The Mangler (1995) Poster

(1995)

User Reviews

Review this title
83 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
A Humorous-Allegory of the Evils of Capitalism
myboigie13 April 2006
"And did the Countenance Divine Shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem builded here Among these dark Satanic mills? "

William Blake, "Jerusalem", 1795

"We all have to make sacrifices!" --from the Mangler-screenplay, 1995

Coming from Stephen King's 1978 collection of shorts, "Night Shift", Tobe Hooper brings us his very different-take: a parable of 19th Century, proprietary-capitalism and the nightmare of the American-workplace. This film is what labor-conditions were 100-years-ago, and what they could easily become again if we aren't too-careful. Since the discovery of a slave-sweatshop in El Monte, California a few-years after the release of this film, it isn't so fantastic. Maybe some of us were too-comfortable to "get" this film in the Clinton-era. Most people don't get this film at-all, even just watching it on its surface-levels. It's a real hoot! Yep, you can watch it with a beer, and you can watch it with an open-mind thinking about its deeper-meanings, or you can do both. And--shocker!--ALL of them are FUN.

Tobe Hooper has said for-decades he wanted to do comedy, and he comes close here, which helps this film from being too-oppressive. Ithink Hooper understood the story better than Stephen King--it seems King worked in a clothes-pressing plant like this one in the 1960s, which gave-rise to it, but Hooper has always struck me as politically-radical in his approach-to-horror. The best horror usually has a real subversive-edge, and this is what makes this a good one. Sure, it's hokey, but it has its tongue firmly-planted in its cheek, it is jokey. It also has some sub-themes in the lines, "There's a piece of me in that machine--and a piece of it in me." It speaks well of how people are spiritually-contaminated by our system. The disease is greed.

If it wasn't for Ted Levine ("Buffalo Bill" in Silence of the Lambs) as the bedraggled town-cop John Hunton, Robert Englund would literally steal-the-show here. Tobe uses some great low-shots and wide-angle lens compositions (ala "Citizen Kane") that lend the film a great comic-book look, and make Englund shine as a despicable-villain. The irony is, mill-owner Gartley is also a victim of the machine, even robbing him of the ability to walk. He's also half-blind, which makes-sense. The characters are pretty well-drawn, and we learn that Detective Hunton has some baggage left-behind from the death of his wife in a car-accident, years-earlier. The town is run like a virtual-dictatorship by Gartley, who basically represents the "robber-barons" of the 19th century (as well as today), completely-uncaring about the safety and welfare of his employees. A man who has lost his humanity. Sound familiar?

Eventually, an accident occurs where the niece of Englund's character spills her own blood on the "Mangler", a clothes-press that must be 100-years-old. Another shop-employee spills her belladonna-laced antacids into the guts of the machine, and it begins taking-victims...and parts. Oddly, all the people Bill Gartley "owns" (the Mayor, the Police Chief, Doctors, etc.) have missing-fingers. Of course, the premise of a demoniacally-possessed machine is fantasy, which is what makes the story a parable, but it's fun. Over-time, Detective Hunton finds that the Gartley dynasty has been-sacrificing their own young to the infernal-machine for a century, and now they're "spreading-the-love". Don't all employers? Some require the blood of a virgin!

So, people have been wrong about this one. It's a minor-classic of a bad-decade for horror. The genre has its fallow-periods where interest isn't as-high, and 1995 wasn't exactly a banner-year for horror-buffs. And quit-comparing every film a director does to their most well-known ones, it's emotionally-retarded. This is a solid horror-film, and if it had been presented in the proper-context, would have been better-appreciated. The short-story is good, but this is better, and Stephen King sure isn't Edgar Allan Poe or Lovecraft ferchrissakes. The New Line DVD is great, it has a perfect widescreen-transfer, and even includes the gore that was cut with split-screen comparisons to the theatrical-version. A great horror-film, and a respectable one for Tobe Hooper. Now you can all go and rewatch the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"--just don't touch-yourself so-much this time. We all have to make sacrifices, after-all. Ignore the other reviews, those people are snobs.
33 out of 45 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Underrated!
Jonny_Numb7 September 2008
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).
22 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Not as bad as it's reputed to be.
HumanoidOfFlesh20 May 2006
Robert Englund is the evil owner of the laundry company who has the ancient steam press that periodically sucks workers into its bowels,turning them into bloody mess.Ted Levine stars as the local sheriff who is called in to investigate the deaths and solve the mystery.Levine discovers the steam press was possessed when a virgin cut her hand into it's gears causing it to come to life.And Englund wants to make his niece the next human sacrifice to unleash the evil."The Mangler" is an enjoyable little flick filled with plenty of gore.It's based on Stephen King's short story in his famous collection "Night Shift".Admittedly the plot is pretty silly and there are some huge lapses in logic,but who cares.I wanted grue and this flick provided it in spades.7 out of 10.Much better than crappy sequel that followed.
13 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
"The Mangler": A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft's New England?
JVSanders26 May 2002
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.
14 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Horrible Garbage
Johnny_West21 July 2017
Mangler is one of the worst movies ever made. Robert Englund is a horrible actor in any movie where he is not playing Freddy Krueger. Ted Levine is equally bad here.

