Feb 15, 2015

Three on a Meathook

Presented by the Movie & Music Network

1973 USA
Directed by: William Girdler

Four young girls decide to take a weekend trip up to a small lake to get away from it all for a little while. During a heavy thunderstorm that night their car breaks down on a deserted country road, but luckily for them a young man comes driving along and offers them to spend the night at his farm with his old pa. The young man's name is Billy and he and his pa have been living alone on the remote farm since his mother died when he was very young.

Things turn strange as they arrive at the farmhouse when Billy's dad wants the girls out of the house immediately. «You know what happens to you when you get around women, and it must never happen again!» his Pa reminds him, but Billy refuses to let the girls spend the night alone in their car. As the night draws on, one by one the girls are horribly murdered in their beds. The next morning Billy can't remember anything. Horrified by the sight of the mutilated young girls, he travels to the nearby town to get away from the farmhouse as his Pa disposes of the dead women.

 While in town, Billy meets a sweet young girl who's serving drinks at a local nightclub. They hit it off right away and Billy invites her to spend the following weekend at his farm. As he returns home from his city trip, his Pa tries to remind him what happened not a day ago with the four girls, but Billy just won't listen...

Three on a Meathook is a nice little grindhouse chiller, filled with some pretty gory murder sequences, mother issues and groovy rock n roll tracks. Directed by William Girdler who gave us such exploitation classics as TheAsylum of Satan, Abby and Grizzly. Released a full year before the infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it follows some of the same plot lines with rural Americana gone horribly wrong. During it's best moments, Three on a Meathook is a disturbing look at a psychopath at work, filled with tense and nasty murder scenes.

Unfortunately the film has long filler scenes and feels like it's at least 15 minutes longer than it has to be. One long scene features a band playing in a nightclub and even though the music is ok enough the scene drags on way too long and it feels like filler material. The soundtrack works pretty well overall, and is reminiscent at times of the maddening guitar score from  I Drink your Blood. The ending has a rather creepy plot twist that I frankly did not see coming, and actually makes the film quite a bit more disturbing.

There is something inherently disturbing about remote farmhouses, and its deranged inhabitants, and at its best Three on a Meathook invokes those feelings quite nicely. While it may drag in places, the film is nonetheless pretty entertaining and features some disturbing moments.

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