Saturday, 17 December 2011

3 ON A MEAT HOOK (1973)

This is one of the sleaziest films I've ever seen, and certainly the sleaziest that I have covered here for the diary. It's far from being a great film, but as nasty exploitation films go, it does have its entertainment value. One thing I'll say is that as horror flicks go, it certainly lives up to its title. There are far more gore scenes than your average slasher, and the tiny budget and low production values give the film the air of prime time grindhouse filmmaking.

Apparently based loosely on the crimes of notorious maniac Ed Gein, 3 On A Meathook tells the story (I use the term loosely, by the way) of four girls who go off on a road trip, go about the hi-jinks of the time and then run afoul of a lunatic when their car breaks down and a young man takes them to a farm to shelter. Thus begins the meat of the movie, if you will.

The girls are stuck at this guy's place until their car can be fixed, and while there they discover that their time is running out fast. One by one, the girls are butchered, until only one is left alive to discover the truth about the farmer and his meat.

There's actually a pretty good twist if you can stomach the low grade quality of the film stock, the production and the music (that poor, abused wah-wah pedal), and while there is a great deal of padding (entire musical performances by a club band, lingering sequences of the girls skinny-dipping), 3 On A Meat Hook does contain some fun exploitation thrills.

This is a proper, old-school drive-in horror movie, with grisly shots of mutilation, murder and butchery that are surprisingly nasty, if not completely convincing. Liberally stealing ideas from PSYCHO, having the girls onscreen without their clothes for large chunks of screen time, aiming great swathes of exposition at the camera and wah-wah-guitar-playing its way through woodland frolics as well as demented violence, 3 On A Meat Hook is not a film for the modern horror fan.

Much more suited to the connoisseur with a taste for low-budget 70s exploitation movies rather than slick, modern yawn-fests, it's a mean, nasty and shoddy little gem that really evokes an era of horror cinema.

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