This film is many in a line of trash horror films. When I first read the synopsis I laughed, six teenagers going on their summer vacation. Cliche? If you are a fan of rubbish horror films then you’ll love this. so, after watching this, In my perfect world, the name Buddy Cooper would be mentioned in the same breath as other ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ geniuses like Ed Wood and Herschell Gordon Lewis. And here is why:

Like many slashers, The Mutilator begins with a fever-dreamy prologue that finds an idyllic family scene: little Ed Jr.(played by director’s son Trace Cooper) has just polished off his father’s gun collection while his mother prepares a cake for the patriarch’s birthday. When Junior gets a curious with one of the shotguns, he ends up accidentally blowing his mom away, much to his father’s dismay. Not wanting to ruin birthday celebration Ed Sr. (played by Jack Chatham) sits down next to his dead wife and has a drink with her while looking at birthday message written by his son.

Birthday and funeral at same expense

Cut takes us some 10 years forward where now older Ed Jr. (played by Matt Mitler) is discussing with his college friends what to do during fall break. Seems that they have nothing in plan when suddenly Ed receives a call from his father. Ed Sr. wants him to close up their beach condo because of incoming winter.At first, Ed Jr. didn’t want to do that since his father treated him like retard for his whole life. Hm I wonder why? The only wrong thing he did is managing to shoot his own mother from a shotgun which had safety on. So what? Big deal! Anyway, friends saw an opportunity for having a wild 4-days beach party so they convinced Ed to take them with him. So they set on the road and opening credits appear followed by some cheesy cheerful ’80s song.

Fail break

When they finally arrived to the house they found a real mess. At first they thought that someone had broken in but Ed dismissed that with explanation that his dad sometimes comes there with his drinking buddies. House itself is full of junk – beer bottles, Ed Sr.’s hunting trophies (he hunted everything but people), knives, spears, hooks and even a mask of Mayan god Chaac (I checked it, it really exists but I still find that name funny). And a picture of dead guy Ed Sr. ran over with his boat. Why would anyone keep a picture from a accident scene of guy he accidentally killed is beyond me. Anyway, little do they know that someone is hiding in their garage. And that someone is none other than Ed Sr. who keeps dreaming about killing his own son in various ways. But first he needs to take care of his friends. So, the following night he decides to take an action.

She surely can’t sink with these balloons

First he kills Linda (played by Frances Raines) and then,using her underwear as a bait, he lured Mike (played by Morey Lampley) into his hideout where killer slashed him with motorboat. Mike is one real horny dumb moron.

The rest of the crew started searching for Mike and Linda on the beach but they got afraid of possibility of lighting striking them down (no, seriously) so they returned back to the condo to play Monopoly. Real party indeed. Meanwhile, Ed Sr. just seems to be warming up. Some cop (played by Ben Moore) came to the beach to check out things and Ed Sr. first impaled his face with lever and then decapitated him with an axe. The whole scene looked like head was made of plaster cast and the killer only needed to push it off the body. See for yourself:

The gang decided that Monopoly was too boring (oh tell me about that) so they decided to play another game. Rules are simple: Who gets to be “it” gets to stay in the house with the lights turned off while all other are drinking beer outside. That person needs to hide him or herself. Then the crew from the outside start searching for hidden person. Whoever finds gets to lay down next to the person who had been hiding. Procedure is repeated until only one person remains lurking outside around the house. Seems to me like a perfect game to get you killed. This whole thing is just Ed’s “master” plan to score Pam (played by Ruth Martinez) who is apparently still a virgin and constantly rejects young Ed’s attempts to deflower her. Anyway, poor Ralph (played by Bill Hitchcock), who is main clown in the group, was the first victim of this game. Ed Sr. impaled him with pitchforks and stuck him to the doors. Ha try to make a fun out of this one, smart-ass!

Ralph’s girlfriend Sue (played by Connie Rogers) went panicking so all remaining 3 of them started a search for him. Ed was so thrilled when he found piece of female underwear that he woke up the killer from his slumber. Poor man couldn’t even get a rest after so much hard work at killing department. And as it always happens in such cheesy slashers searching party got split up. Ed Sr. took this opportunity to kidnap Sue, take her to the garage, fish her pussy with the huge fishing hook and then finish her off with an axe. Wow what a overkill.

Ed Jr. and Pam eventually find bodies in garage where they confront the killer. Wussy Ed Jr. was so freaked out that Pam had to rescue him instead of vice versa. She stabs his father with a pocket knife and transports Ed Jr. to the cars. Of course, his father just rises from the dead and attacks them. During the struggle he clings onto the rear of the car so Pam takes the opportunity to drive into the wall and cuts him in half. Funny thing is that only in that moment Ed Jr. realized who the murderer is, as he proclaimed with the crying voice “It’s my daddy”. But even being cut in half couldn’t stop Ed Sr. from making another mess. While his upper half was laying on the ground, some cop approached him and Ed Sr. used his remaining strength to cut off cop’s leg with an axe and then die with sinister laughter on his face. I really don’t see how it is possible that half of body possesses such strength to cut off someone’s leg using only one arm. But hey, this is ’80s slasher. As for his son and Pam they ended up in the hospital. It remains unclear if Ed Jr. managed to score her eventually.

Conclusion: Buddy Cooper’s “The Mutilator” is just another almost decent slasher film. Of course the acting is completely awful and the film is extremely predictable and  unoriginal, but the gore effects made by Mark Shostrom are excellent. There is a bloody decapitation, a pretty good pitch forking and death by motorboat. Acting is so bad it’s good. The characters begin to get on your nerves eventually with their pole up their backside style acting, and you begin to wish for them to get killed. Which eventually happens. I think what makes this one stand out from other slashers is how little it stands out from other slashers. It sticks to the very basics of the formula without much imagination or surprises. The tweaks that it does have are noticeable but so simple that I’m not sure if it’s lazy or brilliantly subtle. But I am a negative individual so I am going to lean toward the first one.

And for all of you who enjoy cheesy ’80s soundtrack here is a treat for you:

  1. […] for those who missed it the first time around here’s our full review again , and you can see some of the best kills right here : […]


  2. […] come into fruition. So when Buddy Cooper announced a sequel to his 80’s cult favorite slasher Mutilator aka Fall Break (1984) after almost 40 years (!!!) we had every right to be skeptical, but by golly […]


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