Three on a Meathook (1973) (DVD Review)
Directed By: William Girdler
Starring: Charles Kissinger, James Carroll Pickett, Sherry Steiner
Rated: UR/Region: O/1:33/Number of disc: 1
Available from Substance
Starring Charles Kissinger and James Pickett. Three On A Meathook is an exciting horror movie extensively based on the gruesome deeds of real-life killer Ed Gein. Four girls on their way home from a weekend at the lake find themselves stranded when their car stalls. A nice local boy offers them accommodations at the farm house he shares with his father. Ghastly murder ensues a-la “Psycho” with lots of blood and gratuitous nudity. The father defends his innocent son, as he has in the past, when the boy is blamed for the blood bath. Later, when the boy meets a girl and begins falling in love, the father dreads a repeat performance.
I’ve seen a lot of VHS tapes of Three on a Meathook. Not because a lot of folks own the VHS, but because some dude on the VHS collector’s group on Facebook has a whole heck of a lot of them and always posts pictures of his ever-growing Three on a Meathook VHS collection. If you, however, want to see what this movie would look like on VHS without owning an actual VHS (good luck finding one anyway), you could settle for the Substance DVD release here, which actually looks like a VHS transfer. It is the best of both worlds!! Or, maybe not, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the movie isn’t that bad. Sure, there is a pretty obvious twist ending, but outside of that I could actually kind of dig it. There is some moments of pretty cool gore here and there and the movie even has a bit of an atmosphere! That could just be the old look, but I’m going to go ahead and just give this one the benefit of the doubt and just say it was all some odd part of the plan to make a movie like Three on a Meathook watchable! You might not love it, but I think you will be able to at least find something about it that you kind of like before the ending roles around. Even if it is just the few minutes of gore, which I wanted more of, but will take what I could get out of it.
Now, I’m not saying you will watch this and rush out to by 60 something copies of it on VHS (or even the DVD here), but I do think you will get enough out of it to at least not be bored while watching. There is some interesting character stuff going on here, even if there is a few things that you might be able to see coming from a mile away. Heck, I think Steve Wonder could have seen a few of these things coming from a mile away. There is at least a mood with this one that makes it seem a lit creeper and more spooky than it might be if you did see it on a crystal clear DVD or HD transfer. There have been some things lost over the year with the better transfers when it comes to gritty horror movies and I think this DVD shows it. Maybe the look is why some folks still buy all the horror VHS they can find today. There isn’t much more to the meathooks than what you see on the box and the title, so if you just don’t go into this one thinking you will be seeing the second coming of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and you should be alright with the end results.