Friday, June 17, 2016

The Corpse Grinders

The Corpse Grinders Directed By T.V. Mikels, starring hobbled puppets and feral cats (1971).

T.V. Mikels is that low level shitty kind of endearing director like R.D. Steckler, Andy Milligan or even Don Dohler who all have that schlocky goodness quality. By coincidence, Arch Hall Sr. wrote the script, him and his son are a familiar presence in Steckler's work). The only T.V. Mikels films I'd seen before were The Doll Squad and MST3K shit all over Girl In Gold Boots, which made it an insanely fun viewing! For some reason I've neglected to watch this but it showed up on Fandor (who I'm a total shill for even though they don't pay me, they are thee cult movie Netflix that skip the chatter and get to the platter, or some other DJ terminology)!

I remember reading Grindhouse king Bill Landis's interview with Mikels in an early 80's Fangoria. He commended him for the comic book style lighting that he believes Creepshow stole in an inferior way, which is like saying Return of the Jedi copied Space Hunter Adventures in the Forbidden Zone--totally off base! 

I killed Fluffy from Creepshow and made him into a pile of deli meat for the craft service table

In the first minute, we get a vicious house cat attack and  Caleb and Cleo, two unwashed googly-eyed unlikeable slobs out in a graveyard bitching at each other. I love how scummy and soiled looking these two are, one has a clowny orange bowl haircut the other has a matted fro, stained pajamas and beard combo I mean these two should've had their own Norman Lear sitcom.

those were the days . . .

Actually, all the actors here look like those Penny Arcade drunk unkempt puppets with bugged out eyeballs and bulging exaggerated cheek bones. The redhead looks a lot like Laughin' Sal, the famous croaking slowed down cackling ginormous marionette--man she gives me the heebie jeebies! Even if nothing happens I'm sold that this is gonna be great! 

photo taken by me from Playland not at the beach of Laughin Sal.

I can already tell what's gonna happen, sort of, because I've watched the trailer on Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell at least a 1000 times. A cute blonde nurse who looks like Ellie Mae's stunt double shows up. Howard her mental patient boyfriend gets attacked by another one of those awful house cats but survives! Call the Humane Society already! 

Marriage counselor, I'm sorry but he just can't satisfy me sexually like Jethro can

I forgot to mention the orange haired lady carries a doll around and sings to it. Caleb sells the bodies from the graveyard to a guy named Landau who looks like a homeless Andy Kim and according to Mikels was Dustin Hoffman's cousin. Caleb seems to have a bottomless pocket of tough looking beef jerky that he gnaws on. The primary lighting is very creative when they show the grinder, which is an industrial sized box with flashing lights and a stop motion thresher that barfs out Bologna paste when a dead body is fed to it by conveyor!

Landau is all over town paying various doctors to keep quiet. For a rich guy, his office looks like it was in a fire and they plastered vomit colored wallpaper up in a horrendous way to salvage the place. I think they spent all the budget on the grinding machine and had zero money left over for incidentals.

You mean you actually wrote that queer bubblegum shit for The Archies (obscure music nerd joke alert).

Later on, a grizzled hobo's wife gets her throat ripped out by another evil feline, you'd think an animal catcher would be out nabbing cats off the street but no such luck. The dead ground up flesh is being sold as cat food and driving these yowling critters bananas. The blonde nurse and her goofy husband go on an investigation and find the extremely annoying Mrs. Babcock. Thankfully she only makes a brief appearance. Her husband runs Lotus, the cat food company that Dustin Hoffman's fugly cousin and his crony are fronting. An oily character named Maltby seems like a potential necrophilliac or just generic rapist and when he comes onto Angie, it's pretty disgusting. 

FUCK this feline acupuncture is amazing!

The music at one point gets really good with some fuzz guitar stings then goes back to the usual jazzy stock music pap. In the Headpress issue with Last House on Dead End Street, Roger Watkins talks about being on the set of Mikels Blood Orgy of the She Devils and he kind of trashes him. Don't ever compare the two, but I do enjoy TV's style and brand of demented surreal-ness, they're not even on the same planet. The first time I ever heard about him was after listening to the misfits tribute with their song Astro Zombies, another one that I need to check out. The whole shebang kind of runs itself ragged and ends with everyone at each others throats with no solution to remedy the human flesh eating cat plague. I really dug it though, lots of fun and dopey as hell.



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