The Mangler - 1995
PLOT -A laundry folding machine is possessed by a demon from Hell.
LOWDOWN - I have vague memories of watching this movie as a child. In fact, I remember the opening scene where the poor little old lady drops her pills into the machine and how scared I was whenever I watched her try to reach for them. In my house, Stephen King's novels and movies were staples in growing up. My mother was a massive fan, so me and my sister grew up hearing about his books, and watching the films and mini series based off his works.
I believe that the 1980's was the hayday for King's novels to be adapted. This was a time when King was higher than a kite, and was cranking books out one after another. Talented directors grabbed his books and quickly made them their next projects, and in no time there was a stack full of classics based off his books. Carrie, Salem's Lot, The Shinning, Christine, Silver Bullet, Cujo, The Dead Zone, Firestarter, Cat's Eye, ect. Besides Maximum Overdrive, it seemed as though there was a long lasting spree of movies that were turned into classic tales of terror. As the 90's began, many of King's works had been all ready taken. Going towards his short story works, Night Shift began getting picked apart, as did Skelton Crew. As the 80's drew to a close Pet Sematary, and IT were made and finally Graveyard Shift, another tale from Night Shift. The next short story to be taken from this collection was The Mangler, a brief short story that was only a couple of pages long, which told the story of a police investigator who is called on the scene of a horrible accident that happened due to a massive laundry machine. With help from a friend, the two discover that it is possessed by a demon, and will continue causing accidents since it now has the taste of blood.
Sounds interesting huh?
Well guess what, it is.
All ready a few short stories from Night Shift have been adapted to the big screen. King was now the master of horror, and this time around they took Tobe Hooper, who in the late 70's made the made for TV movie Salem's Lot. Hooper was best known for his works in The texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Funhouse, and Poltergeist. Teaming up, and making The Mangler into a feature length film, a darker storyline began based on the town where the factory took place. With two leading actors who weren't any strangers of the horror world, both Robert Enguland, and Ted Levine were cast as the police investigator, and evil owner of the factory. putting more backstory, showing a corrupt town, the movie was filled with lots of messy kills, over the top makeup, and moments.
Just a few weeks ago while airbrushing I decided to have this movie play in the background while I was working via YouTube. Much like Graveyard Shift it held a "it's so bad it's good" charm for me I couldn't help but sorta like it. Like I said, the early to mid 90's were filled with some truly underrated horror gems. 1995 was a strange limo for horror, and The Mangler was "caught" up in this time, mostly cashing in on the cast, and King's name.
Is this a good movie?
Is it enjoyable?
There is a bit of confusion on why Tobe Hooper was replaced after most of the movie was shot. Who knows maybe he knew to jump ship since this wasn't exactly the best movie ever made. Who knows.
The Mangler like I said is over the top, and very cheesy, but it has impressive makeup, and a pretty clever background story on King's idea. With the ending left open ended, it's sequels that followed sadly went even further down hill.
I would like to believe Robert Enguland did this movie and laughed all the way to the bank.