Monday, 17 March 2014

88 Films DVD Review: The Corpse Grinders (dir: Ted V. Mikels, 1971)

"They Went in People and Came Out Hamburger!"

It is I once again! Got some more devilishly delightful treats from the good folks over at 88 Films. This time however, it's not cheesy Full Moon fare but the schlocky goodness of the maestro himself, Ted V. Mikels. I have to confess and potentially put my Psychotronic Film Club membership card on the line here and say, I had never seen a Ted V. Mikels production until the films I am about to review in these next posts. I know, I know, shame on me. As much as I love exploitation cinema, films like this from filmmakers like H. G. Lewis and Mikels from the late 60's to early 70's just don't appeal to me. They can be too campy even for me but hey, some people don't like biker movies and some people don't like comic book adaptations... Each to their own. I was very apprehensive about Corpse Grinders based off the trailer and various clips of other Mikels productions but... as a lover of cinema, you have to be open minded! 

"Human bodies are fed into a bone crunching meat grinder, mashed into a bloody pulp, poured into cans and shipped out to market as Lotus Cat Food. Unsuspecting pet owners are being attacked and killed by felines driven into blood lust by their newly acquired taste for human flesh. The corpse-grinding cat food moguls have been running low on dead bodies and are on the lookout for fresh meat. Enter Angie, a nubile young nurse whose cat is acting up after eating out of Lotus cans. Angie comes to the factory looking for answers and is abruptly taken to the blood-soaked conveyor belt that feeds the insatiable grinder."

Overall, I enjoyed Corpse Grinders. It was a fun little schlock-tastic (if that wasn't a word already, it is now!) horror comedy. Sure both the horror and the comedy were lacking but I did chuckle and the meat grinding scenes actually worked sometimes. The whole concept of cats going bat shit (or should that be cat shit?) insane amuses me no end. I love cats, so seeing them kick some human ass was quite satisfying. I want to wrestle with cats... NOW! It's a really simple concept with some neat touches and you can tell that it was a fun, laid back shoot to be involved with. The acting wasn't great even by B-movie standards but there's a lot worse out there and it just adds to the all round charm. Needless to say, my first experience with Ted was a fun one. The 75 minute run time was just right and I am so glad they didn't try and pad it out to 90 minutes (hate indie directors doing that nowadays). It's a fine example of a drive-in movie.

88 Films have done a stellar job with this release. The print of the film itself is murky and fuzzy in places but to neaten a film like this too much would just completely take away from it. The sound levels are a little bit to be desired but this was a low budget production from 1971 so it would be harsh to harp on about it. Special features include one of the calmest and laid back director's commentaries I have ever heard which was nice, it was like your granddad talking about his film making days. You also get a small interview with Ted talking about the film and of course the usual trailers. I did genuinely love the menu artwork on the disc, very nice presentation all round, you also get reversible artwork which always makes me smile. Overall, if you are a fan of schlock, then you can do much worse than this release!

You can check out the 88 Films page for the film here, the IMDB page here and of course purchase the film itself from Amazon UK.


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