The Mangler (1995) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Tobe Hooper
Producers: Anant Singh
Writers: Tobe Hooper, Stephen David Brooks, Peter Welbeck
Date Released: March 3, 1995
Robert Englund as William “Bill” Gartley
Daniel Matmor as Mark Jackson
Ted Levine as Officer John Hunton
Vanessa Pike as Sherry Ouelette
Jeremy Crutchley as JJJ Pictureman / Mortician
Lisa Morris as Lin Sue
Demetre Phillips as George Stanner
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a police officer who was called regarding a freak accident at the town’s laundry service factory involving an iron press machine they call the Mangler. The accident happened after a girl got wounded and spilled blood on the machine. An old worker was trying to get her pills from the machine when it opened and pulled her in. Her body was crushed and folded. More accidents happened and the police officer and his brother-in-law believed that the machine is possessed by demonic spirits hungry for human blood. It is up to them to stop the laundry owner, Mr. Gartley, from sacrificing humans to the Mangler and exorcise the demon once and for all.
Blood and gore is to be expected with this man-eating laundry machine. The very first accident with the old woman being swallowed by the Mangler was the most notable because it was a slow and visually detailed death. Not only was the body pressed flat, it was folded like a sheet at the rear end of the machine. Another gory accident was from the supervisor who attempted to kill the machine. His arm was pulled in and asked to chop it off. There was one scene in the movie where blood was vomited right at the camera. It was irrelevant but bloody nonetheless. The ending where the evil woman was eaten by the machine was also notable because Gartley was folded alive with her.
The Grave Review
If the thought of a possessed man-eating laundry machine is not enough, wait until it starts to walk around with mechanical arms. This premise of the story might be too cheesy and lame for some, but the blood and gore saved it.
Acting-wise, the actors were good. Though Robert Englund’s role was more on just limping around, his presence made the movie more evil. His whole look, from the white hair, discolored eye, rich man suit, and steel-covered legs, can make audiences think that he was the Mangler.
On the other hand, there were some questionable parts in the movie such as the transfer of evil spirit to the ice box. It also had a shocking revelation when the actress who played Sherry was supposed to be 15 years old in the movie, but she did not look like a teen at all. It affected the scenes altogether. Another irrelevant scene was when John and Mark needed to get out of the car to practice exorcism when they were running out of time. They could’ve discussed it inside the car on the way to the factory.
If there is a thing to love about this movie, it is the fact that this was adapted from a Stephen King story. True enough, it was weird and creepy.
The ending was a bit of a shock though, since Sherry became the new master of the laundry factory and the Mangler was still there, an indication that the evil still lives and the exorcism ultimately failed.
Overall, this movie is just fine if you are looking for themes about haunted inanimate objects and demonic possession.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Mangler (1995) one and a half graves out of five graves.
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