Friday, May 7, 2021

Meatcleaver Massacre

Meatcleaver Massacre (aka The Hollywood Meatcleaver Massacre aka Evil Force)
Even Lee

Meatcleaver Massacre touts Christopher Lee as its big draw. This is a lie. Yes, Christopher Lee is in it, but also, he’s not. Mr. Lee opens and closes the movie with long rambling speeches about demons and the occult. He is not interested in what he is saying, and it shows. I am certain this was something left off of his sizzle reel. In fact, these opening and closing segments where not originally filmed for Meatcleaver Massacre but were added after the fact. Not an auspicious start (or end) for this movie but nothing can really prepare you for what is coming.

"I don't know what I"m doing in the movie either."

After what I can only describe as the world’s most evil slide show, Professor Cantrell (James Habif) an expert in the occult and demons, heads home to his family. Some disgruntled students(?) get drunk in a van, drive to his house and murder his family for no reason that is ever actually explained. They all wear an identical patch on their jackets, are they supposed to be a cult or a gang? We are never told in a movie that is not interested in explaining anything at all.

After the unexpected murder of the professor’s family (that is totally devoid of a meat cleaver by the way), we get down to the bulk of the film in which the near catatonic professor is summoning demons to dispatch the killers. From there we get this band of the murderers doing random things, stopping those things to go do other random things, having nightmares, and then getting killed in a gory fashion. Repeat this cycle till the end of the movie.

It sounds like a disaster and it is, but the atmosphere it generates is so dreamlike yet grimy, it creates an undoubtedly compelling little film. Events just happen with no real explanation and end just abruptly.  A suicide is interrupted by work, a man just stops having sex and goes home, and a man gets electrocuted in series of events I still do not quite grasp. We even get a monster at the climax with looks like a Bigfoot covered in seaweed. Like the rest of this movie, it is odd more than frightening. After this nightmare we visit Christopher Lee again, who goes on far too long about occult conventions and mysteries. Even an actor of his caliber cannot elevate this material and Lee is only barely trying here.

The smell of this thing is incredible.

Meatcleaver Massacre is not what I expected from the title, and that is an understatement. Should you watch it? If you are looking for a straightforward slasher or demonic possession movie, you’re going to be bored and annoyed.  If you like things slow and confusing but somehow compellingly weird at the same time, then you will certainly find some things to enjoy here. 

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