Log in

No account? Create an account
Review: The Mad Butcher
by steelcorpfilms (steelcorpfilms)
at September 28th, 2007 (04:00 am)

current mood: contemplative
current song: DMX "X Gon Give it to Ya (Lp Version)"

The Mad Butcher
- 1971

Reviewer: Indy McDaniel
Rating: 5
Direcotr: Guido Zurli
John Ireland
Writer: Dag Molin
Robert Oliver
Karl Ross
Cast: Victor Buono
Brad Harris
Franca Polesello
Karin Field
Carl Stearns
Run Time: 81 minutes
MPAA Rating: R
Date Reviewed: September 16th, 2007

Plot: After being released from a mental hospital, Otto returns to his old job as a butcher. He tries to adjust to his new life, but after a bitter argument with his wife, he accidentally kills her. Fearing he will be sent back to the hospital, he grinds up her body and sells it as sausages. As friends and relatives start asking questions about her disappearance, they too start ending up in the butcher's display case.

Comments: What better place to set a movie about people getting turned into sausages then Vienna, home of sausages. There's a sort of quirky humor that seems to go through the whole movie, focusing mainly on Otto, the mad butcher. At the beginning, he's just being let out of an asylum. Why he's been sent there isn't very clearly stated, aside from some sort of altercation with a customer. Why he attacked the woman isn't clear, either, but later on, after they introduce her, it's fairly obvious why, since she's incredibly annoying. Apparently, in Vienna, if you attack someone you have a choice between going to jail and having your wife committ you to an asylum for like three years.

Despite being saved from jail time, Otto isn't too happy with his wife for tossing him in the looney bin. He gets out anxious to start butchering again, and not just the meat in his shop. At first, he's content to just beat up on his brother-in-law and move into the room above his butcher shop, letting his wife stay in their house alone. It's not too bad of a gig, especially since the woman who lives immediately across from him likes leaving her curtains open and stripping down. For a while, life is good for Otto and he spends his days carving up meat and his nights drinking wine and watching his lady neighbor. All that goes downhill when his wife, angered at having been left all alone in their house, comes in and finds him oogling the other woman. Lots of yelling and arguing eventually leads to Otto strangling his wife to death.

Well, what's an Austrian butcher to do with the corpse of his annoying wife? You got it... Make sausages! The movie isn't really all that graphic, but it works that much better. You never actually see a vast amount of gore, showing the bodies getting minced up into sausages. Instead, Otto feeds the body into one end of the machine and out the other end a huge pile of sausages come pouring out. Despite the lack of gruesome effects, it's actually pretty creepy and disturbing since you know exactly what the sausages are made of. To make matters even more icky, Otto proceeds to roll his cart around, selling the sausages to customers who absolutely love the taste.

The movie moves along from there, with more and more people winding up the ingredients of Otto's delcious sausages. It's both highly amusing and kind of sick watching so many people chowing down on the sausages without realizing where they came from. No one seems to suspect Otto of any foul deeds either, aside from an American reporter. There's no real reason why the reporter is in Vienna aside from to hang around the police station and annoy the cops until a big story breaks. Beyond that, there's quite a bit of poking fun at the Vienna police and Vienna in general, showing the majority of the residents to be pretty stupid. In fact, the only ones with any brains seem to be Otto and the American reporter. As things start to wrap up in a fairly traditional way, we're tempted with a pretty cool, dark ending, but alas, it pulls a switch and instead we get an almost unbearable, and predictably ironic, happy ending.

Overall: It's a pretty amusing movie, with a few pseudo-gross out factors, but the happy ending sort of ruins things.