Director – Ted V. Mikels (The Astro-Zombies, Dr. Sex)
Starring – Sean Kenney (Star Trek, Get Smart), Monika Kelly (Love Minus One), and Sanford Mitchell (Marsha: The Erotic Housewife, The Harem Bunch)
Release Date – 1971
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu release – 3.5/5
Director Ted V. Mikels had one hell of a career before his passing. His career spanned 50 years and during that time he released the classics The Doll Squad, The Astro-Zombies, Dr. Sex, and the more known The Corpse Grinders. The Corpse Grinders is one of those films I’ve wanted to see for so long that I actually forgot about it.
One version of the film or another has been on my Amazon wish list for some time but every time I remembered to buy it something would happen and I couldn’t. A few months back the fine folks over at Vinegar Syndrome released this Ted. V. Mikels’ classic on blu. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to send a copy my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a doctor and his nurse who are attacked by their pet cat. Soon they are brought the body of an older woman who was killed by her cat when it attacked her. This prompts the two to investigate where they learn that cats get a taste for human flesh after being exposed to it. They quickly track down a common factor which is the brand of cat food the two were feeding their fur babies. They track down the factory responsible for the cat food and learn that the two owners are money hungry criminals that will turn anyone that gets in their way into their brand of cat food.**Spoiler Alert**
The Corpse Grinders is one of those films I had heard about and knew it had a dedicated cult following. Most notably because Cannibal Corpse front man’s stage name draws on the film. I had heard it was a fun flick in the style of HG Lewis’ trashterpieces. After seeing it I can safely say that I love it.
The acting in this one is far from perfect but it works. The characters have interesting backstories that add to the story. The cast does bring out some personality but for the most part they are underwhelming which is standard at this time for exploitation and grindhouse flicks.
The story for this one is great and leaves open so many possibilities. Its difficult not to compare this to Motel Hell but this movie had to be the inspiration for Motel Hell. I really liked the scummy business angle where the crooks turned corpses and people into cat food creating cats that crave flesh. This was fun and clearly the slight inspiration for Farmer Vincent Fritters. I liked how the story started and how the film ended. The story could lead to so much more and now I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequels.
Finally, the film doesn’t really have the gore one would expect with the title The Corpse Grinders. In fact, the film was not that bloody at all which was a total let down in that regard. Overall, The Corpse Grinders has a great story but does lack the blood and gore one would expect. If you want blood you may want to skip it but if you want a well written story with a solid cast and that great grindhouse look then toss this one in. I love it.
Ted Talks- Archival Interviews