The Mutilator (1985)

The Mutilator (1985) movie poster

directors  Buddy Cooper, John S. Douglass
viewed: 12/12/2016

What a movie!  What a weird, weird, weird movie.

Love the poster, by the way.

It’s the story of a split personality.  The film’s own split personality.

The “Fall Break” theme song (the film’s original title) really sets the vibe.  It’s like something from Christopher Cross or some other 1980’s AM radio sentimental pop, which matches the strange vibe of the film, about a group of North Carolina college buddies with no place to go for a holiday.  The joke and josh and tease and have a good time, getting a call out of the blue from the semi-estranged father of one of the guys who has them head out to his beach house for the weekend.

This light comedy and genial atmosphere is accompanied on the soundtrack by piano motifs that promise more light comedy and good times.

You might almost forget that the flick opened on a story of a boy who accidentally shoots his mother on his father’s birthday, earning his father’s anger and enmity.  Sending his father into alcoholic misery. That kid and that father are the ones united at the beach house.

And then the movie’s other personality: a very violent and gory slasher with some very gruesome and pleasing kills and real surprises.  You can easily tell when this switch has happened because the score changes rather dramatically to the strains common to horror.

One other thing rather weird about the film, too, is the cast of college peeps.  They are doubtlessly gathered from the locality of the production (several of them have mild Southern drawls).  But they are odd in their “normality”, if you will.  None of them have “movie star” looks or particular “acting” skills, though they are totally decent for the most part.  It’s just a little on the odd side.  As much of this movie is.

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