Macabre...ish Horror Review: The Mangler
The Mangler, 95/ 106 min.
The laundry press in Gartley’s Blue Ribbon Laundry Service, owned by Bill Gartley (Robert Englund) aka The Mangler. A massive, ancient machine that steam presses and folds sheets.
The nightmare begins when Gartley’s niece cuts herself while working and bleeds on the mangler’s tread. When another employee tries to retrieve spilled medication from the track, she is pulled in and despite all measures to free her, she’s crushed and folded up anyway. Everyone is devastated but the tyrannical boss who’s pissed at the employee for dying.
Something strange happened when blood leaked onto that machine. No one can ever seem to turn it off, the safety features never engage, no one can be saved. But upon later testing, everything always works just fine.
Later, steam tubes detach and burn 3 employees, one disfigured. Later the machine is lit with an eerie blue light and turns on by itself and another employee is saved just in time.
Officer Hunton (Ted Levine) with the aid of a demonologist and brother-in-law investigate mysterious deaths concerning that machine. Hunton is a skeptic but desperate for answers. A child later dies after being trapped in an antique ice box. The same one that was moved from the laundry and caused the original injury in the laundry. The demonologist, Mark, believes evil was transferred from it to the mangler and he is acted by the ice box upon closer inspection.
When Hunton beats it with a sledge hammer, a huge energy stream blasts out of it like a tornado. They have to figure out what possesses it, to know what to do to exercise it. Hunton is convinced once the machine tries to kill him and he has to shoot himself free. He confronts Gartley about it and finds out how evil he is.
Apparently, time is running out for a lot of people in a lot of ways in this town. More people die and clues are revealed.
A very entertaining 90s Stephen King horror, it manages to be serious and wacky, I just never knew what was coming next. Robert Englund was great! The effects were good, the gore over the top but not ridiculously so and the deaths were surprisingly graphic. I did not expect the surprises in this one!!
If you’re interested in watching, it’s available here on itunes.
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