3 on a Meathook!!!

WARNING: Not for the bloody mary for lunch bunch!


This one starts off with some tender porno music, a lengthy shot of something resembling a college campus, and then jumps straight into a tacky love scene with an especially nubile blonde co-ed who sports some fantastic tan lines and later slips into some devastatingly short hot pants. Welcome to the wild world of William Girdler’s “Three On A Meathook!” 

Blondie and three of her skanky gal pals take a weekend trip to the country, only to have their car break down in the middle of the night. Along comes Billy, a good natured young country bumpkin who lives with his “Paw” in their large farmhouse. Billy invites the girls back to the farm for the evening and serves them up some of Paw’s special smoked meat as a late night snack. As the girls later settle in for bed an unseen slayer makes their presence known and slaughters them one by one via stabbings, shootings, and swift beheadings! The co-eds became prime candidates for murder!

The next morning Paw wakes up Billy, who had spent the night sleeping outside in a shed, and informs him that, oops – he had done it again. Ever since the tragic death of “Maw” several years before, Paw has repeatedly told Billy that he is a cold blooded killer who can’t be around women – ever. Paw claims that crazy things happen whenever Billy gets involved with women, but Billy just can’t seem to remember ever doing anything wrong. When Billy is told he killed the four girls the night before he is shocked and horrified. Paw then thoughtfully offers to clean up the mess Billy made and gives him some money to go to town and see a movie.

Speaking of movies, the one you are currently reading about then slows down to a crawl, as we spend some quality time with Billy while he roams the streets and then gets loaded in a local dive. This part of the movie is a ruthless attempt at padding out the film’s running time, and the background music provided by a shitty bar band called “The American Xpress” is terrible and annoying to the point of ridiculousness! You will need a high tolerance for the sound of wah wah pedals if you hope to make it through the TWO horrible songs that this band plays – in their entirety, without hitting the fast forward button.

Mercifully, this torturous scene eventually ends and we then wake up the next morning with Billy inside the apartment of a waitress named Sherri. Sherri apparently took a shining to shitfaced Billy and brought him home for the evening. In arguably the most memorable scene of the entire movie, Sherry informs Billy that he had “an accident” the night before and hands him a freshly washed pair of trousers! Stale urine and love are in the air, so Billy wisely decides to invite his new pal Sherri back to his place: the same place where four girls were just violently murdered. Sherri agrees and brings along another pal to help flesh out the film’s body count. It doesn’t take long for poor Sherri to discover Paw’s padlocked shed, hooks of cold steel, and a madman on the loose!

I really enjoy this early Ed Gein inspired “meat” film from the late, great director William Girdler. William began a tragically short, yet incredibly prolific film career in 1972 with the release of his first picture – “Asylum Of Satan.” He then went on to make eight more films over the next six years, including the clas-sicks “Grizzly,” “Day Of The Animals,” and “The Manitou” before dying in a helicopter crash in 1978. “Three On A Meathook” is often dismissed as a cheap “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” knock off, but it actually proceeded TCSM by a few years. This was the FIRST flick to feature tender young girls hanging on meat hooks! This one is also a lot more gory than TCSM, and the ample bloodshed on display is more reminiscent of the clas-sick H.G. Lewis splatter flicks. That’s probably because Pat Patterson of “Doctor Gore” infamy provided the bloody special effects, which are the highlight of the film.

When the co-eds aren’t being slaughtered, the film tends to drag along. As already mentioned, the music is terrible, and the acting is also uniformly wooden and awful. Despite those rather glaring flaws this one still really works in a big way. It must have something to do with the genuinely creepy backwoods vibe that this one possesses. The actors all sleepwalk through their roles, but that weird “non acting” actually makes the film feel more gritty and realistic. The actor who played Paw – Charles Kissinger, is easily the best actor in the picture and always shows up in Girdler’s flicks. The ending of this one is shamelessly lifted from “Psycho,” but as always – they don’t call them “exploitation” flicks for nothing!

Incredibly, there has never been a proper dvd release of THREE ON A MEATHOOK. Most of William Girdler’s films have received some sort of dvd presentation, but for some reason his most graphic and notorious horror flick remains semi-obscure. A bootleg dvd was released by Televista back in 2007, and more recently CG Media Parters released a cool sounding but shitty looking double feature dvd titled “The Naked Torture Show” that includes both “Three On A Meathook” and the Veronica Lake epic “Flesh Feast.” Both of these bootleg releases were essentially vhs quality, and nothing to write home about. Hopefully someone will come along and eventually give this one the type of special edition release it truly deserves. The eye catching title alone should ensure that this cannibal clas-sick won’t ever slip into complete obscurity. Definitely a must-see flick for fans of old school backwoods brutality!


2 Responses to “3 on a Meathook!!!”

  1. Dave Callahan Says:

    I haven’t watched this! I refuse to watch it until I locate a VHS copy!

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