Horror Movie Review: The Mangler 2 (2002)

The sequel no one was asking for, The Mangler 2 (aka The Mangler 2: Graduation Day) is a sequel to the 1995 lovable horror, The Mangler. A film about a possessed laundry press, directed by Tobe Hooper and starring Robert Englund and Ted Levine. Such an insane idea could only have come from the mind of one person, so it should come as no surprise that the original film was based off the Stephen King 1972 short story of the same name.

It’s well worth remembering this and what the 1995 film offered, because The Mangler 2 is a sequel in name only. In fact, it actually takes more from another piece of Stephen King writing, namely The Lawnmower Man.

Written and directed by Michael Hamilton-Wright, The Mangler 2 stars Lance Henriksen, Chelse Swain, Philippe Bergeron, Dexter Bell, Daniella Evangelista, Miles Meadows, and Will Sanderson.

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Jo (Swain) is a wholly unlikable teenager who enjoys a prank, but after breaking into her father’s computer company, she is sent to a private boarding school. There, she finds out that her pranks won’t be tolerated by the headmaster (Henriksen) and that the school has a new state of the art security system.

Not one to pass up an opportunity to be an awful person, Jo uses her computer ‘knowledge’ to install a computer virus into the new security system called ‘Mangler 2.0’. She and her hateable new friends are caught by the headmaster though, and punished by not being allowed to leave for Spring Break.

That’s the least of their problems though as virus has transformed the system into something much more deadly and it has a bloodlust.

The Mangler 2 is a terrible movie, it’s as simple as that. Featuring a dumb and predictable story with some of the most unlikable characters possible. It can’t be understated just how hateable every single character is here and how easy it is to cheer on the Mangler virus to kill them all, as quickly as possible.

Alas, there’s nothing quick here and the film plods along at a lethargic pace. Made all the worse by the obviousness of its direction. This might have been passable if the events, deaths in particular, were imaginative but The Mangler 2 has no creativity at all. While it does have a ton of easy comparisons to the awful Lawnmower Man movie, at least that was inventive from a visual standpoint.

It’s actually hilarious just how far removed from the original movie this sequel is. It doesn’t make any sense either, why use The Mangler name? It’s not like anyone would have cared and the original was seven years old by time this was released. Even the great Lance Henriksen can’t save this one.


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The Mangler 2 (2002)
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