Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Prime Cut

Prime Cut Directed By Michael Ritchie. Starring Lee Marvin (1972)
           It all starts with a delicate classical music ode to meat in a slaughterhouse down in Kansas City. Rotten gutmunchers Gene Hackman (as Mary Anne) and (Greg Walcott, Ed Wood alumni) as his brother Weenie are processing people into human sausage and selling sex slaves at their family ranch, only Lee Marvin can stop them.
           Prime Cut is so warped and steeped in macho 70's gruffness you can cut it with a razor. I can only expect high entertainment value from that time period, when the film climate was rife with hard boiled grit and hard edged action.
          Lee Marvin plays an Irish mob enforcer who receives a ground up package of meat and asks his buddies if the now processed human was a good guy and should they give the pork product a proper burial. Marvin plays Nick Devlin and like Charles Bronson, the scenes evolve around his grunting style of hardfaced acting, which works well for both of them, only they can get away with that. This film has a light sardonic sense of humor and edge to it and they make Kansas City look like a deranged wasteland crawling with crackers and their toothless children at the County Fair AKA Ed Gein Country!
          Sissy Spacek has never looked more attractive as a drugged out sex slave that Lee Marvin takes pity on and showcases her off at a restaurant in a see thru green number, this is her first role. There's a lurid scene with Hackman surrounded by naked women lounging in penned fences with hay as girls and cattle are bought and sold on the market and peddled to be eaten or disposed of, he is feasting on a plate of guts. Mary Anne (Hackman) is in the flesh and meat product trade and girl flesh is sold just like any other meat commodity. Why this film isn't in the Deep Red Catalog or on more horror nerds must see lists is beyond me, it has all the cryptic elements of a highbrow film noir with some guts to spare.
           Janit Baldwin, who like Spacek started out in this but stopped acting in 1983, she plays Violet, one of the drugged out slaves and has a bugged out face like a glow worm, she has appeared in Phantom Of Paradise, Born Innocent and Ruby (in that film she was dubbed). Humongus, which I found horrendous is her only known speaking role!
          Hackman and Walcott are great as demented hillbillies presiding over a turkey shoot, they throw around oddball insults like "I'll turn you into Irish Stew, You Sow Belly" I almost expect them to call each other "BitchHogs". I think Tobe Hooper took a small amount of influence from this film, but it's possible that he was in the process of filming Chainsaw so I doubt it. Angel Tompkins (Little Cigars) plays Clarabell, Lee Marvins ex and she looks incredible too! Sissy Spacek and Marvin get chased by a giant thresher in a lush field of wheat that ends up crushing a car. It winds down with a machinegun shoot out brilliantly depicted in a sunflower field during a thunderstorm. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Guts & Beer


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