ATLANTIC BEACH – Forty years have passed since the brooding, blood-splattered psychopath known only as “Big Ed” laid down his pickaxes, axes, fish gaffs and outboard motors. But writer/director Buddy Copper brings him back for one last heartbreaking rodeo, and one thing is for sure: The Great Edward learns from his mistakes.
ATLANTIC BEACH – AB “Buddy” Cooper Jr.’s roots run as deep as creosote-treated piles…
“The Mutilator” – Cooper’s original 1985 opus filmed in Atlantic Beach and Morehead City – is equal parts an ode to classic Universal horror films of the 1930s and 40s (“Frankenstein”, “Dracula”, “The Wolf Man”) and the scary urban legend films of the 1970s and 1980s (“Halloween”, “Friday the 13th”, “Nightmare on Elm Street”). With “Mutilator 2”, Cooper fires some of the original cast (Bill Hitchcock, Ruth Martinez) but adds big influence to the office with Terry Kiser (“Weekend at Bernie’s”) and Damien Maffel (“Haunt”). Cooper gives a thumbs up to assistant director Naomi Wildemuth, who “has worked harder than anyone and kept the project going all the time” and thanks the entire cast and crew for their unwavering enthusiasm.
“The talent was amazing and (they) worked hard to bring the characters to life,” Cooper said.
During a recent interview in his office at the Oceanana Motel in Atlantic Beach, Cooper spoke about his decision to revisit the film which started as a lifelong dream but turned into a financial nightmare, even though ” The Mutilator” has achieved cult status among horror films. enthusiasts over the years.
Check out IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase) for dozens of independent reviews and reviews of the movie; David Andreas of Splatter Critic had this to say: “Friends on vacation are destroyed by a man with a serious chip on his shoulder. The killer doesn’t have an elaborate appearance or motive, but what he does, he does well. Gory deaths of clumsy actors spotlight this pretty decent ’80s slasher flick, (which) features one of the most vicious murders in modern horror movie history.
Q&A WITH BUDDY COOPER
Q— Is “Mutilator 2” more of a sequel or a remake? Why wait over 40 years for a sequel to “The Mutilator” (aka “Fall Break”), since most of the original actors were… er… “shipped” into the first film – which remains to continue the story. ‘story ?
A— “M2” is a suite. It’s not so much that I’ve waited “all these years” to do the sequel, it’s that I’ve been kept waiting by circumstances and – as they say – by life. Oh, we also found a way to bring some of the original cast back into the game.
Q— How did you recruit Terry Kiser and Damian Maffei to participate? It’s the power of the stars! Plus, Bill Hitchcock and Ruth Martinez will return – what brings them back?
A— One of the producers, Ann Hale, suggested her friend Damian and Damian suggested his friend Terry, who looks like Big Ed in “The Mutilator.” Both of these guys are talented and capable and have a following in the horror genre. I was lucky to have them. Luckily, the two wanted to make the movie. Terry went so far as to say he was honored to work with me, as I was a legend in the horror genre (“Thank you, Terry!”). Bill Hitchcock and Ruth Martinez stayed in touch with me, with each other, and with the other cast members of “The Mutilator.” Over the years, we’ve all dreamed of a sequel, so they were interested and supportive of “M2” and rushed to join us.
Q— How long have you been working on the screenplay? Do you plan to increase the shock/square quotient – if that is even possible?
A— The script took a few years to write, then it was modified (improved, I should say) on set with ad libs from the actors and shot suggestions from Chance Madison (cinematographer). Then changed again when editing. So I guess others and I have been working on the script for about three years. Shock quotient? Come on, Chuck, you can’t ask me to give stuff like that. No spoilers.
Q— What is the progress of filming? Is it finished or is it still in production? Will you be using familiar locales again (Oceanana, Atlantic Beach, Morehead City, etc.)?
A— Principal photography is complete. With the exception of a scene at Munden Funeral Home in Morehead City, the thing was shot entirely in Atlantic Beach and, with the exception of a shot outside the condo at the beach where “The Mutilator” was shot and a shot in Pam Cooper’s garage, it was shot entirely at the Oceanana – on the grounds, on the beach, in the pier house restaurant, in the bedrooms and on the pier. We hope to have a finished print ready for Halloween.
Q— How did you organize the financing—estimated total budget? Who is producing and who will release and distribute the film? Will it appear in theaters, stream online, or go “straight to video”?
A— I have arranged financing by saving my money over the past decade. There was no outside funding, no “OPM” (Other People’s Money), as they say. The budget was simply set to the amount of money I had to pay for it. Including “in-kind” contributions such as venue use, location and other fees from Oceanana, and the writing, directing, and production services I provided, the budget comes to approximately 1 million dollars (one million dollars).
Currently I’m looking for a cast and until I find a cast I think I can be happy with, it’s too early to talk about these other things, but I’d like it to be released in rooms. I will say that Alex Agran, owner of Arrow Films, who released the DVD/Blu-ray edition of “M1”, has expressed interest in distributing “M2”. Arrow was great to work with and I hope Alex likes it enough to want to distribute it.
Q—On a similar topic, how much money did “M1” ultimately make from theatrical release, video sales, and rentals/streaming?
A— Actually, “M1” lost money. Hope for better feedback on this one (insert smiley emoji here).
Q— Over the years, “The Mutilator” has become a cult classic among horror movie fans, a fact you should be justifiably proud of. Why do you think this lasted and do you think there’s still a market for slasher/splatter movies in general?
A— “The Mutilator” is loved by gore fans because it was made for them. His stamina stems from this, but was greatly enhanced by the DVD/Blu-ray released by Arrow Video in 2016, which brought him back to old fans and brought him to the attention of new fans. It is an exceptional package. Thank you Arrow Video. (ArrowFilms.com)
I think there is a market for slasher movies. Discover Tubior Frisson. There seems to be a resurgence right now of 1980s-style slasher. Fans prefer practical effects over CGI (Computer Generated Images) in these movies. That’s what they have in “M1” and that’s what they have in “M2”.
Contact Chuck Waters at [email protected]