A young girl travels to Cairo to visit her father, and becomes unwillingly involved with a bizarre sadomasochistic cult led by the charismatic Paul Chevalier, who is a descendant of the ... See full summary »
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
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Jim Cummings, the voice of iconic characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Darkwing Duck, Pete, Ed the Hyena, Ray the Firefly, Hondo Ohnaka, Dr. Robotnik and a variety of other animated characters, provided the vocal effects for the titular machine and was glad to get to work with director Tobe Hooper, whom he was a fan of, but felt that the strain put on his throat by making the Mangler noises and the quality of the film itself wasn't worth the effort. He once saw the film on television and was amused to see that his name was misspelled as 'Tim Cummings' in the end credits, as it meant that he got paid to do a bad film and no one would even know he had been involved. See more »
A 3.0? Really? Have horror fans suddenly come down with a case of collective amnesia in the facts in the case of Tobe Hooper? The same director whose signature traits include a smattering of extreme gore garnished with dark humor? The man who made one of the most influential, landmark films of the 1970s ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre")? I mean, granted, Hooper's career has been frustratingly inconsistent overall, but "The Mangler"--easily one of his most maligned works--is an unsung gem that suggests his tongue was planted firmly in cheek, but nobody really noticed. While the concept alone has "disaster" written all over it (a feature-film rendering of a Stephen King short story), what Hooper does with (and to) "The Mangler" is, really, what should have been done with "Graveyard Shift": he tears into the story with the veracity of a mental patient chewing the head off a rag-doll, elevating the absurdist elements to their breaking point, filling the film with (un)intentional humor to counteract the bloodletting, and fleshing out the characters and concept into a satisfying marriage of B-movie bliss. The plot? It's all about an anachronistic laundry facility where an ugly beast of a steam press starts folding the employees into bloody pulp; a pill-popping, chain-smoking local cop (Ted Levine) and his wiccan brother-in-law (Daniel Matmor) suspect foul play on the part of the disabled owner (Robert Englund, once again under a heavy latex mask), but the real reason is much more sinister (Hooper does succeed in making a compelling argument for the ridiculous explanation). While I haven't read King's short story, I will say that the script (by Hooper, Stephen Brooks, and Peter Welbeck) efficiently captures the quirky, small-town mannerisms of his characters, juxtaposed against evil spawned out of the banal territory of Everyday Life. While Hooper is unable to sustain the tricky balance between terror and dark humor that has made "Texas Chainsaw" so endearing, he ultimately transforms "The Mangler" into a sturdy, clean-burning B movie, buoyed by fantastic performances by Englund and especially Levine (who seems to be operating under the influence of a perpetual hangover).
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