Film Review: The Corpse Grinders (1971)

Also known as: Night of the Howling Beast, The Flesh Grinders
Release Date: May 19th, 1971
Directed by: Ted V. Mikels
Written by: Arch Hall Sr., Joseph Cranston
Music by: Ted V. Mikels, Jack Millman
Cast: Sean Kenney, Monika Kelly, Sanford Mitchell, J. Byron Foster, Warren Ball, Ann Noble

CG Productions, T.V. Mikels Film Corporation, 72 Minutes


This is one of those movies I have heard people whisper about for years before finally seeing it. Also, it is the first film that I have reviewed for Cinespiria that didn’t have a Wikipedia page. Strange, considering I have seen it mentioned in several books and talked about by several cult film fans for a long time. I didn’t think it was so underground that it wouldn’t at least have a blurb on the Internet’s greatest gift after free streaming HD porn, Wikipedia.

The Corpse Grinders, like most of the cult films that are regarded for being pinnacles of gore, violence and sick shit, just doesn’t live up to the hype built up by the words of others over the years. And that’s fine, maybe my mind envisions sicker shit than most of the grindhouse filmmakers from the golden age of splatter flicks.

The story follows these two sick guys that start putting human beings in their cat food. They then distribute the cat food out in the world, which causes the cats that eat it to develop a craving for human flesh. Cats start eating people, other people get ground up and stuffed into cans and not much else happens really.

The film comes in at a meager 72 minutes, which is fine because it isn’t in anyway a well written spectacle that needs more time than that to hit all its points. Yeah, there are a few gross moments but nothing all that disturbing. The worst of it is a cat autopsy, where the cat is already cut open with some intestines hanging out. The only other nasty thing is seeing a girl shoved into the giant meat grinder where the camera pans over to the other end, showing ground up meat falling into a pail. Sure, it’s disturbing but it isn’t anything jaw dropping or game changing. I’m sure that in 1971 it was a much bigger deal though.

The Corpse Grinders is very poorly acted, shot and directed. The lighting is too dark, most of the time. The sets look cheaper than Chinese drywall. But all in all, it is at least as entertaining enough to fill up its 72 minutes. Any longer and this would be a bonafide snoozefest.

Also, the girl in panties on the couch drinking a Budwesier out of a glass is a pretty stunning babe until her cat starts mauling her. Even then, she’s still better looking than most of the girls you’ll find in this sort of picture.

Rating: 4/10

2 thoughts on “Film Review: The Corpse Grinders (1971)

  1. Yeah, you don’t go in to a TVM movie expecting the glories of, say, an HGL film (I kill me!) Seriously, the movie is good via Rifftrax, and merely OK if you’re watching it on your own. It SHOULD be a hell of a lot better, as there’s Tura Satana and meat grinding, but nope! I hate to say it, but it may be a bit tame, especially for the 1970s.


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