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The Mangler (1995)

A laundry-folding machine has been possessed by a demon from Hell, causing it to develop homicidal tendencies.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Stephen Brooks) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Daniel Matmor ...
...
Pictureman / Mortician
Vanessa Pike ...
Demetre Phillips ...
Lisa Morris ...
Lin Sue
Vera Blacker ...
Mrs. Frawley
Ashley Hayden ...
Danny Keogh ...
Herb Diment
Ted Le Plat ...
Dr. Ramos
...
Roger Martin
...
Derrick Gates
Gerrit Schoonhoven ...
Aaron Rodriguez
Nan Hamilton ...
Mrs. Ellenshaw
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Storyline

When an accident involving a folding machine at an old laundry occurs, detective John Hunton decides to investigate. What he finds is the owner of the laundry, Bill Gartley. Meanwhile the folding machine has acquired a taste for the flesh of human beings, but is there more to Bill Gartley than meets the eye, and does he know what monster hides behind the machine? Written by Action Dan <actiondan@talk21.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the three masters of horror, the ultimate tale of terror is about to begin. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for gory horror violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alianza macabra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$933,809 (USA) (5 March 1995)

Gross:

$1,781,383 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Larry Taylor's last film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
George Stanner: What are you doing? Not up here. Get back down there. Jesus. Morons.
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Connections

Followed by The Mangler 2 (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"The Mangler": A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft's New England?
26 May 2002 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I'm one of those who believe that Stephen King owes a very large debt of gratitude to H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937.) In all fairness to King, though, he has graciously acknowledged Lovecraft's many important contributions to literary horror.

It's possible that director Tobe Hooper also recognized Lovecraft's significance when adapting The Mangler for the big screen. The short-story version does not offer a substantive historical link between the present-day and the genesis of the demon machine in the 1920s; the decade when Lovecraft began his short but illustrious writing career. Hooper took great pains, however, to develop an atmosphere that evokes the New England of Lovecraft's youth; a period when mill towns offered the only refuge for immigrants and native poor unable to make a living off the land. It was a time before the New Deal social reforms of President Franklin Roosevelt offered some relief from the exploitative and dangerous conditions inflicted on America's working class. For me, the philosophical sub-text of The Mangler is the evils of unbridled, industrial capitalism. The fact that rural communities have often depended for their very existence on a dehumanizing local industry is not lost on the socially progressive King.

Some have characterized The Mangler as an outstanding B-movie. I prefer to regard it as an all around entertaining flick. Although such films tend to be formulaic, Hooper and co-screenwriter Stephen David Brooks deserve credit for fleshing-out King's short story in a laudable fashion. The film's characters are well developed, and Robert Englund's portrayal of Bill Gartley, the grotesquely maimed, delightfully evil owner of the laundry machine from hell, should have earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor (a nod that should also have gone to Fred Gwynne for his fine work in Pet Sematary.) Ted Levine, and the versatile Jeremy Crutchley -- who portrayed two different characters in The Mangler -- also turned in noteworthy performances. Last but not least, the film's surprise ending, totally different from the climax of the original short story, is satisfying and appropriate.

Despite the overwhelming popularity of his novels, I believe that King's lesser works best demonstrate his creative gifts. The short story format demands an economy of words and a disciplined approach that can result in high emotional impact for readers. Short stories also provide additional latitude for movie makers to offer their unique interpretation of the work. The film adaptation of The Mangler is a fine example of the creative synergy between literary and cinematic artists, and a must-see for horror fans.


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