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THE MUTILATOR (1984) – Episode 211 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“By pick, by axe, by sword, bye-bye!” They forgot by pitchfork, by gaff hook, and by pointy coat hooks. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr  – as they check out the mutilations in The Mutilator (1984).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 211 – The Mutilator (1984)

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A college student, who accidentally killed his mother as a child, decides to take his friends to his father’s fishing cabin during fall break, not knowing that his crazed father is stalking the place.

Crystal chose The Mutilator when she saw that a sequel had just wrapped filming and is scheduled for a September 2022 release. According to her, this is not a case of so-bad-it’s-good, it’s just bad. It’s strange and weird and there are no surprises in the story. On the plus side, there is some decent gore.

Chad views The Mutilator as a cross between a Mentos commercial and Growing Pains (TV Series, 1985-1992). In other words, it’s not good. He’s also puzzled by the lead not being bothered at all by the deaths of friends. However, it’s great to see some of Mark Shostrum’s early effects work and there are some creative kills. The actors in The Mutilator give it the old college try with their attempts at campy humor but they are not supported in their efforts by the script, according to Jeff. For him, the only positive is Mark Shostrum’s effects work.

To summarize, your 80s Grue-Crew is none too enamored with The Mutilator, but if you’re a Mark Shostrum fan or want to prepare for the sequel’s release, you might still want to check it out. As of this writing, The Mutilator is available to stream free with ads from Tubi and from multiple subscription services, including Shudder and Arrow. In terms of physical media, The Mutilator (2-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray + DVD ] is available from Arrow Video.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Chad, will be The Ripper (1985) “starring” Tom Savini!

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.