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The Mad Butcher (1971)
"Lo strangolatore di Vienna" (original title)

 -  Horror  -  May 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 215 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 8 critic

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)
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Title: The Mad Butcher (1971)

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Cast overview:
Otto Lehman
Franca Polesello ...
Berta Hensel
Brad Harris ...
Mike Lawrence
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Butcher - an Austrian Sweeney Todd 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?

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 Extra Weird (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Meat is Meat ...
22 November 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

When formerly respected local butcher Otto Lehmann (Buono) is released from a mental health asylum (calmly explaining he's now cured of his ills after a good lie down), his wife's incessant nagging quickly flips his crazy switch, and he soon finds his murderous impulses escalating out of his control. Intrepid local reporter Brad Harris suspects Otto might not be as cured as his small-goods, but lucky for Otto, his knackwurst are proving to be a hit, particularly with the local constabulary.

Looking at the box cover to the video version of this movie, one might be reluctant to view, for fear of the unsavoury content that might be lurking within. Having seen this movie a few times, I can say with confidence, that such a reluctance would be unwarranted. Far from being another inept slasher movie, this Italian offering is an inspired black comedy, that benefits from a deliciously maniacal performance by the inimitable slapstick villain, Victor Buono. His camp acting more than compensates for the paltry production values and often claustrophobic staging. Performances like this, underline the untimeliness of Buono's death in the early eighties.

Perhaps this was the movie from which sausages attracted the rather unpleasant colloquialism of "mystery bags"? But then "meat is meat", as they say.

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