THE MANGLER is a horror movie in which an imposing piece of laundry equipment possesses evil powers and a thirst for human blood. With excessive violence, gore, foul language, and a total lack of merit, there is little to recommend this movie.
THE MANGLER is a horror movie that takes place in the town of Riker’s Valley. Bill Gartley (Robert Englund of Freddy Kruger fame) is the most powerful man in town. He is the owner of the Blue Ribbon Laundry, a sweatshop that even Dickens could appreciate. The centerpiece of this workhouse is a large pernicious contraption that irons and folds sheets, as well as the unwary young women who wander too close. The fun starts when Miss Frawley, a shell-shocked veteran of the laundry wars, gets snatched up by the thing. The laundry is soon up and running again, since Mr. Gartley owns the power brokers in town. Only detective Johnny Hunton seems miffed by the whole thing. He is egged on by his neighbor Mark Jackson, a young mystic who figures that the machine is possessed by some evil force.
The main problem with THE MANGLER is that the film is played straight. THE MANGLER, while using the standard devices of horror stories, is reduced to grossing out the audience instead of providing a good scare. Although a nominal Christian antidote is attempted against the malevolent machine, the effort is not to show that evil can be overcome with good but with trickery. Christian doctrine is seen as no more than an incantation. With all the violence, gore and foul language, there is little to recommend this movie.
(O, AB, LLL, VVV, A, B, M) Occultic worldview -- demonic possession of inanimate objects & people, allegiance to demonic beings, use of incantations, spells & "white magic;" trickery, not good, overcomes evil & the Lord's Prayer mocked as ineffective against evil; 64 obscenities & 36 profanities; graphic violence -- bodies mutilated by machine, views of corpses, suffocated child, & copious amounts of blood; brief alcohol use; some brief positive references to God; and, cigarette smoking.