Blu-Ray Review: THE MUTILATOR
A group of six college students are in for the night of their life where they get drunk, get naked, and get mutilated in a beach house for (when else?) FALL BREAK! Your leading character, Ed, has had a pretty tragic life. As a boy, Ed accidently shot and killed his mother with a rifle while trying to clean it as a surprise for his father’s birthday. Fast forward about 15 years later, Ed is asked by his father to close up his beach house for the winter. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” says Ed.
What Ed and his friends don’t know is that Ed’s dad is a homicidal maniac who still holds a grudge against his son. Despite early signs of things that are clearly about to go terribly wrong in this beach house (missing battle axe, picture of a dead body) these horny kids still carry on with their shenanigans. Unlike many slasher flicks, there is no mystery behind who the killer is in case you still haven’t figured it out yet. The killer is never hidden. There are not many surprises here. The real surprises are the kills in this movie. Special Effects Make-Up Artist Mark Shostrom showcases some really great gory scenes. I won’t spoil them for you, but one of them involves a fishing gaff that is absolutely disgusting.
There is no ‘Breakfast Club’ uniting between these young college students. You get what you pay for in this slasher flick. Awkward kids getting killed in a short horror movie that quickly delivers the goods. If this is what you’re into and this is what you’re expecting then you’ve struck gold. I’m really glad Fall Break has found its way to Arrow Video. It’s a fun little low budget ‘80s slasher film. This was my first time viewing it and thought it was stupid fun!
Fall Break is presented with a new 2K transfer in a 1:78:1 aspect ratio. Many shots in this presentation are noticeably damaged (some more than others). One would argue that the grainy image benefits this low budget movie. Some red light print damage also creeps in from time to time. Although this transfer looks like it could have used more work I’m still very pleased with it overall. The good news is it’s a very film-like image with no noticeable DNR to report. Most of the movie is dark and blue but never problematic. I would hate to see what this looked like on a VHS. The only audio option here is an English 1.0 Mono Track. The “Fall Break” theme song is the strongest portion of this track. The rest of it is pretty mediocre but gets the job done. Dialogue is clear and never inaudible.
Arrow has provided an amazing selection of extras.
Introduction (1 minute) – Director Buddy Cooper & Editor Edmund Ferrell tell the viewer that they are watching the unrated version and that a print of this version took months to find.
Audio Commentary with Cast & Crew moderated by Arrow Video Producer Ewan Cant – the better of the 2 commentaries featured filled with on set stories and some humor. A fun listen.
Audio Commentary with director Buddy Cooper & actress Ruth Martinez, moderated by Arrow Video Producer Ewan Cant – Talk about working with the actors, spotting mistakes, preparing shots, shooting struggles. Much of it is already talked about in the documentary. An alright listen.
Fall Breakers (75 minutes) – Documentary on the making of Fall Break that is almost as long as the actual movie. The cast and crew individually talk about getting involved with the project, fun on-set stories, the difficulties of shooting a low budget horror movie, problems with marketing, releasing the movie unrated, success on video, and the film’s cult status. A must watch for fans.
Mutilator Memories (15 minutes) – Special Effects Make-Up Artist Mark Shostrom reflects on getting involved with Fall Break, assembling the great gore effects, and effects that didn’t work and were changed at the last minute. Love hearing him talk and am glad he participated in this Blu-ray release.
Tunes for the Dunes (8 minutes) – Composer Michael Minard talks about ideas he brought to the film’s score and his disappointment in the catchy opening theme song.
Screen Tests (13 minutes)
Opening Scene Storyboards (4 minutes)
Trailers & TV Spots – Included is spots for the film under both The Mutilator and Fall Break titles. 2 trailers and 3 TV spots.
Radio Spots (1 minute) – Two 30 second spots under The Mutilator title.
Alternate Opening Titles (4 minutes) – The Mutilator version opening.
Fall Break (3½ mintues) – The full original song plays over The Mutilator poster artwork.
Fall Break (Instrumental) (3½ minutes) – Same thing but the instrumental version of the song.
Gallery (9 minutes)
- Highlight “Music” and press “Right” to view a video of Buddy Cooper and Edmund Ferrell talk about a story involving director Jim Jarmusch.
- Highlight “Gallery” and press “Right” to view a video of actress Ruth Martinez Tutterow reading funny things the crew wrote in her original script.
Original Fall Break Screenplay (BD/DVD Rom Content) – Interestingly, the end of the screenplay teases a Fall Break Part II which was never made.
27 Page booklet with photos and 2 articles written by Ewan Cant of Arrow Video and Tim Ferrante of Fangoria.
Reversible sleeve with both The Mutilator and Fall Break poster art.
DVD is included with all the same extras.