The Mangler

The Mangler

Unreservedly loved the first half of this, which plays nicely as kooky if legitimately anxious horror but even better as an inspired kind of noir, constructing a world of sustained cockeyed expressionist trimmings in which the absurd primary horror (killer laundry machine) seems less alien than the antique pragmatism of the hero, who lumbers along with a weary logic that's doomed to succumb to a status quo of sheer lunacy. This fresh energy becomes dissolved quite a bit once everything is caught up and mythology is meted out, but at least the end game is mostly confined to the Blue Ribbon, a truly beautiful set, pleasingly dilapidated and detailed with astonishing smoke/steam play (this would be an absolute treat to view in 35mm) and a propulsive sense of cumulating histrionics that is far more palatable for me than the waterlogged back acts of Lifeforce. Still something of a Hooper agnostic, but this is pretty good stuff.