The Mangler Reborn (Erik Gardner/Matt Cunningham, 2005, USA)

The Mangler Reborn is the third installment in the Mangler franchise - this time bringing the franchise back to basics. While The Mangler 2 dispensed with the original laundry press from the first film, The Mangler Reborn sees our main villain Hadley (played by character actor Weston Blakesley) coming into possession of the parts of the original machine and resurrecting it. Hadley is a repairman who is possessed by the original machine after waking it with his blood. He then must continue to feed the machine blood to keep his corpse from rotting. This is not entirely obvious at first but it becomes apparent throughout the film that Hadley is the same with the machine.

We are then introduced to two thieves who come into contact with Hadley while attempting to rob his house. Here we get the lone star power in the film with Reggie Bannister of the Phantasm franchise playing Rick, the father in the father/son burglary duo. Rick finds the young woman named Jamie whom Hadley has abducted. Rick ends up becoming one of Hadley's victims. Eventually, the film ends up in a face-off between Jamie and Hadley. 

The Mangler Reborn may be by far the most visibly low-budget of any feature film associated with the works of Stephen King. Those not familiar with the project might have assumed it was one of his Dollar Babies, but the film was released in the US by Lionsgate. The Mangler Reborn is watchable to a degree, thanks in large part to Reggie Bannister and also Blakesley's performance as the villain. While it is not an upgrade from The Mangler 2, it can't be honestly said that it is considerably worse than that film. Overall both films are equally weak but have some odd charms.



Popular Posts