Tag Archives: the mangler

The Mangler Reborn

The Mangler Reborn


Today’s feature is the last in an unnecessary trilogy of horror movies about a killer laundry folding machine: The Mangler Reborn.

The Mangler Reborn was co-written and co-directed by the duo of Eric Gardner and Matt Cunningham, who have worked on such films as Decampitated, Altered Species, and Starship Troopers.

The cinematographer for the film was Thaddeus Wadleigh, who shot the acclaimed documentaries The Invisible War and Who Killed The Electric Car?.

The editor on The Mangler Reborn was Matthew Cassel, who also cut Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and served as an assistant editor on such movies as McHale’s Navy, Judge Dredd, and Street Fighter.

The team of producers on the movie included Barry Barnholtz (Leprechaun, The Mangler 2), Mark Burman (Piranha Sharks), Melvin Butters (Bundy: An American Icon), Dan Golden (Sharktopus, Supergator), and Scott Pearlman (Birdemic 2).

The effects work for The Mangler Reborn was provided by Nicole Dome (The Dread), Elizabeth Fox (Bikini Pirates), Brian Hillard (Seven Psychopaths, No Country For Old Men), Amy Mills (@midnight), Lara Salzano (Spike), and Richard Miranda (Monster High, The Running Man).

manglerreborn3The cast for the film was made up primarily by Aimee Brooks (Critters 3), Reggie Bannister (Phantasm), Weston Blakesley (Pleasantville), and Juliana Dever (Castle),

Before The Mangler Reborn, two previous entries were made into the franchise: The Mangler and The Mangler II. The movies have been far from loved by audiences: none of them have managed to accrue over a 4.0 rating on IMDb, and The Mangler Reborn is no exception at an abysmal 3.1.

The first thing I noticed about The Mangler Reborn is that it looks very cheap, almost like it was someone’s home video project. While The Mangler certainly isn’t good, there is no mistaking that it is clearly a movie made by professionals.

There is also very little in the way of meaningful connections to tie this fairly generic serial killer movie to The Mangler, apart from the establishment that the killer is apparently possessed by the spirit of the machine, and feeds his victims to it. I wouldn’t honestly be surprised if this screenplay existed in some form before there was any plan to make it a sequel to The Mangler.

If there is anything positive to say about The Mangler Reborn, it is that Weston Blakesley plays the possessed serial killer, Hadley, very well. His character is partially terrifying just because he is such an everyman, but there is also an understated creepiness to Blakesley’s rigid physical performance. He looks and sounds like a person being controlled, which is effectively off-putting in an otherwise shallow and uninspired movie.

manglerreborn2The plot structure definitely doesn’t help the slow, dull pace of the film at all. For most of the story, the audience are presented with a series of characters who are presented with the identical challenge of escaping from Hadley’s murder-house. Ultimately, they all fail in very similar ways, providing no sense of progress or variety. The way this film is executed only has the material to really fill out a short movie, but to make a feature, the same actions are repeated multiple times. To say the least, it makes the film very tiring to sit through.

Overall, I was immensely disappointed with The Mangler Reborn. I expected more nonsense folding machine murders, but instead got a crappy serial killer movie with the iconic evil folding machine awkwardly wedged into the plot. Unless you are deathly curious or are determined to complete The Mangler trilogy (but why would you?), there’s no reason to spend the time watching through The Mangler Reborn. If there’s anything this film did do for me, it effectively reminded me how much fun the ridiculous original The Mangler was by comparison, so I recommend people dig that one up.

IMDb Bottom 100: The Mangler

The Mangler


“The Mangler” is a movie about a laundry folding machine that becomes possessed by a demon during a collision with an ice box, after which it goes on a killing spree.

As you could probably guess from that brief synopsis, “The Mangler” is an adaptation from one of the lesser works of Stephen King. The premise is a bit over the top for sure, but it actually works better than I had expected. The bigger flaws with the film come from issues with the structure, as well as the constraints of the budget and available technology at the time.

Before diving into the negatives, there are actually some solid positives in “The Mangler”: Robert Englund plays a fantastically hammy villain who lights up every scene he is in, there are some pretty great gore effects, and the film does a good job of making the eponymous “Mangler” machine look honestly intimidating.


On to some negatives: the bulk of the story is put on the shoulders of Ted Levine, who seems incredibly miscast and uncomfortably as the lead. The plot gets really repetitive for most of the movie, with minimal forward momentum of the story until the last act. Worst of all are the special effects, which are glaringly terrible in the botched, awkwardly shot finale where the Mangler becomes mobile. It is evident throughout the sequence that there was no money available to show what the transformed Mangler looks like, so the audience is treated to awkward angles and the occasional CGI’d mechanical hand.


If it weren’t for the poor pacing and repetition in the body of the film, this would be an easy bad movie recommendation for me. There is hammy acting, silly effects, and the premise is unparalleled in outlandishness. The fact that the Mangler goes super-powered due to consuming antacids is just icing on the cake. If you can find a copy on the cheap, I can recommend giving it a shot, with the caveat that the entertainment value is inconsistent throughout the film.