The movie features a dry cleaning press that eats people in order to guarantee profits. So when the employees are putting the shirts in to get pressed, the Mangler grabs onto their arms and pulls them in to chomp and mangle them to death.

The comedy of seeing a dry cleaning press stomping through a building trying to eat people, who manage to fall down at the right moment, is what takes this movie from just poor and stupid to incredibly lame and silly. This movie could have been a decent comedy if it had been produced as a cartoon with Sylvester and Tweety, or Mutt and Jeff.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Surrealistic portrayal of manufacturing where management will sacrifice anything to machines for money
tgraham12814 January 2007
While on the surface this movie may seem a little silly, trite horror movie, having worked in a manufacturing environment for the last 12 years, I found it fascinating. The contrast between workers and top management, the lack of regard for employee's safety, the willingness to literally sacrifice to the almighty machine were too close to reality. The extreme portrayal of the main characters, laborers so meek and owners so owned by wealth, are reminiscent of Dickens. The FX were startling and exceptional. I loved this film and I don't love films very often. Even the over acting was great, because the roles required overacting. And woven through the whole story was the mundane and relatively normal main character.
14 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
If you end up getting something more out of a horror film besides a few scares (which I did when I watched "The Mangler"), then it has surpassed the basic purpose of a horror film.
Vladimir_Grozescu19 August 2001
People, what do you expect from a movie entitled "The Mangler"? Whatever you expect, DON'T expect this movie to be academy award material, and DON'T expect it to be trash. Infact, it's best to not have any expectations at all, then it'll be easier to watch it with an open mind, that way, you'll be able to formulate your own opinion of "The Mangler" for yourself. Granted, this isn't the best film in the world, but it's a damn entertaining horror flick if you give it a chance. This film has everything a horror fan like myself could want: profuse amounts of realistic-looking blood are gore, grandiose set designs, and a very creepy Robert Englund! Plus, if you're the type of analytical person that likes to look for a deeper meaning in their blood-soaked horror films every now and then (again, like myself), you will even notice the scathing social exposition of the contention of industrialism and corporate greed (the theme is there, you just have to open your eyes and look for it). Many of the IMDB reviewers missed this theme while they were busy whining about the acting and plot (which were by no means subpar, especially considering this is from the horror genre).

I find it ironic that in almost all of the reviews on the internet of this film, there are always complaints about amount of the gore, and how the film, as a whole, has a harsh and discomforting feel to it. Well, guess what; THAT is the way real horror films are supposed to be; they're supposed to disgust and shock its viewers, and they're supposed to make you squirm in your seat; that's the first sign you're watching a REAL horror film. Sure, this film is unapoligetically brutal, but that's one of the film's fortes, and I really admire the fact that it's so unrelenting. Generally, horror films are only meant to frighten viewers, and nothing more. However, if you end up getting something more out of a horror film besides a few scares (which I did when I watched "The Mangler"), then it has surpassed the basic purpose of a horror film.

