Retro Review: The Mutilator (1984)

The 1980’s to me, will always be known as ‘The Slasher Decade’. There was a plethora of these type of films coming out all the time. It was an exciting time for those old enough to have lived through it. I was born in 1982, so I kind of missed the boat. That is, until I was old enough to gorge myself on all the hack and slash I could handle. I have seen many. From the best, Friday the 13th or The Burning. To the downright dreadful, New Years Evil or Don’t Go Into the Woods…ALONE. Today, we gander at a film that lies somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

The Mutilator came out in 1984 during a barrage of slasher releases. I mean we had A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter and Silent Night, Deadly Night just name a few. So its understandable that this film was overlooked and is still somewhat obscure to this day. So how does this film hold up to the ‘big dogs’?


The story starts out with young Ed Jr, cleaning one of his fathers’ rifles as a birthday present for his dad. The gun slips from his grasp and fires, racing through the wall a bullet strikes his mother in the next room. Killing her instantly. His father, Ed Sr comes home and sees the macabre. Completely distraught, he sits down for a drink. We fast forward some odd years, Ed Jr is now in college. His father requests that he head down to their beach cabin and close up shop for the summer. Jr uses this as an opportunity to take his friends for some late summer fun and to help out. Setting the stage for the ensuing buffet of horrors.

The Gaff Hook
The Gaff Hook

This film holds its own surprisingly. Yes, it is a complete re-hash of all the slashers flicks we have seen. The killer is known pretty early on and the acting is terrible at best. If you can survive the lull that is the first 30 minutes, you’re good. But what gives this film staying power are the humor and kill scenes. The humor is corny for sure. But really it brings the audience into beach house with the coeds. It feels real. The kill scenes are great. There is an especially awesome kill that involves a fishing gaff hook.




This film is totally a midnight popcorn flick. It is not going to blow you away. But it does have a really great nostalgic feel of the slasher films of yesteryear. This film has made enough of an impression on the masses, that it has even gotten blu ray treatment recently. So call some friends, crack a few brews and enjoy. Horror films don’t have to be so serious all the time.

IMDB: 5.2/10

ZombiSurvivor: 6.8/10


Yep. You guessed it. TRAILER TIME!


As Always, thanks for taking the time to read my words.


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About Jared Letourneau 189 Articles
Hey there boils and ghouls! My love of horror films came on a dark and stormy night.... ....Truthfully, it probably happened in 1980-something during a sunny day when I was 5 or 6. That movie was JAWS. I had never been so terrified to go swimming and I live in a land-locked state! I have been a Horror Hound ever since. Having seen hundreds of films, some good and some downright dreadful, my love for horror cinema has grown stronger than ever! My wife Beth and I consume all types of horror films. One of our mutual favorites is A Serbian Film (2010). A couple of my favorite directors are Lucio Fulci and John Carpenter. Contributing here at T.H.S and being able to work with these other folks is an indescribable honor to me. I love our T.H.S team.... I will share secrets after a few drinks and I also enjoy long romantic walks in dimly-lit cemeteries. My fave top 5 films are: 1)Dawn Of The Dead (Original) 2)The Thing (Carpenter's Remake) 3)Zombie 4)The Beyond 5)Friday the 13th pt IV: The Final Chapter Stay Scared! -ZombiSurvivor