The Mangler Review
I have been watching movies for pleasure for over 30 years, and watching them for review for a year now. I watch on average 5 movies a week. It is with a certain degree of authority therefore, that I make the following statement. The Mangler is, without any shadow of a doubt, the most mind numbingly bad movie it has ever been my misfortune to witness. “Tobe Hooper directs Robert Englund in a movie based on a short story by Stephen King”, screams the cover. Well nobody doubts the pedigree of that particular trio but all the right ingredients have produced all the wrong results. This movie was released in the USA in 1995 and grossed just over $1M. It has taken nearly 10 yrs to get to DVD. It would be my guess that Messrs Hooper, Englund and King have spent that time trying to bury this turkey to save their combined reputations
For those of you still reading, the story, such as it is, is a tale about an industrial laundry owned by the strange William Gartley (the aforementioned Mr Englund, heavily made up and hamming it up as usual). An unfortunate accident occurs when one of the girls operating the huge industrial sized mangle, gets trapped and crushed to death. The local police are called in to investigate. The case is handed over to Officer John Hunton (Ted Levine) and despite a cover-up by the towns big-wigs, he soon suspects Mr Gartley has something to do with the death. His investigations uncover a series of deaths of young women over the last 30 years in suspicious circumstances and before long elements of the supernatural are also implicated.
Although I am a big fan of Stephen King's written work (his movie interpretations are often hit and miss) I must have missed The Mangler. King has made inanimate objects decidedly scary before, think Christine for proof of this, but a mangle!!! I am afraid there is no way on earth that this will ever be scary no matter who directs or stars, and when the damn mangle gets up and walks after people in the end I threw up my hands in laughter and frustration. This movie is so bad it can't even be entertaining on an amusing level. Take my advice and leave this is the bargain bin where it belongs. This abomination of a film should never have been made.