My Rating: seven stars out of ten.
11 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
This movie was not as well recognized as needed
Da Bomb4 January 2000
This film had potential. I thought the special effects were impressive and the acting wasnt as bad as it seemed. It did have a cohesive plot without having to involve stupid teenagers. It didnt suck as much as people thought it suck! It is very creative on an extremely low budget so check it out if you haven't seen it.
12 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The coolest, scariest film since Nightmare on Elm Street.
lisa1813 October 1998
This movie rocked. It scared the heck out of me and I loved it.
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
"The Mangler" is not so bad.
kclipper14 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Since the 1970's those of us that are true fans of horror flicks know that Tobe Hooper, Stephen King, and Robert Englund have contributed greatly to the genre, and are still today considered masters of their craft. Now, fans may have mixed feelings about "The Mangler", a ridiculous movie about a giant steam press possessed by a demon (or something), although I was no more or less than entertained. The story begins at the Blue Ribbon Laundry, whose business is obviously a pillar of a small town community. It just so happens that Robert Englund (for those who don't know played Freddy Kruger)is a madman who needs virgin blood (and anyone else's will do) to keep the mechanical monster thriving. Ted Levine (Buffalo Bill from Scilence of the Lambs)is a skeptical detective trying to figure out why people are being folded and spit out by the machine in gruesome detail. Although, the plot is absurd, this twisted tale based on the short story by Stephen King is handled quite well. First of all, the machine is absolutely menacing. Big, loud, dirty, steaming and glowing red from its bowels, makes for a great set-piece. The Robert Englund character is completely whacked out with metal leg braces and giant scars. (obviously inflicted by the mangler) Ted Levine's performance as the frustrated cop is hilarious, and Tobe Hooper does a good job of keeping the pace alive and breathing. Its not much for atmosphere or tension, and contains dumb touches such as a possessed antique refrigerator that shoots out lightning and is never quite explained, but for an evening's entertainment, one can do much worse. A hilarious scene has Robert Englund ranting and dancing about as the machine swallows up another victim. For all you haters out there, remember... These films aren't meant to win academy awards. Lighten up!
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The Mangler
Rautus2 September 2007
This movie is actually pretty good, the whole concept of a possessed Mangle may sound kind of silly but it isn't really. It reminds me of Chirstine except it's a killer Mangle instead of a killer Car, The Mangler is based on a Short Story by Stephan King, the film is directed by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) who directed another Stephan King book before and that was Salams Lot, Robert Englund who stars in the Nightmare on Elm Street films stars in this as the owner of the building with the killer Mangle. The Mangler also has a nice bit of gore to it with people getting mangled. The Mangler may not be for everyone but if you like movies about killer machines then check The Mangler out. 10/10
11 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
not nearly as bad as i imagined...
shawshank8624 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
stephen king, tobe hooper, robert englund: three legends come together to make one scary movie. here's the problem, it is one of stephen kings weaker stories. this one was in one of his collections of short stories, and there's usually a reason that they're short; they're not designed to take ninety minutes to tell; children of the corn is a perfect example. englund gives a nearly comic performance, but pretty much anything he does is done well. the idea is that a massive machine that steam-presses and folds sheets gets possessed by a demon. i don't think they included everything that king put in his story that possesses the machine into the movie, but essentially everything that causes possession happens and it is quite difficult to get the machine cleansed. basically, they should have made a few short movies and released them all together, like creepshow. that would have eliminated quite a bit of the weak points.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
"There's been another accident down at the Lawwwndry."
VanityKills28 June 2004
This movie ruled in a sad, creepy and very bad way.

I loved Ted Levine as officer John Hunton, who is not sure of his accent, which changes constantly.....

The tin human/spider-like thing in the wheelchair concoction molesting sweet young laundresses....uh, I don't even know what to say about that...what a way to get a paycheck.....lol

The best part of course is The Mangler itself, in all it's gory glory, squishing people so they had to be "mopped up with a bucket." I kept wondering if they put them in feet first or head first....

And my favorite line of the movie, announced by the most obviously bored actor ever (probably thinking, "How'd I get into this mess? Silence of the Lambs was weird alright but at least I got paid for that....")...saying as Officer John: "There's been another accident down at the Lawwwndry."

Oh, Ted Levine we love you!
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
If this is the best he can do, Hooper should retire.
capkronos21 May 2003
THE MANGLER is further proof that some of the "top" names in horror can make 'em as bad as they come.

This one concerns a possessed laundry press (getting kind of desperate for new ideas, aren't they?) that is turned into a killing machine by a splash of virgin's blood (!) It grinds, smashes and burns workers in a small, grimy New England factory. Robert Englund does some heavy duty hamming as the cruel, greedy owner with white hair, an eye patch and leg braces, who lurches around on crutches, degrades (and has offscreen sex with) his female employees and screams nearly every line of his terrible dialogue.

Even his fans, and fans of Hooper (if he has any left) and Stephen King (whose short story in "Night Shift" this is based upon) will want to steer clear of this dreary, senseless, humorless gorefest with a handful of decent FX. The screenplay (by Hooper and Stephen Brooks) and supporting acting (especially Daniel Matmor as an occult expert) are both terrible.

