Blu-ray Review: THE MANGLER

THE MANGLER is based on the short story of the same name by Stephen King. The movie was directed by Tobe Hooper from a screenplay he co-wrote with Stephen David Brooks and Peter Welbeck and stars Robert Englund, Ted Levine, Daniel Matmor, Vanessa Pike and Jeremy Crutchley.

Based on King’s short story, this white-knuckle chiller follows a cop (Ted Levine) as he investigates a series of grisly accidents … and uncovers a deadly town secret that has been hidden for years – a terrifying entity that threatens to destroy everything in its path. With time running out and a young girl’s life in the balance, he races to destroy the beast before it’s too late!

The Mangler follows police officer John Hunton (Ted Levine) who starts investigating a series of gruesome accidents that have all taken place at Blue Ribbon Laundry, run by Bill Gartley (Robert Englund), a scarred-up old man who’s full of terrifying secrets. John meets Gartley’s niece Sherry (Vanessa Pike) who’s able to shed a little light on the strange things taking place in the old laundry facility and this is also when he recruits the help of his brother-in-law Mark (Matmor) who also happens to be a demonologist. What happens is, they find out some seriously dark secrets about some of the townspeople that has to do with sacrificing 16-year old virgins and guess what – Sherry’s a sweet sixteen and she’s a virgin!

They witness first hand that this old laundry press is possessed by a demon so they do battle with it but not before it takes several of them out, including Mr. Gartley and Mark. There’s also John’s old friend J.J.J. Pictureman (Jeremy Crutchley) who warns him of the town’s dark secret just before he passes which ultimately reveals itself in the end. Just when John thinks the metal beast has been exorcised he unfortunately makes the shocking discovery that it’s back and now has Sherry under its control. She’s taken the place of her dead uncle and this event is linked to the warning his old friend shared with him just before he passed away. 

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, more artwork and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use as the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. Scream Factory has give The Mangler a 4K restoration of the original camera negative for the uncut version. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, as cheesy as The Mangler actually is it’s still a fun horror movie and it’s another guilty pleasure of mine. I mean the whole concept of a possessed laundry machine is about as bonkers as it gets but the movie is so much fun to watch for a numbers of reasons. First of all, the fact that Tobe Hooper, Stephen King, Robert Englund and Ted Levine are all involved in this one project says a lot. The other big thing is that it’s a complete gorefest driven by old school practical effects that are executed extremely well. By the way, Robert Englund looks creepy cool in the wild makeup effects used and the old laundry machine comes across as absolutely menacing! This 1995 horror romp looks and sounds pristine with the new 4K upgrade Scream Factory has given it and it deserves a nice release like this. The Mangler will be available on Blu-ray on December 11th. 

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 106 Minutes

Rated: Unrated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 

Subtitles: English 

Special Features: The extras include some new audio commentary, a new interview with actor Robert Englund, rare behind-the-scenes footage, theatrical trailer and a TV spot.

  • NEW 4K of the original camera negative for the uncut version
  • NEW Audio Commentary with co-writer Stephen David Brooks
  • NEW Hell’s Bells – an interview with actor Robert Englund (22:40)
  • Rare behind-the-scenes footage (12:42)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:26)
  • TV Spot (00:33)
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