An alien mutilator stalks and kills human prey during the night.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Warner / Steve Dupree
Zoe Owens
Det. Dave Mooney
Sherman 'Sherm' Moss
Warren J. Kemmerling ...
Police Captain Speer (as Warren Kemmerling)
Detective Jack Bresler
Jacquelyn Hyde ...
De Renzy
Courtney Floyd
John Bloom ...
The Dark
Bill Derringer ...
Herman Burmeister (as William Derringer)
Jay Lawrence ...
Jim Hampton
Russ Marin ...
Dr. Baranowski
Henry Lydell
Mel Anderson ...


At night the Mangler stalks the streets of Los Angeles, killing and mutilating random victims. On the trail are a TV reporter, the father of one of the victims, and a police detective, but despite their efforts only the mysterious psychic DeRenzy knows what the killer is and how to stop it. Written by Jeremy Lunt <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Chilling Tale of Alien Terror See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mutilator  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director John 'Bud' Cardos replaced Tobe Hooper during production. See more »


Sherman Moss: I'm not afraid of the dark; I'm afraid of what's in it.
See more »


Featured in 42nd Street Forever: Blu-ray Edition (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Zombie? We did zombie last week, lets do an alien!
2 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

As a kid I really enjoyed this movie a lot, for reasons that completely escape me now. I watched it later in my adult life and I just saw a very uneven film that seems to make no sense. I would find out that the film is that way for a reason and the reason is the film was supposed to be a film about a sort of zombie that is roaming and killing people in Los Angeles; however, due to the science fiction craze during this time they decided instead to try and make it an alien. Not sure when this decision was made, but it was done somewhere midstream or later! Still, while I did not enjoy quite as much as I did as a kid, there is still some interesting things going on and the cast is full of people you have seen before, but probably do not know their name. Well, I knew Casey Kasem's name as he has a very bit part in the movie as I am guessing some sort of forensic expert. Other than that, I could not tell you who was who, only that I was sure I had seen a good deal of them in other things. The film also has a television quality to it as it almost does not seem like a film and considering it was rated R, it is rather tame too. Not too much gore in it and no skin to speak of.

The story has a killer on the streets of Los Angeles who only kills at night and only takes out one victim per night. This, for reasons unknown, sends the city into a panic even though I am guessing the freeways take out more people than this killer. Well the father of the first victim wants action and he kind of wanders around not really doing anything besides flirting and eating take out. The cops, well they are all over the place trying to stop the killer because the citizens are going insane with every death. I mean, it kills like three people and everyone acts like it is taking out a thousand people a night. A psychic seems able to predict this fiendish creatures moves, but will anyone listen to her in time to stop the creature as it grows stronger with every kill!

So I would say that a good portion of the film was done before they decided to turn their zombie into a laser eyed alien. For one, it would have made sense for the psychic to have some sort of connection with it if it was a zombie or something else that was from the spirit realm, but not an alien. A lot of the shots early in the film when it unleashes its eye lasers looks like it was added in and was an afterthought, while you can tell the shoot out at the end the alien slant was firmly in place. I think the zombie one would have been fine, though that shoot out at the end was the highlight of the film. It just did not make sense for it to be an alien and most of the scenes it is obvious that it was going to be a walking corpse deal.

So the film had its moments, but overall it was just a bit too much of a mess to be considered good or even okay. This film could be looked upon as a reason you should never switch what you are making while your making it. The film also could have used more of the monster, because at times it literally disappeared from the picture and you would almost forget you were watching something with a monster and just think it was an old cop television show or something. That car chase for example, just really did not seem to fit in with the whole crazed zombie or alien theme. It's worth a look though if you were like me and seen it in your youth and you want to revisit it. The return trip was not as good for me, but it had a few good moments to it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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