I've read that this film (produced in 1993) was initially targeted for a wide theatrical release, but only got a limited one before heading off to video world in 1995. Avoid the sequel, too.

I gave it a 2 out of 10 only because it's slightly better than Part 2.
31 out of 68 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
What a Ride
illtonednb15 April 2015
This is absolutely great film, seen 10+ times now and gets better every-time. Sometimes if i don't know what to watch i think why not watch mangler because its always better than last time so usually i will put it on. sometimes i will flip a coin to see if i watch something else but even if it lands on the other film I'll still draw for the mangler. The characters are great. the guy that takes pictures is my favorite character but i like the factory owner as well. He is a real great as well. The plot is very complex. At first you think everything is fine but then all of a sudden it gets very strange but i don't want to spoil the story so I'll not tell you any more. i don't know why it has only got a low rating here. me and my friends all think its really good and would give it 10 stars at least!
11 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A pleasant surprise
mattfngrant2 November 2003
I picked this one up in a hurry six years ago and now it sits in my living room. I expected a snore-fest but was surprised by how the filmmakers made such a silly premise both entertaining and somewhat original. Odd cast as well: Freddy vs. Buffalo Bill? -and who is this Matmor character? This movie was an hour and a half of unapologetic misery with above average writing, performances and special effects at a time where Stephen Kings work was being pushed onto TV in the form of Diluted MOW garbage. Not for everyone, but in the eyes of a horror fan it is fair to say that it could be Tobe Hooper's best work in years.
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Bizarr But Not Awful
gavin694224 February 2016
A laundry folding machine is possessed by a demon from Hell.

The reviews for "The Mangler" are predominantly bad. Richard Harrington wrote, "The Mangler is ludicrous from start to finish: its plot lines dangle, its effects fail to dazzle and the acting and directing are uniformly bad... even the least demanding of genre fans will be hard-pressed to tremble in its presence." This is partially true. The plot is not as strong as it could be, but it does have a few nice touches, most notably the gore.

Mike Long rated it 0.5/5 stars and wrote, "There have been many bad, throw-away projects based on material from Stephen King, but The Mangler has to be one of the worst. The movie's laughable premise is only brought down by the inept filmmaking on display here." Yep. The acting is pretty bad (especially the way lines are delivered), and there is just no getting around the fact this is a story about a possessed laundry machine... it might be good as a short story (I don't know), but to make it believable on screen? And I think they made at least one if not two sequels...
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
A bizarre film that I quite liked for some reason.
poolandrews7 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Mangler is set in the small town of Riker's Valley in Maine where Wiliam Gartley (Robert Englund) owns & runs the Blue Ribbon Laudrey plant where a worker named Adelle Frawley (Vera Blacker) is killed when she is pulled into the huge sheet pressing mangler, detective John Hutton (Ted Levine) is sent to investigate but it seems at first like a unfortunate accident but becomes suspicious when he feels that Gartley is using his power & influence to cover it up. Then a young boy is found dead in an icebox that had come from the laundry plant, together with his neighbour & friend Mark Jackson (Danial Matmor) who is also an anthropology student Hutton digs deeper & comes to believe that the giant mangler is possessed by a demon who Gartley & the other rich & powerful people in town had sacrificed their own daughters to on their sixteenth birthdays. Together the pair decide to perform an exorcism...

This American, Australian & South African co-production was directed by Tobe Hooper this was based on a short story written by Stephen King & originally published in his Night Shift collection published in 1977 which I have not read but by all accounts is enjoyable enough, the films runs for over an hour & forty minutes so the script obviously has to add to the original short & it does so by introducing a sacrificial subplot in which some of the townspeople sacrifice their own children to the demon possessed mangler for wealth & prosperity but that contradicts King's original story & the film itself as elements of King's story still remain. The Mangler starts with the dropping of the pills containing the Hand of Glory into the mangler & the young virgin cutting her hand spilling her blood on the mangler which is how it's supposed to come to life in the first place but the back-story about the sacrificial offerings indicates that the mangler was possessed already so how do you work that one out? Despite the confusion I did actually quite lie The Mangler, it's something different if nothing else & the sheer silliness & absurdity of a huge laundry press possessed by a demon from hell is amusing in itself, like King's original the script is played totally straight which I thought was alright. While not the most coherent film ever & it can drag a little in places overall I liked the originality on show here, the character's are OK with Hutton making for a sleazy by likable anti-hero & Gartley is a bizarre villain. I really can't say I hated The Mangler but at the same time it's far from perfect, the significance of the pills is a bit hard to grasp & the talk of demons & exorcisms does get a little dry & dull at times.

