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The Mutilator (1985)

R  |   |  Horror  |  4 January 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 1,068 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 43 critic

A teenager who accidentally committed matricide finds himself being hunted together with his girlfriend and mates by his now crazed father.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Mitler ...
Ed Jr.
Ruth Martinez ...
Bill Hitchcock ...
Connie Rogers ...
Frances Raines ...
Morey Lampley ...
Jack Chatham ...
Big Ed
Ben Moore ...
Trace Cooper ...
Younger Ed Jr.
Pamela Weddle Cooper ...
Jimmy Guthrie ...
George Sutton ...
Gentleman At Bar
Steve Davis ...
Student In Bar
Tom Outlaw ...
Student In Bar
Pat Jordon ...
Student In Bar


A group of teenagers decide to take a vacation at the beach house of one of their fathers. The kid whose father owns the house just happened to accidentally kill his mother when he was a child. When they get to the house, the father has mysteriously disappeared. Hmmm... Written by Josh Pasnak <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


By pick, by axe, by sword, bye bye! See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 January 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fall Break  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


The movie's original title was "Fall Break", but it was changed to "The Mutilator" for its video release for marketing reasons. See more »


Ed Jr.: I've got a bad feeling about this!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Outtakes appear during the closing credits. See more »


References Black Christmas (1974) See more »


Fall Break
Written by Michael Minard and Arthur Resnick
Performed by Peter Yellen and The Breakers (Sanchie Bobrow, Buddy Cooper, Marty Fogel, Anthony Franklin, John Hill, Matthew Hill, Gregg Hollister, Gary Solomon, Abe Speller, Neil B. Whitford (as Neil Whitford))
Associate Producer: Gary Solomon
Music programmer: Rick Stevenson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Give This One A Try ...
13 May 2006 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

Slasher movies are of course awful, the trick is to find examples of the genre that are aware of that and have fun with the knowledge that when all is said and done, the worse the better. The more gore, lurid sleaze, trashy garbage and splattered boobs the better. A sick sense of humor also helps, and Buddy Cooper is one sick bastard by the looks of his film.

THE PLOT: A loser 12 year old kid accidentally blows his mom away on his dad's birthday after managing to find that one gun on the hunting rack left loaded by mistake. Pop's response is to silently plunk down in a chair, crack open a filth of Jack Daniels, pin a birthday note on his wife's corpse, and start pounding the sauce. Flip forward ten years or so and the loser kid has now blossomed into a full blown preppie dork, has a bunch of cretinous, loser friends equally worthless as himself, a girlfriend who can't seem to figure out how to start a car when someone is trying to chop her head off, and the Popster hands over the keys to a beach-front house just perfect to stalk, torture, kill, and mutilate people inside & around of. The idea is that the doofus will go "lock up for the winter", but in reality it's a set-up for the old man to ... well, kill everybody. Is it revenge? Is it for kicks? He never says, and that's one of the things that makes the movie work. I don't want to get to know my serial/spree killers as Jasons or Freddys or Mr. Meyers', I want to watch the carnage and then have them perish horribly without uttering a single word to explain their actions. SCORE!!

If you think I am spoiling the fun you have about seventy-four thousand movies to catch up on: The structural needs of a Slasher/Hacker flick are quite minimal -- Select a group of tight panted coeds & their dislike-able idiot boyfriends, part them from society some place where the can't get help, give them unlikeable qualities so we won't feel bad about their being killed, and have some drooling, sadistic, half-retarded barbarian mutant psychopath chop them into bits. Considerations like character development, plausibility, skill in film-making and a story that will resonate within viewers are usually hindrances with this formula (THE BURNING being a major exception) and Mr. Cooper does not waste a single frame of celluloid trying to do anything more than put a group of dingbats into harms way, arm some wacko with a razor sharp ax (as well as a giant fishhook, various handyman's tools and what appears to be one of those Roto-Rooter tools) and let him start swingin'. Allow 6 to 10 minutes for some nudity and or sex, add stuff like irresponsible drinking, off-color humor, pathetic acting and plenty of pulsating blood and we have ourselves a minor classic.

A really awful theme song ("We're Gonna Have A Good Time") only helps matters, and actually is at odds with the usual fare in this kind of a sewer. We're used to those droning synthesizer scores pulsated by the sound of a knife swishing through the air but instead, we get a Huey Lewis & The News ripoff. The film also has an odd predilection for having it's male cast members tie their sweaters around their necks like nobody I ever knew in 1985 ... Actually, we'd beat preppie idiots like that up for being powder-puff losers, so it goes without saying that one of the pleasures of watching this film is the vicarious pleasure of seeing all those Izod shirted jerks from the 10th grade -- and their annoying but nevertheless attractive girlfriends -- lose various limbs, heads, and other appendages. Bonus points for having the prom queen popular girl pick up the giant fish hook and ask "What's that?"

"Well honey, if the perverted maniac making this film has his act together, we will get to see you skewered on it like a guppy."

Mr. Cooper does not disappoint, and the version to seek out is a German made DVD from Dragon Films which contains the entire film's uncensored length, complete with an over-the-top finale that is Grand Guginol in it's perfection. I will admit that the first thirty minutes or so will test the patience of anyone with a shred of intelligence who does not follow Slasher/Hacker epics & revel in how utterly insipid of an art form it is, but stick with this one!! The production standards may not be up to the Freddy Kreuger variety of mass manufactured Slasher baloney most people are used to, but the film is as brutal, degrading, luridly perverse, entertainingly trashy and admirably scummy as any of them, and far more imaginative than most.


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