The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THREE ON A MEATHOOK (1972) ***

 

Let’s talk poetry for a second.  Have you ever in your life heard a more poetic title for a movie than Three on a Meathook?  Doesn’t it just exude the same kind of magical wonderment found in the works of Shelley and Byron?  Doesn’t the title Three on a Meathook just give you a warm tingling feeling inside?  It’s hands down one of the greatest titles in the history of cinema. 

 

As for the film itself, it doesn’t quite live up to the title, but it DOES feature three women hanging from a meathook so you can’t accuse them of false advertising.   

 

A shy young man named Billy leers as a bunch of hot chicks go skinnydipping.  When their car breaks down, he gives them a lift to his house to spend the night.  His disgruntled father disapproves and chides, “You know what happens to you when you get around women!” 

 

Of course we all know what happens, don’t we?  He goes kill crazy and butchers them all up.  First girl gets it while she’s taking a bath (it’s kind of like a vertical version of the shower scene in Psycho), two more get mowed down with a shotgun and the final girl gets it via one of the greatest decapitations ever witnessed on the silver screen.  The axe goes through her neck and into the wall.  The girl’s head stays flush on top of the axe while her body falls to the ground.  Brilliant. 

 

And this is the first TWENTY MINUTES folks. 

 

Little Billy wakes up with no memory of killing the women, but Pa jogs his memory for him.  “I told ya son, but you didn’t listen!”  Pa loves his son so much that he covers up his murders and tells him saying, “Try to forget it, son!”

 

So Billy goes out and walks up and down the streets of the city in an extended Midnight Cowboy style scene, except instead of “Everybody’s Talking”, it’s some fourth rate Three Dog Night wannabes singing “You Gotta Be Free!”  Billy goes to a bar to drown his sorrows in drink while the Three Dog Night cover band plays ANOTHER terrible song in it’s entirely to make him even more depressed. 

 

He gets shitfaced and is picked up by a cocktail waitress name Sherry who takes him home.  The next morning she informs him that he wet his pants in the middle of the night and she had to wash his jeans for him.  This leads to the best dialogue exchange of the whole film. 

 

“Would you like some breakfast?”

 

“No, but I’d like my pants though.”

 

After a lot of initial awkwardness, they go on a date.  He especially wows her when he tells her a story about the time he split his pants as a little kid.  (You’d think a guy with this much pants related trauma wouldn’t be suitable boyfriend material, but then again, I’ve never been able to understand women, so what do I know?)  When the date is over he thanks her for everything and she replies “Maybe you can do something like that for me some day.” 

 

Gee, I wish some girl would discreetly ask me to wash her piss stained drawers.

 

This leads to a lot of romantic scenes of Billy and Sherry frolicking in open fields that are filmed with all the intimacy of a tampon commercial.  He invites Sherry and her friend back to his house where Pa cooks them some strange meat.  Pa assures them all, “It’s veal!” 

 

Audience Poll:  Do you think the “veal” is actually the four skinnydippers? 

 

That night, Billy gives Sherry a taste of HIS veal, if you know what I mean, but he only lasts about 30 seconds.  Heck, if she still loves him after pissing himself, a little thing like premature ejaculation won’t worry her one bit.  Afterwards, Sherry’s friend ends up with a pick axe in her abdomen and then… there’s a fairly decent “surprise twist” that I won’t reveal for you. 

 

Sherry gets out of bed and starts looking for her missing friend until she wanders out into the shed and finds out WHY the film is called Three on a Meathook. 

 

In the Psycho inspired ending, a psychiatrist gives an unnecessarily lengthy explanation as to why the killer does what he does. 

 

The film is usually dismissed as a cheap Texas Chainsaw Massacre copy, but this flick was actually released two whole years BEFORE Chainsaw.  It’s actually closer to Psycho, except there’s a cannibalism subplot.  Like both of those films, it is based (very loosely) on the real life exploits of America’s most notorious serial killer Ed Gein. 

 

Director William Girdler does a fine job with all the gory exploitation goodies.  He delivers on the blood and dismemberment and shows more than a fair share of female flesh.  While the film tends to drag during Billy’s courtship of the waitress, there’s enough of the red stuff to go around to make up for it.   

 

The film co-stars Linda Thompson (who was famous primarily because she dated Elvis) making her film debut.  She also shows the world her rack, so that probably at least made the King happy.

Tags: exploitation, horror, t
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