THE CORPSE GRINDERS
The Corpse Grinders is centrepiece in the cult of Ted V. Mikels. The plot description you get double-dealing cat food company grinds down bodies taken from the graveyard as the meat in their pet food, making the cats hungry for human flesh has an undeniable sleaze value. It is surely the essence of what everybody thinks about when they imagine what horror double-bills were like back in the day of the so-called grindhouse cinema. As such, The Corpse Grinders gets full marks for one of the most exploitative premises of any film ever made.
That said, the film on display is way less interesting than it ever sounds in synopsis. While you can easily apply terms like sleazy and sordid to it in description, the only real terms you can apply to the film you see on screen are dreary and dull. The Corpse Grinders only runs to 72 minutes, far shorter than the average film, but even those are a hard slog.
Though he is considered a cult director, Ted V. Mikels never learned the rudiments of filmmaking. For all the ridicule that was heaped on Edward D. Wood, Jr. as the worst director of all time, Wood at least had a grasp of style and even occasionally atmosphere but Mikels lacks any of that. His view of direction is simply to point a camera at a cheaply-made set and film what happens, rarely cutting his shots up or using closeups. There is no idea of tension or suspense in any of Mikels films, he seems unaware of how to make what happens work as a dramatic story. The Corpse Grinders is often listed as a splatter film but, even when we see shots where bodies are fed into the meat grinder, there is no blood to the film. That also brings us to the acting, which is abysmal. It is no surprise that none of the actors here were ever heard from again. There are appalling performances from in particular Ann Noble as the gravediggers wife and Drucilla Hoy as a handicapped employee at the factory where it would be a breach of trade descriptions to even call them acting.
Ted V. Mikels made a sequel with The Corpse Grinders 2 (2000) and executive produced a third film for a different director with The Corpse Grinders 3 (2012).
Ted V. Mikels other genre films include:- The Astro-Zombies (1968), Blood Orgy of the She-Devils (1972), Dimensions in Fear (1998), Cauldron: Baptism of Blood (2004), Demon Haunt (2009), Mark of the Astro-Zombies (2010), Astro-Zombies M3: Cloned (2010) and Astro-Zombies M4: Invaders from Cyberspace (2012).
Full film available online here:-