Corpse Grinders, The (1972)

Corpse Grinders, The (1972)

“The house cats we’re dealing with, having first tasted flesh through this — maybe — or from other sources, react exactly like their wild cousins.”

When housecats suddenly start attacking their owners after eating Lotus Cat Food (“food for cats who love people”), a doctor (Sean Kenney) and his nurse (Monika Kelly) investigate the pet food company, run by a sociopath (Sanford Mitchell) and his business partner (J. Byron Foster).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Amateur Sleuths
  • Black Comedy
  • Horror
  • Killer Animals

This hideously bad movie by cult horror director Ted V. Mikels never cashes in on its one-note premise: the use of human corpses for pet food. Instead, we’re subjected to countless badly acted scenes, some meant to titillate (busty women undress gratuitously), and others merely to exploit (there’s a “subplot” about a disturbed woman — played by Ann Noble — who cares for a plastic doll as though it’s her child.) Production values are low — the same shot of brown paste (meant to represent ground human flesh) being squeezed out of a tube in a flimsy contraption is used again and again — and the screenplay is sloppy (why don’t the factory owners remove clothing, hair, and bones before sending the bodies through the grinder?). Naturally, it’s exactly this level of ineptitude that appeals to fans of “bad movies”; but for most viewers, a film this awful needs MST3K spoofing to be rendered enjoyable.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • The laughable meat-grinding machine
  • Countless pseudo-campy scenes between Dr. Glass (Kenney) and big-haired, big-bosomed Angie (Kelly)

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a one-time look simply for its status as a trashy cult hit, and as Mikels’ best-known film. But unless you’re a fan of this kind of garbage, expect to endure it rather than enjoy it.


One thought on “Corpse Grinders, The (1972)

  1. First – and last – viewing. Not must-see; even horror fans will most likely find this on the dull side.

    I avoided this title for years, and am glad I can finally cross it off this checklist. When I was in my 20s, I was less bothered by this type of low-budget sleaze. But now I just find watching such films pointless overall, for me.

    The ‘plus’ side (though there really is no plus side) with this is that you can tell there is an attempt at actual filmmaking: care in production is solid in the slightest of ways and there is a basic attempt on the part of the actors to carry things off with slight believability.

    In other words, the film is not quite as bad as I anticipated – even though it’s still pretty bad. It’s not nearly as gory as I expected either.

    But you can clearly see that the film’s goal is as a quickie for thrill-seekers of the genre. Anyone who has seen ‘Sweeney Todd’ will already be familiar with the main premise.

    All I can really say is…I felt bad for the poor cats involved in this production. They don’t seem to have been mistreated, really, but it’s unsettling anyway that they’re involved.

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