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The Mangler (1995)

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

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Tobe Hooper (screenplay), Stephen David Brooks (screenplay) (as Stephen Brooks) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Englund ... Bill Gartley
Ted Levine ... John Hunton
Daniel Matmor Daniel Matmor ... Mark Jackson
Jeremy Crutchley ... Pictureman / Mortician
Vanessa Pike Vanessa Pike ... Sherry Ouelette
Demetre Phillips Demetre Phillips ... Stanner
Lisa Morris Lisa Morris ... Lin Sue
Vera Blacker Vera Blacker ... Mrs. Frawley
Ashley Hayden Ashley Hayden ... Annette Gillian
Danny Keogh Danny Keogh ... Herb Diment
Ted Le Plat ... Dr. Ramos
Todd Jensen ... Roger Martin
Sean Taylor Sean Taylor ... Derrick Gates
Gerrit Schoonhoven Gerrit Schoonhoven ... Aaron Rodriguez
Nan Hamilton 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:

Escape is not an option. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Africa | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alianza macabra See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$933,809, 5 March 1995, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$1,781,383
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Unrated version is about 30 secs longer than R-rated. Here are the differences:
  • Sherry tries to rescue Mrs. Frawley from the mangler by grabbing her legs. Just after she has done that, there is a bloody close up of Frawley's head inside the machine (2 sec)
  • About 16 secs later there is another close up of Frawley inside the machine. It shows her upper body covered in blood (2 sec)
  • The death of Frawley is also shown in close up. It shows when her head is crushed by the roller. (2 sec)
  • When Pictureman takes the second picture of Frawleys mangled body, the close up stays longer and shows a pile of flesh (3 sec)
  • In the scene where George gets stuck in the machine, a close up is shown when the axe hits his arm, it sprays blood first on the man who cut Georges arm, then on Sherry. Gartley yells "Sherry", a close up of Georges face and the bloody stump is then shown. George yells in agony and Sherry looks up to Gartley. This lasts about 11 sec
  • When Lin Sue gets killed, it shows in close up her body beeing mangled (2 sec)
  • A few sec later, there is another close up of her mangled body ( 2 sec)
  • The death of Gartley, it shows a 5 sec shot when his thigh gets folded to his stomach. Intercut is close ups of Hunton.
  • About 14 sec later when Gartley finally has been mangled, a close up of his waist is shown, it sprays blood up in the air. What only remains is his upper body (2 sec)
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The House That Freddy Built (2006) 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 JVSandersSee 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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