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The Mad Butcher (1971) More at IMDbPro »Lo strangolatore di Vienna (original title)

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Release Date:
May 1974 (USA) See more »
Meat is Meat, But This Sausage is Special! See more »
After being released from a mental hospital, Otto returns to his old job as a butcher. He tries to adjust to his new life... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Wow, this could have been a lot better.... See more (16 total) »


  (in credits order)

Victor Buono ... 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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dick Randall ... Police officer (uncredited)

Directed by
Guido Zurli  (as John Zurli)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Dag Molin 
Dick Randall  (as Robert H. Oliver)
Karl Ross  story

Produced by
Gene Corso .... executive producer
Dag Molin .... producer
Dick Randall .... producer
Original Music by
Alessandro Alessandroni  (as Alex Alexander)
Cinematography by
Enrico Betti Berutto  (as Enrico Betti)
Film Editing by
Graham Lee Mahin 
Art Direction by
Francesco Di Stefano  (as Frank Di Stefano)
Costume Design by
Gloria Cardi 
Makeup Department
Lilli Bridges .... hair stylist
Diana Green Rose .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fabian Tucker .... assistant director
Sound Department
Ted Case .... sound mixer
Special Effects by
Ron Post .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Hank Betz .... camera operator

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Lo strangolatore di Vienna" - Italy (original title)
See more »
83 min | UK:84 min | USA:81 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Also shown in the US as "Meat Is Meat".See more »
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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Wow, this could have been a lot better...., 6 November 2009
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

The idea behind LO STRANGOLATORE DI VIENNA ("The Mad Butcher" or "Meat is Meat") is not exactly original. Back in the 1920s, there were two versions of the story of Sweeney Todd, several sound versions since as well as the Sondheim play. Also, in more recent years, films like EATING RAOUL and THE CORPSE GRINDERS all had very similar themes of cannibalism. So, to make the film work well amidst all these similar films, it had to offer something more--a better sense of black humor or perhaps more terror. Unfortunately, this film offers none of these--it's just a bad film that missed its chance to be funny or entertaining.

The film starts well. Victor Buono is being released from a mental hospital after a three year stay. However, unlike what you'd expect, he does not want to go. After you see his awful wife (an annoying harpy) and leech of a brother-in-law, you understand why. At first, things go well--Buono is happy to be back at his job as the owner of a butcher shop--but he absolutely refuses to go home to live with these creeps. At this point, I liked the film--it had a nice quirky sense of humor.

Unfortunately, the film soon digressed into a mix between a sex film (with ample boobage) and a super-low budget film--as evidenced by terrible dialog and cheesy action. In fact, once the killings started, the fun stopped--and it SHOULD have reveled in a campy dark sense of humor. To make things worse, all humor or attempts at humor disappeared at the end--and the film just seemed sick, as the guy you wanted to like (the butcher) started becoming more of a sick pervert--and it's very uncomfortable laughing at a guy who is essentially a sex offender AND murderer. Killing people in funny ways can be funny to some, but rape is a sure comedy killer. It made the film seem much more exploitative and less watchable or fun.

Overall, a very bad film that should have been a lot better. Even THE CORPSE GRINDERS (a very bad film) is much better than this mess. Unsavory and difficult to like...even on a kitsch level.

Cliché #22 alert: This film features a fight near the end where the hero is attempting to rescue the damsel from the maniac. During the entirety of this fight, she just stands there and watches--offering no help at all! Frankly, if such a dumb cliché were true, I would say that he'd be best to just let the dumb lady die!! After all, she'd too stupid to live!!

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