The Corpse Grinders (1972)

The Corpse Grinders was directed by Ted V. Mikels, also responsible for movies such as Astro-Zombies and Blood Orgy of the She Devils. This fact alone should help most readers decide whether or not this is a movie they should see or if they even need to continue reading this review. If youve already decided that this film probably isnt for you, at least read the following sentence before leaving: The Corpse Grinders is about domesticated cats attacking their owners after eating cat food made from ground up cadavers. If that doesnt spark your interest, you may now move along.

The film opens with a scene of an ordinary house cat inexplicably attacking its owner. Fake cat, fake blood, great opening scene. A few days later, Dr. Howard Glass is attacked in his office by his nurse Angie Robinsons kitty why she brings her cat along with her to the operating room is anyones guess. The scene is interrupted by the arrival of a dead woman, mauled to death by her own housecat. As Dr. Glass begins to investigate these attacks further, he finds they all have one thing in common: Lotus brand cat food.

Landau and Maltby, owners of the Lotus Cat Food Company, have a secret. The newest cat food ingredient is people dead people, rather. After striking a deal with the caretaker of the local cemetery (Farewell Acres, snicker), Landau and Maltby begin shoveling cadavers into the Corpse Grinder (a barely-disguised refrigerator box). The Corpse Grinder, true to its name, squeezes out toothpaste-like mush which domestic felines go crazy for and I do mean crazy! Once they get a taste of the stuff they acquire an unquenchable thirst for more human flesh, turning on their owners for their next meal!

The Corpse Grinders (1972) is classic drive-in schlock. Like Ed Wood, Mikels presents the material here completely on the level, never once winking at the audience or itself. Theres no nod to the audience when obviously fake sign language is used between characters, no glance at the camera when a stuffed cat is strapped to someones face and flung around the room.

Its hard to imagine a DVD looking worse than this one. The transfer from video to DVD has preserved every scratch and piece of dust on the film for generations to come. The discs mono audio track just adds to the campiness and overall package. The disc contains several trailers for other films Mikels and a commentary track from him as well. The commentary track starts good but runs out of steam less than halfway through the movie.

In case you think the plot of this film couldnt get any worse, Ive just discovered that 30 years after the original was released, Mikels made a direct-to-video sequel, which includes (among other things) man-sized alien cats. Fire up the grinder, people Mr. Whiskers is comin to dinner.

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