The Mangler
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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Mangler can be found here.

Sherry Ouelette (Vanessa Pike) cuts her hand while working in the Blue Ribbon industrial laundry owned by her Uncle Bill Gartley (Robert Englund), an unpleasant man with artificial legs and missing fingers. Sherry's blood drips onto the speed ironer. Not long afterwards, another employee, Adele Frawley (Vera Blacker), drops her antacids into the machine. As Adele attempts to pull out her pills, the machine grabs her hand and pulls her in, reducing her to a pile of hamburger. Detective John Hunton (Ted Levine) is subsequently called to investigate the accident as well as the ones that soon follow. With the help of his brother-in-law Mark Jackson (Daniel Matmor), a professor of parapsychology, Hunton begins to suspect that the machine is possessed by a demon. He's right.

The Mangler is based on a short story (same title) by American horror writer Stephen King. It was first published in the December 1972 issue of Cavalier magazine and later in King's collection of short stories called Night Shift (1978). The story was adapted for the movie by American film-maker Tobe Hooper (who also directed the film) and screenwriters Stephen Brooks and Peter Welbeck. It was followed by two sequels, The Mangler 2 (2002) and The Mangler Reborn (2005).

Yes, Gartley knows full well that there is a demon inside the mangler. He even shows his protegee Lin Sue (Lisa Morris) the contract he signed with the entity. Later, Officer Hunton finds a scrapbook in which Garley has been keeping photos of various girls, all daughters of rich Riker's Valley, Maine residents. Presumably, the demon in the speed ironer has been providing them all with success and riches in return for the sacrifice of their daughters on their 16th birthdays.

Yes. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion was written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazier [1854-1941].

Yes and no. The Hand of Glory is well-known in magical lore. However, it usually either consists of the actual hand of a murderer, as shown here or fashioned from the root of a mandrake plant, as shown here. In the movie, "Hand of Glory" is another name for Atropa belladonna, also known as "deadly nightshade", which has no history connecting it to the Hand of Glory.

While Sherry watches, Mark exorcises the machine with holy water, Eucharists, and prayer, and Detective Hunton tosses in a Bible and a crucifix for good measure. The mangler starts to power down and eventually stops. Overjoyed but still unnerved, Hunton downs some antacids from the bottle he got from Mrs Frawley, until Mark notices that one of the ingredients is belladonna. "I think we're f....d," Mark says as the mangler roars back to life. The three of them try to run, but the mangler works its way off its floor bolts and follows them as they run through the laundry looking for an exit. The mangler rips Mark in half and continues to follow Hunton and Sherry as they search desperately for a way out, finally escaping by jumping through a large hole into the sewer below. The mangler tries to follow but can't get through the hole. Hunton helps Sherry out of the sewer and gets to her to hospital. The doctor informs him that she'll be alright but he'll have to wait until tomorrow to see her. As Hunton leaves, the doctor waves goodbye, and Hunton notices that he's missing the ring finger on his right hand. When he gets home, Hunton finds a letter from JJJ Pictureman (Jeremy Crutchley) warning him not to trust people in Riker's Valley with missing body parts. "There's a piece of each of them in the demon, and a dose of the demon in each of them," he writes. In the epilogue, Hunton pays a visit to Sherry at the laundry and finds it fully operational with the mangler back in place. From the scaffold, Sherry can be seen walking with crutches and yelling unpleasantly at the workers. She notices Hunton and waves at him, revealing the missing ring finger on her right hand. Hunton drops the flowers he's carrying into the waste can and leaves the factory.

Those who have both seen the movie and read the short story point out that the short story was all of 10 pages long, so many additional subplots were added in order to make a movie out of it. For example, although he is the owner of the laundry, Bill Gartley does not appear in the short story, so any story arcs concerning his character have been added to the movie. The subplot about Gartley's contract with the demon, as well as many other residents of the town, was fabricated for the movie. In the short story, the mangler does not become possessed by the demon until after the virgin's blood and Mrs Farley's belladonna-based antacids fall into it. The endings are also different in that, in the short story, the mangler does not end up back in the laundry. It gets out. In the book, Mr. Stanner falls unconscious after his arm is cut off but he still survives. In the film, Sherry calls Officer Hunton up to inform him that Stanner was killed. Additional characters were added such as J.J.J. Pictureman and Lin-Sue, neither of whom appear in the book. Also the film tries to pull off a beak industrial small town noir atmosphere combined with King's original supernatural elements. In the book, the Mangler escapes the factory and runs loose in the town killing people, but in the film the Mangler remains contained to the factory.

The unrated version, which has been released on VHS in the US and on DVD in the UK, features 9 extended gore scenes that have been cut for the R-rated version—approximately 30 seconds in total. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.


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