Three on a Meathook

3 ON A MEATHOOK - (1973) - VIDEO TREASURES

I had previously seen the trailer to this film on the MAD RON'S PREVUES FROM HELL tape (an absolute must have for fans of gore & exploitation) and figured it was worth checking out. What this movie does is shamelessly rip off PSYCHO. Nothing more, nothing less.

It stars out very promising.  Four girls are on a trip when their car breaks down. Along comes a lone stranger who asks the girls if they want to stay at his place for the night. The stranger is Billy, a typical hick who lives with his Dad (‘PA). But once Billy shows ‘Pa the girls, he disapproves ("You know what happens to ‘ya when you get around girls!"). Well Billy ignores him and puts the girls up for the night. Soon enough all get murdered; one gets stabbed in the bathtub, 2 others get shotgunned, and the last one gets beheaded.All this happens in the first 20 minutes. Naturally Billy is blamed, so to ease his suffering he goes out, gets hammered, and meets a waitress named Sherri whom he falls in love with.

For the next 40 minutes we are treated to a boring, long and drawn out sappy romance between the two that makes you feel like you're watching a romance/drama movie. This is exploitation dammit! Well when Sherri and her friend Becky stay with Billy, you know they are soon going to find out the terrible family secret. When that time comes (after Becky gets pick-axed) is a neat surprise/twist ending.

Now the PSYCHO themes are too many to mention.  Here are a few. First off instead of a domineering mother, there is a father. And of course there is the surprise ending. Then you have the psychoanalytical explanation at the end just so the audience understands (not like they are too stupid to figure things out for themselves), and last is the scene of the killers voice over heard while he sits in a straitjacket in the loony bin. I mean how more blatant can you get?

The film is notable for about 30 minutes or so, and it only runs 75. The one plus is a good soundtrack. A major scene has a band (American Xpress) playing typical 70's stuff, complete with horns, trippy guitar, keyboards and a funky beat.Throughout the film the wild geetar is heard letting you know, that indeed this is primo 70's material. The end result is too serious for my taste. The filmmakers could have exploited the shock ending angle better, which would have resulted in a classic like DERANGED (which is similar to this film somewhat). But instead they opt for a boring drama that proves too boring to sit though (until the final reel). Proceed with caution. 
- DAVE KOSANKE

 

 

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