Tobe Hooper has often been called a horror master & has made some good films but his career has been sliding downwards for a long time & is now pretty much relegated to low budget direct to video or made for television crap, while The Mangler isn't his best effort it has some nice creative touches which don't always make sense but I'll take them anyway. I love the look & feel of the film, it has an anachronistic feel to it as it's set in contemporary times but the laundry plant is a dark pit full of old machines & steam pipes letting gas off & an old newspaper photographer with an camera from the 40's, the mangler itself looks suitably menacing & I think the production design is excellent right down to the villain with his leg braces & sinister office or the spiral stone staircase that leads down the grimy sewers. There's some good gore but it's not as plentiful as maybe I would have liked, a couple of people are mashed & squashed in the mangler with various limbs being seen to be crushed & the flattened remains seen later on, a guy has his arm cut off, someone is folded & squashed like a sheet & someone is ripped in half. There's some silly scenes here though, that guy being attacked by a possessed icebox is daft & the huge mangler monster at the end isn't in it enough.

Apparently filmed in London, Los Angeles & South Africa, co-produced & co-written by the notorious Harry Alan Towers. I'm not sure what sort of budget this had but it looks to had some money spent on it & it looks better than I expected. The acting varies, Levine is alright but looks a bit drunk throughout while Robert Englund hams it up like you wouldn't believe as the bad guy (he's never done that before has he...).

The Mangler isn't a film for everyone, those who liked the King short story probably won't like it, fans of Hooper's other films probably won't like it & general audiences probably won't like it but I did like it & those looking for something different in the horror genre might like it too. Followed by two unrelated sequels, the absolutely dire The Mangler 2 (2002) about a computer virus & the much better The Mangler Reborn (2005) which returns to the original killer laundry press idea.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
a good "B" horror movie
jake-17917 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I am surprised that this movie got such a low rating on the IMDB, but I am not surprised they made a sequel. This is an OK horror movie in an old fashioned "B" movie sense. The acting is a little cheesey, the plot is silly enough to be entertaining and morbid at the same time, and all of the death scenes are pretty gorey.

The plot of the movie may seem a little goofy (and it is) and it somewhat resembles other Stephen King stories. CHRISTINE was the story of a possessed, demonic car, and MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE was about possessed, evil mechanical devices. I guess Stephen King likes that theme. This movie is about a possessed, demonic Laundry Machine. Yes, you read that right, a Murderous Laundry Machine called "THE MANGLER." The exact reason why the machine is possessed is somewhat murky throughout the movie. There is something in there about the machine always having been possessed and Robert Englund and the rest of the town are controlled by it. Then there is something about feeding the machine a 16 year old virgin's blood. And the whole demonic, murder rampage is set off by an accidental contact with an old fashioned ice box. Which brings me to the goofiest part of the movie: a demonic, murderous, ice box. The silliest scene in the movie is when the ice box slams its door on the Philosopher guy's arm. That was just ridiculous. Then the cop, who played "Wild Bill" in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS goes crazy and beats the ice box with a sledge hammer. But almost right after the laundry machine goes psycho, it "mangles" a sweet, helpless old lady. The scene is really brutal and bloody. As one character describes it, the machine "folded her like a sheet!" Its pretty messy, believe me, and you got to love that.

Silliness aside, the movie is pretty gory and has some genuine scenes of suspense and dread. The end is a little wierd, but I thought it was really cool.

SPOILER ALERT

The Mangler comes alive and chases the main characters down in to a really creepy labyrinth, like a descending stair case in to hell. The best special effect in the movie is in this scene, when it reaches out with it's mechanical claw and rips the Philosopher guy in half, leaving his bloody torso still screaming on the floor. I liked that part, and rewound it to watch it again. It was definitely worth the rewind, because the effect was done really well.

