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Meat Grinder, The (Cheuuat gaawn chim) 
Written by: on August 10th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date:
Thailand, 2009
Director: Tiwa Moeithaisong
Writer: Tiwa Moeithaisong
Cast: Mai Charoenpura, Anuway Niwartwong, Wiradit Srimalai, Rattanaballang Tohssawat, Duangta Tungkamanee

DVD released: August 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 100 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Thai
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: 4Digital Asia
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £15.99

Synopsis: After suffering from a psychotic breakdown, a young woman opens up a noodle shop that becomes a popular for its special ingredient.

The Meat Grinder was written, edited, photographed and directed by Tiwa Moeithaisong. His most notable production credit to date, was as the cinematographer on Raging Phoenix. Visually The Meat Grinder is a stylishly photographed film that is filled with abundance of atmosphere that is equally dreamlike and nightmarish. The most evocative moment in the film is a love scene / montage which cuts back and forth from the two lovers and bodies being chopped up.

The plot revolves around a young woman life goes on a downward spiral after she discovers that her husband is having an affair. And to further her distress she walks in on her husband and his mistress trying to kill her daughter. These events and traumatic events that reemerge from her troubled childhood set in motion as very bleak story. And once her dementia sets in and things quickly go awry as she uses an old family recipe which involves the fleshly acquired flesh of humans as the center piece of her noodle dish that she sells her noodle shop.

Structure wise the film does a great job mixing the present with events from the past. Graphically the film does not hold back as it showcases her brutality towards her prey with the utmost gory detail. And while the copious amounts of bloodletting will be one of the main draws for many gore hounds. This film is far from a one trick pony as the film shows it has a solid foundation as it explores effectively the more psychological aspects of the story at hand. As good as the entire cast are in their respective roles. This film’s greatest asset is without a doubt its leading lady Mai Charoenpura in the role of the noodle shop owner. The phrase “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”, from the William Congreve play The Mourning Bride perfectly sums up The Meat Grinder.

The DVD:

Note: This review is based on an advance screener and may not be representative of the final product.

4Digital Asia presents The Meat Grinder in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Color reproduction is very good and looks accurate. Flesh tones look healthy and black levels fare well as details look crisp throughout. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is minimal. In all the sourced used for this transfers is in very good shape.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Thai and English subtitles have been included. The audio mix is in great shape as dialog is always clear and everything sounds balanced. Also this audio mix does a superb job with the more ambient (which there is an abundance of) aspects of this soundtrack.

The only extras that was included with this disc I was sent. Is a Thai language trailer for the film that comes with English subtitles. Other extras that should be on the final street version of this release, include a ‘Making of’ documentary. Overall if the final street version of this release looks and sounds as good as this advance screener does, this should turn out to be a solid DVD release.

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