20 December 2014

Meat is Meat (1971)
81 min.
Directed by Guido Zurli.
With Victor Buono, Brad Harris, Karin Field, Franca Polesello, Carl Stearns, Sybil Martin, Michael Turner, Arthur Mann.
This Italian-German horror satire isn't anything to get excited about.

After spending three years institutionalized in an asylum, ill-tempered meat butcher Otto Lehman (Buono) is declared sane and released back into the private sector.

He returns to his hometown of Vienna and attempts to start a new life.

But Otto is far from mentally healthy.

His cloying wife Hanna (Polesello) drives him up the wall. His next door neighbor is a lascivious tease. And his business could use a little lift.

So what better solution to his problems than to kill off the irritating offenders, chop them up, grind their body parts into sausage links, and turn a profit by selling the meats to unsuspecting customers?

Also known as The Mad Butcher, this 1971 black comedy is a confused - and ultimately droll - affair; it can't seem to decide whether it wants to be biting satire or straight grand guignol.

Instead, it sits on the fence and sputters aimlessly without much direction.

The rotund Buono is always watchable, however, and here his spunky turn as Otto provides the (much needed) incentive to make it all the way through Meat.

A copious helping of gore would've enlivened this drive-in wannabe immensely.

Italian: Lo strangolatore di Vienna.

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