Check out THE MANGLER and watch it with somewhat of an open mind. Its not really written all that well, but as long as you don't expect too much, you will enjoy it.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
bad but fun
ztanlines7 January 2006
This is a B-movie through and through. Terminally flawed, but, if you let yourself, you can have a lot of fun watching it. Levine and Englund are both over-the-top and captivating, the plot, script and score are simple and stupid, but in a way that renders them unimportant. Just invite some buds over, get some beer and laugh as Robert Englund hobbles around cursing, Ted Levine pops pills and the machine folds people like sheets. Don't get me wrong, it's really bad and, at times confusing. But, while Tobe Hooper may have dropped the ball on this, he never kicks it out of the court. If you're looking for stupid fun, this is pretty solid.
11 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Very Scary!!!
Dapope15029 September 2001
I am always getting alot of negative feedback about this movie but come on people!!! A Stephen King flick starring Robert Englund? You can't get garbage from them. They assembled a very dark and horrific tale about a killer laundry machine. I know, when one thinks, "killer laundry machine", they will probably laugh right off the bat. WATCH THE MOVIE.

I would say that the reason why I think this movie is scary is because of the violent death scenes and the fact that there is very little humor throughout. You think, "killer laundry machine, what a joke!!" The movie says, "hold the phone, this is no joke". If my short review hasnt convinced a true horror fan that hasnt seen this yet to watch it, then just think, King and Englund. You refuse to watch it from there then you are NOT a true horror fan!! Bottom line. Give this one a chance. Please email me if you watched because of my suggestion.
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Slow but not as bad as most people say
JCrewPsycho19803 May 2003
A lot of people are shocked that this even got the go ahead but think about it. New Line Cinema(Nightmare on Elmstreet), Robert Englund(Freddy) and Tobe Hooper(TCM) are all in on this. They probably thought given that this was a short story by Stephen King they might be able to profit. Well, anyway, this movie isn't that horrible. Yes, it's slow but I think Ted Levine and Robert Englund make it watchable. I wish they would try to make more movies like this just so we don't have to see so many so called horror movies with the target audience of teenage girls. While some of these movies have been very good or at least had one or two moments with suspense, most have sucked. I still cannot believe that I saw I still know what you did last summer. Even Jack Black and the underrated Matthew Settle couldn't save that.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Unbelievably dumb "horror" movie about an evil steam press(!)
Infofreak29 September 2001
Tobe Hooper has directed a couple of good horror movies (e.g. 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre') and too many bad ones (e.g. 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2' and this piece of garbage). After watching this atrocity it's a wonder he has any career at all!

This movie is based on a Stephen King story I haven't read. I really find it hard to believe that most of what we see on the screen had anything to do with King's imagination. The plot is so unbelievably STUPID and badly executed that you will be unable to understand how it ever got financed. It flabbergasts me that people read this script and gave it the green light! Shame on you! It's ridiculous movies like this that have nearly killed contemporary horror.

Robert Englund has been hamming it up for more years than I care to remember so it's not much of a surprise to see him appearing in schlock like this, but it's a crying shame that an actor as talented as Ted Levine ('Silence Of The Lambs', 'Bullet', 'Heat') is. Poor Ted, I suppose he has to pay the bills...

One of the poorest, most embarrassingly silly horror movies of the last twenty years. Don't watch it!
18 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Okay so it's bad... but its SOOOO good at being bad!
RainbowDrizzo30 December 2003
Allright, this movie is bad, bad acting, cheesy plot, but dang if it ain't unique! A homicidal laundry machine? C'mon! gotta love it! I almost wanted to vote it a 1 to get it more exposure on the bottom 100, but I must say it merited a 7 in my mind as a hilarious horror film that doesn't take itself too seriously... And it does manage to satisfy many things that a fan of bad horror films may enjoy, although I've had bad horror film fan friends that horribly disagreed. Watch it at your own risk, you may find it a waste of time, or you may be wonderfully pleased... Don't expect anything along the brilliance of Evil Dead or Dead Alive though
15 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Great B-Rated gore flick
ferryboy10 June 2007
I didn't turn on this movie expecting much. I've always been a big fan of Stephen King's books, but the movies seemed to lack.

This movie was a pleasant surprise, though. I was happily grossed out of my mind enough times to satisfy my taste, and the characters, while very, very corny at times, were some of my favorites in years. You wont find much of an all-star ensemble, but, like George Romero, I don't like to see too many big stars in horror flicks. The story, while conceded, is interesting enough to keep you watching, The ending was well worth the wait, too, offering up some of the irony that King is so adept at.

If you're not a fan of B-rated movies, I'd steer clear. If you are, though, this is going to be one helluva fun ride. The Effects are very good, considering the budget was most likely very low.
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed