear the hippy friend in half. So there’s that. Yippie.
- Now Levine is yelling at the Mangler to leave the girl alone.
- Wait. That worked? The Mangler just gave up on them and Levine and the girl escaped through a sewer drain.
- Pictureman’s name was J.J.J. Pictureman?! He wrote a letter to Levine and that’s how he signs this name! I’m so flabbergasted that I can’t even make the obvious J. Jonah Jameson joke!
- How in the sweet Earth is this laundry factory still open and functional?!?!
- And now the young girl is the boss and acting like Englund. I care.
- Sorry, Tobe, you are a genuine flake of a filmmaker.
Scare Level: I think this should be the last year we use the “Scare Level.” Because obviously we don’t watch scary movies ever. What’s scary is this film spawned 2 sequels.
Gore Level: The first female victim’s death was fine. But the end where the hippy friend gets torn in half was the gore highlight. But that’s to saying much.
Nudity Level: I honestly don’t remember. But I’m betting none.
Best Line: “Excuse me, Miss Oulette, I’m uh, investigating a laundry folding machine with a bad case of demon possession, and I need to examine you to determine whether or not you’re a virgin!”
Best Scene: Even though the whole laundry folding machine turning into a monster at the end is completely fuckinf asinine, it tearing the friend in half was the only highlight of this miserable experience.
Worst Scene: I’m not rehashing this poor excuse for a flick anymore than I have to. So dealer’s choice.
Stephen King References: Set in Maine.
Overall: Why is there a horror sub-genre about possessed inanimate objects? It has to be the worst idea in the history of man-kind. Seriously, it’s really fucking stupid. Death Bed still takes the cake for worst one (that I’ve seen anyway) but this one is a close second. And The Mangler has 2 if you count the old ice-box. I can maybe, MAYBE, see some inanimate objects as having some ominous personalities, but when it’s creeping or attacking adults, that’s where I draw the line. Do you remember the scenes where Macaulay Culkin was creeped out by the old furnace in Home Alone? Yeah, that makes sense and actually is scarier than anything in The Mangler. Look, I get that King is a great influential writer but not all his ideas could be home runs. Just because he writes a story or 2 a year doesn’t mean they have to be published, much less adapted into a stinkin’ film. This is partially why I’m not a huge fan of his. Sure it’s impressive to write this profusely, but like Woody Allen who makes an average of one film a year, take a break from time to time. I’m not sure if I would even recommend The Mangler to any ardent Kind fans out there.
Score: 1.5 Is it November yet? (out of 10)
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