Review: "The Corpse Grinders (1971)"
Thank you, Amazon Prime. You have consistently proven to be worth the $99.99/year that I pay for you (and not just for the free shipping). It's all about that Prime Video. As an alternative to Netflix and HBO-GO it definitely hangs in there and delivers some unusual fare (like the fantastic documentary, "Nintendo Quest") that you won't find on the other services. And, boy oh boy, did you deliver this time.
It was with an eye towards my favorite thing in the whole world (call it high cheese, b-horror, so bad it's good) that Cindy, Mom and myself sat down to watch the 1971 film "The Corpse Grinders". Thank God we did.
I will freely admit that I am a sucker for the raw, gritty, unpolished look of the early 70's. It just feels to me like what a movie should look like: the cigarette burns, that wobbly yellow line that rolls across the screen every now and then, the audio feedback. I can't get enough of it. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling in my twisted little heart.
The story revolves around the Lotus Cat Food company, which has hit hard times and decides to use the meat from human corpses to make its product. The men who run the company are utter caricatures- one is unscrupulous to the Nth degree and the other is a reluctant (but greedy) partner. It's not brilliant writing in terms of character development, but did you really expect that? Save that shit for artsy pictures like "The Crying Game" or "The Danish Girl". I'm here for the gore and the t&a and the hammering musical score. The problem that puts their new moneymaking plan on display is the cats themselves- they start turning on their owners and chewing their fucking throats out!! It's a beautiful thing.
In classic 70's fashion there is a mustachioed hero (and a doctor at that) with a drop-dead sexy and voluptuous assistant to solve the crime. She's hot as hell with lines that are delivered with one step above wooden precision, and he is a walking stereotype. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.
The cast of characters had me grinning from ear to ear. There is a literal village idiot (in the guise of a factory worker), a deaf-mute simpleton with ONE DAMN LEG!!, a gravedigger who looks like James Brolin's fat cousin twice-removed and his moo-moo wearing wife........I swear to you I am not making this shit up. It's bloody brilliant. The character who stole the show, though? The titular Corpse Grinder itself. This thing looks like the machine you send your bag through on the conveyor belt at airport security. However, as it is a meat grinder for bodies (clothes and all!) there is dispenser for the ground goodies to exit from at the other end!! Into the bucket they go in the same 5-second stock shot. Economy filmmaking at its finest.
I am a connoisseur of shitty movies. I embrace the Troma Studios library. I've spent a lifetime evaluating bad movies, especially horror and sci-fi and even 80's Kung-Fu. I'm giving this one a minimum of a Top 50 placement in the Big Stu Pantheon of High Cheese. It's impressive.
I know Top 50 may not sound amazing, but if you know me really well then you know how many shitty-ass movies I've known and loved. Top 50 is pretty elite company. Just ask my wife; she's been there for practically all of them. She's a real trooper.
I guess it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyways) that I dug this little gem from the Richard Millhouse Nixon era. If you've got a taste for cheese then dig this one up. If you don't have Amazon Prime you can always pull it off of YouTube. Keep an eye out for the masterful sign language between the sleazy boss and the one-legged simpleton....it's worth the price of admission alone.