The Mangler 2 (2002)
Director: Michael Hamilton-Wright
Poor bitter rich girl Jo (Swain) downloads a virus (called Mangler 2.0) into her schoolâ€™s hi-tech computer system. Of course, the virus contains an entity that eventually takes over the establishmentâ€™s security system and starts offing everybody thatâ€™s left inside. Sounds like fun, doesnâ€™t it? Trust me it...isnâ€™t. Stephen King should sue!
Ouch! Boy, did that hurt! Itâ€™s been a while since I actually cringed in agony while watching a movie, and thatâ€™s exactly what went down while I sat through the abysmal "Mangler 2". Taking its cue from â€śThe Lawnmower Manâ€ť, from which the filmmakers attempted to take the spirit of one of Stephen Kingâ€™s tales and update it, "Mangler 2" has zilch to do with the original King adaptation (directed by Tobe Hooper) involving a possessed laundry machine. Evil computer, possessed laundry machineâ€¦I really donâ€™t see the freaking connection. Didnâ€™t the original flick bomb anyways? I swear they sequalize anything these days.
Maybe this flick couldâ€™ve been enjoyed on a cheese level if it wasnâ€™t so irritating and painfully boring to watch. On a character level, I dare you to find someone to care about, I double dare you! Apart from cleavage-heavy Emily (Evangelista) who spends most of the clock time in a bikini top with her tits bobbling up and down, I didnâ€™t give a rat's ass about any of these generic, underdeveloped half wits. The problem with the players doesnâ€™t really lie in the actors but more so in the writing. Itâ€™s atrocious! The director wrote the script in 8 days and it shows yo! The dialogue rings so phony, the constant bickering got on my freaking nerves and the love relationships are just plain laughable. The most grating character of all had to be the stereotypical French Quebec cook (Bergeron) that constantly speaks to inanimate objects and overuses the French Quebec swear word â€śtabarnacâ€ť all the time. I wanted to reach into my TV and choke that dude to death. Was he supposed to be the comic relief? Fuck me man! I almost lost it there!
On an action level, the film is a flat joke. Iâ€™m talking cheesy visual effects that did jack all for me (I couldnâ€™t even laugh at them), non-existent tension, very dull kills that either take too long to get to the point or that never pay off (most of the kills are off-screen), a pace that almost put me to sleep and a hokey finale that borrows elements from "The Lawnmower Man" and "Hellraiser" but that delivers those potentially groovy goodies in the most amateurish and tacky way. Iâ€™m assuming the budget wasnâ€™t too high on this one. Is there anything to dig here? The presence of awesome character actor Lance Henriksen perhaps? No dice. The dude is hardly in the flick and makes an ass of himself during the conclusion. Iâ€™m a HUGE Henriksen fan and felt embarrassed for this great man! In the end, the only positive thing that I had to say about this flick was: Daniella Evangelista. Sheâ€™s a treat to look at and might have you reaching for the tissues. Slap this turd in the mangler where it belongs and let it chew it to pieces! CHEW IT GODDAMNIT! CHEW IT!
This one is drier than my fixed dog. Most of the murders are off-screen and all we get is some dudeâ€™s head bubbling due to boiling water and some splashes of blood here and there. A huge let down.
Daniella Evangelista (Emily) can act, sheâ€™s actually decent but being the dog that I am, I couldnâ€™t take my eyes off her ample cleavage. Baby looks good and deserves to be in a better movie! Chelse Swain (Jo) handles the part well, too bad itâ€™s badly written (also lose the purple lipstick girl, it looks bad!). Miles Meadows (Cory) looks like a young Vince Neil (of Motley Crue) and sure knows how to play a stoner. Will Sanderson (Dan) just canâ€™t actâ€¦period. Phillipe Bergeron (Lecours) can kiss my derriere for accepting to play this part and playing it like a cartoon character. Dexter Bell (Will) is the black comic relief (plang plang), thatâ€™s that. Lance Henriksen (Headmaster) really and I mean REALLY needed that check!
T & A
Thank you Daniella Evangelista (Emily) for easing the pain with your constant display of cleavage in that tiny bikini top. It helped, I owe you one babe. The ladies get Will Sanderson (Dan) and Dexter Bell (Will) shirtless showing off their buff stuff.
Michael Hamilton-Wright handles his directorial duties better than his writing ones. He showcases a couple of nice angles and the occasional style (like the CPU POV). Unfortunately, he canâ€™t generate suspense and fails to make the film exciting. Also heâ€™s working with a bad script, which he wrote!
We get some okay rock tunes early on and then the flick resorts to sub-par techno to back up its images. Was that techno bland or what?
Released by Artisan Home Entertainment
IMAGE: The 16.9 Anamorphic Widescreen image is clear and grainless. Nice transfer.
SOUND: The 5.1 Digital Surround serves the film very well, with the bad electronic score booming out very crystal. We also get a 2.0 Stereo Surround option.
EXTRAS: Taking into account the flick itself, Artisan treated this one like a king, check it out!
Feature Length Audio Commentary by Michael Hamilton Wright (writer-director), Glen Tedham (producer), Phillipe Bergeron (actor). With three people talking, thereâ€™s not much space for dead time here. The commentary is way more interesting than the movie with extensive info on the shoot, the locations, the changes of scripted scenes once they got on set, the actors and everything is delivered with a pinch of humor. Kool!
Behind The Scenes Of The Mangler 2 (20 minutes): The producer and the director come in to talk about the project and the shoot. They talk about their own computers messing up on set, talk about the opening scene and what they cut out. Chelse Swain and most of the teen cast come in to discuss their respective roles. We also get some on-set and makeup session footage and some insight into the message of the movie. It's really odd for me to watch this, since I just killed the flick and now get to see that everybody involved had good intentions and worked so hard. The pitfalls of being a critic.
Outtakes (2 minutes): This montage of outtakes is pretty funny stuff. I loved the outtake where Lance Henriksen messes up his lines and Daniella Evangelista is trying so hard not to laugh. Fun stuff!
We also get the Theatrical Trailer, Music Videos by 50/50 and Day Survive and a Cast, Filmmaker Bios. A solid DVD for a poor film.
NOTE: The music that plays behind the animated menu is so damn annoying!
NOTE 2: My DVD disk was either defective or the film was edited by a clown. Thereâ€™s a really bad cut between the dark gym scene where a certain character gets it and the exterior sequence that follows. The flick skips a beat and we miss part of the action, therefore never getting to know what happened to that specific character. I hope for all of you that it was just my disk. If not, the editor on this mess should be whipped.
Iâ€™d rather sit on a running chainsaw than have to see this atrocity again. The original â€śThe Manglerâ€ť wasnâ€™t all "that" either but at least it had some wet gory moments. Here we get jack shite! The bad writing, cheap score, boring action and absence of plasma made sure that I couldnâ€™t enjoy this crap on any level. If youâ€™re forced to watch it, keep you attention on Daniella Evengelistaâ€™s breasts. See them bounce as she goes down a flight of stairs, see them heave as she takes a deep breathâ€¦whatever you do KEEP YOUR EYES ON THOSE MELONSâ€¦if you donâ€™t, you might hang yourself to relieve the pain of viewing this mess. Think tits, tits, tits, tits, tits...
The film was shot in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
Chelse Swain (Jo) is the sister of Dominique Swain (Lolita).
Chelse Swain also played in the very good "Virgin Suicides". Talk about a step down!