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20/20 Filmsight - Film Criticism by David O'Connell

Film Criticism by David O'Connell

The Corpse Grinders

May 22nd 2009 01:53
Sexy lingerie Maria gets attacked by cat in Corpse Grinders

With a title and premise like "The Corpse Grinders", you'd think that low-budget horror director Ted V. Mikels would have given us something that would embed itself deep in our horror-movie memories. Instead, we're left with a limp, nearly unwatchable movie about a mildly gruesome event.

The title refers to the owners of a cat food company; they buy corpses from the local cemetery and grind'em up into expensive cat food. Naturally, once the cats get the taste of human flesh, they start attacking people, going as far as killing a sexy secretary dressed in her bra and panties.

Mikels was well-known for his awful movies and has become a minor legend, especially since Grindhouse has come back into style. I'm not certain why he ever wanted to make movies - "The Corpse Grinders" is his most well-known film and it suffers from more problems than I could stand - and I like some terrible movies.

The acting is atrocious, which is expected, but the story is unbearably dull. Mikels shows us the cat food production first, and then winds around with other characters, who moronically try to 'solve' the case. All the technical aspects, from the cinematography to the sound, is done so poorly that it's hard to believe that this ever made it to the drive-in.

But perhaps...

Perhaps the fault is not with Mikels, who wanted to deliver a sickening film about a fantastical story. No, perhaps the fault is with time - I've seen quite a few shocking films, especially with the nouvelle trend of torture in modern horror movies like "Saw" and its sequels. As a result, audiences have become so desensitized to shock that films from previous generations fail to ring the bell.

I can understand that; maybe we've just become too dead to arresting images to really appreciate them. Perhaps Mikel's "The Corpse Grinders" really terrified people back in the 70s, the image of that machine and that nasty cat food coming out of it.

Nevertheless, the film has not help up well over time, and other directors, notably George A. Romero and Dario Argento, have shown that movies from an older era can still be terrifying and meaningful, when made by a craftsman.

"The Corpse Grinders" concludes rather obviously, and I couldn't wait for it to finish, just so I could eject the disc. It's rated 18 for some reason, and I can't figure out why. It's not gruesome, or terrifying, and there's no content that would be unsuitable for kids. Perhaps the idea is all that has the power to set our imaginations alight.

I say: Only of interest from a historical viewpoint, or for horror fans that want to know.

See it for: There's a tiny bit of eye candy, but it's as disappointing as the rest of the film, as the stunning Maria, wearing her bra and panties, gets 'killed' by a monstrous cuddling from her cat.

*this image is from CineFantastique Online

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6 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Bryn

May 22nd 2009 02:18
I always loved that title. Never seen the movie though, and will now probably avoid it, cheers Cibby. I think there's a band somewhere called The Corpse Grinders

Comment by David O'Connell

May 22nd 2009 06:29
Nice one Cibby, I've come across a few cats whose stares lasted just a little too long for my I'm beginning to understand why.

Comment by Cibbuano

May 22nd 2009 06:46
Bryn, it's a bit of a midnight classic, for the booze and pot crowd. I suppose there's a lot to laugh at here, but I bet it's the name that inspired people more than the actual movie...

David, they've got a taste for human flesh!

Comment by Matt Shea

May 26th 2009 13:48
Cib - I spotted this at Scene last week and almost picked it up. I'm a bit short on grass, beer and friends at the moment so I'm glad I abstained.

Comment by Cibbuano

May 26th 2009 21:44
Matt, it's the name, isn't it? It draws you in like a corpse to a meat grinder...

Comment by Anonymous

May 8th 2010 02:46
I love the way the blonde doctors assistant takes off her uniform and to change her clothes. It looks like she wanted to prolong the scene.

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