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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


An Insane Butcher Creates Tasty Sausage With Grisly Ingredients See more »




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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 Movie Macabre: The Mad Butcher See more »

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User Reviews

Macabre black comedy with Victor Buono in fine form as a Sweeney Todd-type Austrian butcher.
15 July 2000 | by (Isle of Man) – See all my reviews

Odd blend of black humour and gruesomeness featuring a good, over-the-top performance from Buono, whose bulk and mild manner make for an effective psychopath.

The story is a Sweeney Todd rehash that catches the sinister aspects, while retaining the comic elements and being relatively gore-free.

Otto Lehman is shown to be sexually inadequate and belittled by his wife, resorting to voyeurism to satisfy his desires as he spies on a woman across the street. His frustrations trigger his aggression, while the butcher theme is used as a means of disposing of bodies, but isn't the motive for the killings.

Obvious similarities to 'Psycho' and 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'; also real-life German serial killers Fritz Haarman and Peter Kurten.

The film has enough to recommend it as an above average entry into the slasher genre, although the light hearted approach does tend to outweigh the horror elements too much.

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