This is…a weird film. Englund is back for another round with Hooper and he is clearly having a blast this time around.After a tragic accident with an old and giant folding machine at the local laundry, Detective John Hunton finds himself drawn into a dark and supernatural world.
Based on a ten page Stephen King short story, the Mangler is a folding machine possessed by a demon that is served by the elderly Bill Gartley. Hunton, with help from a spiritualist friend and elderly photographer/mortician he uncovers a dark history of human sacrifice and works to save Gartley’s young niece Sherry.
Among the odd choices in the film are having the mortician be played by a young man in old man make-up. Jeremy Crutchley turns in a good performance, but the make-up is so obvious it is distracting when he is on screen. There is an exorcism of an old fridge. Most of the characters are largely unpleasant or annoying. Of course, it gets downright hilarious when the giant machine starts running after the leads in the factory like a wild animal. As mentioned, the short story is pretty short, so they add a lot of stuff…but funny enough? The machine chasing people? Not one of them. In the story, it runs around town killing people. Oh, Stevie.
Truthfully, this is really only good for a bunch of friends to watch and laugh together. It is also worth noting that although Hooper is the credited director, he was actually replaced after having filmed the majority of the film.