The Mutilator

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The Mutilator
Film poster
Directed by Buddy Cooper
John S. Douglass
Produced by Buddy Cooper
Written by Buddy Cooper
Starring Matt Mitler
Bill Hitchcock
Ruth Martinez
Connie Rogers
Morey Lampley
Frances Raines
Music by Michael Minard
Cinematography Peter Schnall
Edited by Stephen Mack
OK Productions
Distributed by Ocean King Releasing
Release date
  • January 4, 1985 (1985-01-04) (United States)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Mutilator is a 1985 American horror film written, directed, and produced by Buddy Cooper, and co-directed by John S. Douglass.


While cleaning one of his father's rifles as a birthday surprise, young Ed, Jr. accidentally shoots his mother. Ed never forgives his son for this, and the two become estranged. Years later, while Ed and his friends are trying to think of something to do for their college's fall break, Big Ed calls, and demands Ed come to his beachfront condo, and close it up for the winter. Ed's friends convince him to accept the job, and take them with him, so it will be finished quicker, and they can spend the rest of their break hanging around the condo.

Ed's group arrives at the condo, which Big Ed is passed out drunk in the basement of, having dreams about killing his son. After dinner, everyone goes for a walk on the beach, and Mike and Linda go skinny dipping in the pool. Big Ed discovers the two, drowns Linda, and uses a trail of her and Mike's discarded clothes to lure Mike back to the condo, where he kills him with an outboard motor. A police officer stationed on the beach then stops by the condo, and is killed when Big Ed decapitates him with an axe.

The others return to the condo, and as his friends get ready for bed, Ralph searches for Mike and Linda, and is killed when Big Ed impales him through the throat with a pitchfork. When Ralph does not return, Sue goes looking for him, and is caught by Big Ed, who stabs her in the crotch with a fishing gaff, and chops her head off. Ed and Pam find Sue's mutilated remains, and the bodies of the other victims, in the basement, and are attacked by Big Ed. The two incapacitate Big Ed and try to drive away, but Big Ed jumps onto the car, and tries attacking them through the roof. Pam puts the car into reverse, and backs into a wall, crushing Big Ed into it, and cutting him in half at the waist. When a police car arrives, one of the deputies goes to inspect Big Ed's body, and has one of his legs sliced off when Big Ed springs to life. As Ed and Pam look on in horror, Big Ed finally dies laughing maniacally.


  • Matt Mitler as Ed, Jr.
  • Ruth Martinez as Pam
  • Bill Hitchcock as Ralph
  • Connie Rogers as Sue
  • Frances Raines as Linda
  • Morey Lampley as Mike
  • Jack Chatham as Ed, Sr.
  • Bennie Moore as Cop
  • Trace Cooper as Young Ed, Jr.
  • Pamela Weddle Cooper as Mother


The film was originally titled Fall Break. According to writer and co-director Cooper, the MPAA originally wanted to assign the film an X-rating, which the filmmakers rejected due to its association with pornography. The Mutilator was initially released to theaters in big cities in its uncut format, but when the distributor tried to book screenings in middle American theaters they were unable to secure advertising or screenings because it did not have an R-rating. At this point Cooper relented and edited the film to the MPAA's specifications. It was released in 1985 on VHS and Betamax by Vestron Video in both R-rated and unrated versions. Code Red had been working on a DVD release of the film; however, information on the film surfaced that Code Red planned for the unauthorized release of the film.[citation needed]

VIPCO released the film on DVD in the United Kingdom, although cut by 7 seconds, and Dragon Entertainment released the film uncut in Germany. Director Buddy Cooper has stated that these releases are unauthorized.[citation needed]

Arrow Video announced that they would release the film on Blu-ray in both the UK and the USA on September 29, 2015, which would mark the first legitimate high definition release in both territories.[1] In November 2015, the company announced they had delayed the release after they found a fully uncut 35 mm print of the film held at the U.S. Library of Congress. It was released on February 16, 2016.


Allmovie lent praise to The Mutilator's level of gore, whilst criticizing every other aspect of it.[2] Similar criticisms were leveled against the film by Hysteria Lives!.[3] Oh, the Horror! stated that, despite the amateurishness of the production, The Mutilator was "one of those slashers that works despite itself" and "falls right in line with other slashers who unwittingly mix inanity and violence in a manner that impossibly works".[4]


  1. ^ "Arrow Brings The Mutilator to Blu -". June 10, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2016. 
  2. ^ Wheeler, Jeremy. "The Mutilator (1985)". Allmovie. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ Kerswell, JA. "The Mutilator". Hysteria Lives!. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Gallman, Brett (September 21, 2012). "Mutilator, The (1985)". Oh, the Horror!. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 

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