UK 3 ON A MEAT HOOK UK video cover (Exploited)
1 and a half stars

"A Padlocked Shed, Hooks of Cold Steel
- A Maniac on the loose."

directed by: William Girdler
starring:Charles Kissinger, James Pickett, Sherry Steiner, Madelyn Buzzard, John Shaw

(back of video blurb):

       "THREE ON A MEAT HOOK is a skid row exploitation remake of Hitchcok's PSYCHO. Just compare the opening sequences of both films and you'll realise that THREE ON A MEAT HOOK is a much sleazier outing. When Billy comes across three girls whose car has broken down, he can't help but offer them shelter for the night at his say cheese!nearby farm. Daddy's not too keen when the gang arrives back at the farmhouse, however, because Billy has problems around girls and Daddy's tired of disposing of all the bodies, Billy can never remember his crimes and continues to make acquaintances with young ladies in order to convince himself (and his dead Ma) that he's normal.

       Made in the early seventies when violent horror was very much in demand to satisfy rabid drive-in audiences; THREE ON A MEAT HOOK is obviously a contemporary of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and DERANGED. It shamelessly throws up a mixture of gratuitous nudity, nasty murders and even finds time for some groovy music. The film revels in its hick psycho-boy meets hippie bar-chick romantic sub-plot before climaxing with a gore soaked twist ending."

choice dialogue:

"We've got ourselves into a Hell of a mess!"

slash with panache?

       If you're anything like me you've seen lots of bad horror movies. Some fall into the so-bad-it's-good category - their general inanity causing no end of hilarity; some are just so bad that they cause instant narcolepsy; but there is also a third category- the bad movie that transcends its humble origins to become something approaching a demented artform. - that was one groovy night!William Girdler's 1972 celluloid atrocity is a case in point. There are moments in this film where I seriously questioned my own sanity; moments of surreal inanity that made me wonder if I had just crossed the border into an alternative reality. I defy anyone not to stare, mouth agape, at the scene where a Peter Purvis look-a-like, Billy (the film's mixed up protagonist), wakes up in bed next to a cocktail waitress named Sherri (played by an actress seemingly on horse tranquillisers), to find that he had been so drunk the night before that he had soiled himself. "You had an accident", she coos; fetching his trousers Sherri continues, "I washed them out for you but they're not quite dry."- to make matters even freakier this is all played out, straight faced, as part of a brief romantic interlude!

       3 ON A MEAT HOOK! is a doolally tale of cannibalism and everyday homicidal farm-folk- inspired by the crimes of Ed Gein. Curiously it pre-dates both DERANGED (1974) and Tobe Hooper's THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974)); but despite that fact, it's plot certainly holds few surprises for anyone who's ever seen Hitchcock's PSYCHO- and who hasn't. Actually, 3 ON A MEAT HOOK! is pretty much a loose remake of that classic- well it is if you can accept the fact that the character of Marion Crane is played by four girls in hot pants and cha-cha heels, who have a penchant for prolonged bouts of skinny-dipping. Four girls who meet suitably grisly ends- one courtesy of the worst take on PSYCHO's shower scene in living memory (this time involving a bubble bath and enthusiastic lathering); and another - it may be cheesy, but the gore is plentiful...who looses her head via a hatchet so titchy it could have barely caused a shaving nick. Billy, the teen with the continence problem, takes a stab at the Norman Bates character- a young hick who, unsure of his sanity, is convinced by his Father- a butcher famed for his sausage meat (something which should send alarm bells ringing in all but the unconscious), that he is a danger to all young women. It's all quite gory in a cheery, cheesy, veritably sleazy way; but fails as a horror movie in every other department. It has all the production values of a skid row 70's porno movie and has a score to match. In fact it is this film's music (and I use that term loosely) which will either cause you to hold the mute button in a vice like grip, or cause no end of merriment. Touching all bases, from the frankly psychotic, including a lounge-bar Gene Pitney impersonator who swoons, "People killing here and there...There isn't any love to share!", accompanied by velvet safari suited guitarists indulging in a wah-wah apocalypse; to obscene musak lifted right from insanely perky nudie travelogues!

       3 ON A MEAT HOOK! has been rescued from obscurity by those new purveyors of low budget gore flicks, exploited. Presented here in full screen; uncut and with a picture as good as you could expect for a 27 year old skid row exploitationer. It's a thoroughly deranged bad movie, but it might be worth a look out of sheer perversity; especially if you're in the right frame of mind (and you don't mind loosing it).

(Review originally appeared in the Winter '99 issue of CHAOS magazine)

BODYCOUNT 7  bodycount!   female:7 / male:0

       1) Female stabbed to death in bath
       2) Female shot in stomach with pistol
       3) Female shot in stomach with pistol
       4) Female decapitated with hatchet
       5) Female's body found (in flashback)
       6) Female whacked in the stomach with pick-axe
       7) Female whacked in the back with meat cleaver

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