Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 30th, 2017
BluRay released: October 24th, 2017
Approximate running times: 73 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
“The Lotus Cat Food Company has hit major financial trouble and is on the verge of closing, until the owners realize that rather than paying for meat, they can use bodies from the local graveyard to fill their tins. As their latest product hits the shelves, it’s revealed to have an unintentional result: every cat that eats it is transformed into a bloodthirsty brute with an unending hunger for human flesh!” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
The Corpse Grinders was directed by Ted V. Mikels an independent filmmaker who’s has directed many films that have since gained a Cult following. Some of his more notable films include The Astro-Zombies, The Black Klansman and The Doll Squad. The screenplay for The Corpse Grinders was co-written by Arch Hall Sr. who is most known for directing, co-writing and starring in Eegah.
The narrative is anemic and to the point. With all dialog being nothing more than filler to move the story at hand forward. And the real star of this film being its Grand Guignol set pieces. Another strength of this film is that way that it uses humor in moments than one would not normally consider humorous.
The most recognizable member of the cast is Sean Kenney (“Star Trek”, Terminal Island) in the role of Dr. Howard Glass. This character serves as an amateur sleuth, who digs deeper into what is the cat foods secret ingredient. This film’s most memorable performance is Sanford Mitchell (The Scavengers, Marsha: The Erotic Housewife) in the role of Landau, the man behind the sinister plot to use corpses as the main ingredient in the cat food he is manufacturing.
Though animals attacking humans is theme that has been exploited in countless other films. It is safe to say, that one would be hard pressed to find a similar themed that is more deliriously absurd than The Corpse Grinders.
The Corpse Grinders comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer for this release was scanned and restored in 2k from the 16mm negative. Though there are limitations to the source materials used for this transfer and these are detailed with text that appears onscreen before the film. The end result is a substantial upgrade that blows away all previous home video release for this film. Print damage is minimal, grain remains intact, colors are nicely saturated, details look crisp, black levels remain strong throughout and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. Dialog comes through clearly and the audio is in good shape.
Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, a stills gallery with music from the film playing in the background, an archival interview with Ted V. Mikels from 2007 titled Ted Talks (18 minutes) and an audio commentary with filmmaker Elijah Drenner.
Topics discussed in the interview with Ted V. Mikels include, Arch Hall Sr. / the screenplay, background information about the film’s title The Corpse Grinders, how the film was shot on a sound stage, why he maintained his independence as a filmmaker, how the decline of drive in theaters affected independent film distributors and his thoughts about The Corpse Grinders.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, The Corpse Grinders, the cast, other production related topics and background information about Ted V. Mikels. Included with this audio commentary track are archival audio recordings Ted V. Mikels and vintage Drive-In Theater announcements for The Final Dimension in Shock. Overall The Corpse Grinders gets a definitive release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.
Note: The first 2,000 copies sold through VinegarSyndrome.com will include a double-thick limited edition slipcover designed by Earl Kessler. If you see this message and you order the release, you’ll get the limited slipcover.