11th Mar2014

‘The Corpse Grinders’ DVD Review (88 Films)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Sean Kenney, Monika Kelly, Sanford Mitchell, J. Byron Foster, Warren Ball, Ann Noble, Vincent Barbi | Written by Arch Hall, Joseph Cranston | Directed by Ted V. Mikels


Recently on television in the UK there was a show about what is in your pet’s food, and how shocked you would be.  They missed a trick with that by not showing The Corpse Grinders afterwards.  I’m not saying there are people in real pet food, but documentaries such as that are sensationalised tabloid style shows that people fall for.  The Corpse Grinders though is a 1971 Grindhouse film that is being released on DVD by 88 Films featuring corpse grinding, cats with a taste for flesh and bad acting.

When the Lotus Cat Food Company finds itself in financial trouble it needs a cheap source for meat and find it in the graveyard.  With human flesh entering the feline food chain it’s not long before cats are getting the taste for flesh and start to attack their masters, leading to a local doctor and his nurse investigating the cause.

88 Films release a lot of films under their “Grindhouse” series and you could argue that they don’t really fit as they are mostly eighties and nineties direct to VHS science fiction and horrors so it’s actually welcome when we get some true Grindhouse like The Meat Grinders.  The acting is bad, the special effects are typically cheap and there is a sleaziness to the film, especially with the constant shots of women undressing (though no real nudity).  All the usual low-budget tricks are in place too, such as flash cuts to the meat grinder to hint at what will become of the victims of the Lotus Cat Food Company, and flashbacks with the echoing words that led to the look back in time.

When it comes to the actual cats in many ways the “attacks” sound more interesting than they actually are.  Randomly we see a cat attack mostly women by the throat but there are only a few of these cases and it’s hard to believe that this would lead to death.  For plot purposes though these attacks have their place, but the real meat of the film (pun intended) is the escalation from digging up corpses to killing homeless drunks on the street.  As with most films where the eating of flesh is the focus the meat always proves popular and supply has to meet demand.

The Corpse Grinders is what you would expect from Grindhouse and 88 Films have left the film looking old and used, which is a wise choice for me.  This is not saying that the film looks poor, rather it looks like a Grindhouse film should, it’s a part of the charm of old movies like this.  With a commentary track from Ted V. Mikels included you also get an insight into the corners that had to be cut to make The Corpse Grinders, and there was plenty of it.

The Corpse Grinders is a cult film and I’m sure horror fans will be looking forward to getting hold of this, if they don’t already have it.  Grindhouse films like these have their own place in cinema history and for people who like trashy horror films (like me) this is an oddity that is well worth the watch.  I’m not sure you’ll be revisiting it after your first watch, but it does deserve at least that because it is actually a good story if not a good movie and is one of Ted V. Mikels better films.  Maybe not a classic, The Corpse Grinders is a slice of cult cinema that at least deserves to be given a taste.

The Corpse Grinders is available on DVD from March 17th, courtesy of 88 FIlms.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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