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The Mad Butcher (1971)

Lo strangolatore di Vienna (original title)
R | | Horror | May 1974 (USA)
After being released from a mental hospital, Otto returns to his old job as a butcher. He tries to adjust to his new life, but after a bitter argument with his wife, he accidentally kills ... See full summary »


(as John Zurli)


, (as Robert H. Oliver) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
Otto Lehman
Franca Polesello ...
Berta Hensel
Dario Michaelis ...
Inspector Klaus
Karin Field ...
Hanna Lehman (as Karen Field)
Luca Sportelli ...
Karl Brunner
Hansi Linder ...
Frieda Ulm
Tina Buranzo ...
(as Tina Buronzo)
Giacomo Pergola
Dino Peretti
Claudio Trionfi


After being released from a mental hospital, Otto returns to his old job as a butcher. He tries to adjust to his new life, but after a bitter argument with his wife, he accidentally kills her. Fearing he will be sent back to the hospital, he grinds up her body and sells it as sausages. As friends and relatives start asking questions about her disappearance, they too start ending up in the butcher's display case. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wait 'til you learn what mixture of meats go into those incredible sausages..! See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

May 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mad Butcher  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Also shown in the US as "Meat Is Meat". See more »

Crazy Credits

The words "Buon appetito" appear over the final shot, a close-up of the sausages made when Victor Buono falls into the meat-grinding machine. After a few seconds, the letter "O" is added, changing the caption to "Buono appetito." See more »


Featured in A Visit with Harry (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Now, I Know How They Make Vienna Sausage!

The film opens with the line "Meat is Meat(alternate title as well), and just like that a B foreign horror film is a B foreign horror film. If you were expecting anything too grandiose, look not here to be sure. Nevertheless, as foreign B horror films go, one could do far worse than The Mad Butcher. Victor Buono sweats his way through the film as an Austrian butcher being released from a madhouse where he spent the last three years for throwing liver at a woman. Boy, with crimes being dealt with in that fashion just think what would happen if it were something else! Upon returning "home," Buono refuses to go home with his wife and soon occupies the spare room above his neglected butcher shop. Things were bad whilst he was gone: the shop is filthy, his brother-in-law is working behind the counter with dirty fingernails, and meat has risen in price catastrophically. Well, what do you expect with Buono in a loveless marriage where his wife controls the purse strings and orders him about? Meat du jour no doubt. The film has all those tantalizing ingredients so common to horror films of the 70s. Shocking violence(at least the suggestion of it) and gratuitous sex(here lots of frontal nudity and some scenes of a suggestive nature). Buono plays the Sweeny Todd type well. He definitely has a certain charisma despite his girth and swarthy elements. He literally pours perspiration throughout the whole movie. The rest of the cast does equally well in what is really a black comedy about a mad butcher who is really quite insane. I did tire of American actor Brad Harris in the hero role, however. The settings are very impressive and the music by Allesandro Allesandroni is compelling. As soon as I heard the catchy, kitschy music I knew I was familiar with it and its sound. Alllesandroni worked with Ennio Morricone in some of the Clint Eastwood westerns of the 60s and the style is unmistakable. The film is not particularly bloody at all, though the opening shots of raw meat being sliced were somewhat distasteful. The film never for one instant tries to take itself too terribly serious, yet it never descends into straight farce either. For its kind of film, it is a cut above the rest.

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