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Wow. The film surprised me. I thought I would leave a comment because
this film has so few reviews. This was a very romantic torture porn
with a crazy woman who runs a restaurant and slashes her customers' or
adversaries' calves and puts them up on meathooks as if Leatherface.
But this is not The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and this is not Saw or
The film is worth watching for the visuals and great operatic music. The primary colors of blood and blue are saturated and the director makes what is boring about these types of movies vibrant. It is very eye magnetic.
I have found torture pornographies to be very dull and exploitative in a way that I do not like (e.g. Hostel 2), but this was different. And it is one of only three Thai horror films that I like. Check it out.
Buss is a disturbed lady who kills people and sometimes makes them into food. Meat Grinder is the story of how and why she came to this pretty pass, and where she goes. By all rights this should be a real winner, it has a workable story, reasonable pace and some entertaining gore and yet it actually comes out somewhat stodgy, dull in places. The trouble is mostly in the storytelling, fractured yet centred it draws shards of past and present in claustrophobic swirl about its lead, not really letting the story breath for itself or gather up a compelling sense of rhythm or flow. If the central performance were a bit better there might have been compelling emotional momentum but unfortunately Mai Charoenpura is fairly one note as Buss, cold and stressed out but not all that affecting. As a result the film is mostly interesting for the sake of various grisly moments, nothing we haven't seen before of course but some good stuff all the same, with a generally twisted edge that gives it that all important punch. Stylistic tics at times detract from affairs, like random switching between colour and black and white, but at least the nasty moments aren't spoiled by coke head edits, speedy cam or incomprehensible close ups, we still get to see the good stuff. What we don't see though is very much in the way of actual meat grinding, the title seems to have been put in place to catch the eye rather than for any great relevance to the films content. It's actually a sombre story of a woman's plight and what happens when she finally cracks, and though it follows a fairly predictable woe is the plight of the Asian woman trajectory, its still dark enough to be watchable. I'm probably making this one sound much less worthy than it is, certainly others have had stronger and more positive reactions. It does all just about hang together (aside from unexplained and irrelevant scenes involving rioters), it has some classy moments and the story works itself out in appropriately twisted fashion, but I was a bit nonplussed overall by it. Still semi worth a watch, but a good idea to suspend ones expectations and maybe have some booze or other viewing aids on hand to ease the passage. Fair 6/10 from me ('cause I'm a gorehound at heart).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me first say this! This is so god.
The cast is with Thai actors of superb class and Mai Charoenpura should with out no doubt be an Oscar nominee.
The story is really about putting things forward. A child that has been abused will most certainly abuse others.
The script is so great and the music is like Bernstein. The filming reminds of what Bergman would have done if he were producing films like this.
I'ts bloody, it is really grouse but with a purpose. Things can get messed up in the head of an child who has being raped by her father and knowing that what they are doing with other human beings ( like serving them on a dish ) is not nice in any way.
I wont take the tension away by giving any details about the movie. The only thing I can say is. WATCH THIS ONE
The title, DVD cover and blurb all conspire to make this film look like
a Thai slant on the torture porn sub-genre, but the truth is that it's
nothing like that. It's much better!
Yes, it's a gory movie in which bodily dismemberment and death play major roles, but this is only part of the movie. In many ways, MEAT GRINDER is much more of a psychological horror film, exploring one woman's mental disintegration when faced with infidelity and violence. You could take out all the blood and guts and the film would be just as effective; it works best as a character study rather than a movie that just goes out of its way to nauseate.
One thing you notice first is Tiwa Moeithaisong's direction, which is definitely above par for the genre. Moeithaisong banishes memories of poor horror fodder like GHOST GAME and HELL to tell an engaging, speedily-paced movie that doesn't let up from the word go. Mai Charoenpura's performance as the put-upon stall owner is decent, as she keeps you on-side unlike many horror villains. The film in many ways reminds one of the equally icky DUMPLINGS (which were served up containing human foetuses) but MEAT GRINDER is offbeat and engaging enough to work all of its own.
Revenge is often a dish best eaten cold. Just ask Fruit Chan, director of Dumplings (2004), originally conceived as one chapter of a three-part horror omnibus (Three Extremes) before he served up more of the same dark satire, just in larger portions, which regrettably made the bloated feature-length even harder to swallow. Tiwa Moeithaisong's Meat Grinder follows a similar recipe, and now, having finally found an overseas distributor, ominously appears on our menus for the first time. Relying more on mood rather than over the top visuals, this is a return to the intelligent side of exploitation horror. Refreshingly marinated with an intriguing story to give it flavour, and coupled with lashings and lashings of gory mayhem, Meat Grinder is an absolute treat from start to finish. DW
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This Thai horror movie to me is more of an Art film, because it is truly remarkable and it looks amazing. You might think it is more of a send off of the short film DUMPLINGS from the "Three Extremes" DVD, but this is much much more. The movie revolves around Buss a woman trying to make it with a small dumpling shop, and one day a dead guy ends up in her shop, and she decides to grind him up and add the pieces into her dumpling recipe, which is a huge hit. Yes, this sounds like Sweeney Todd a little bit, but Buss is relentless as the movie moves on with her killing of practically everybody that comes in contact with her. Her business has gotten so good, that she is running out of bodies, so she goes where she has to for the yummy ingredients who customers love. This is very very gory as Buss chops and grinds up victims, and pretty much goes berserk in the end, killing everybody in site. The photography is sensational, as is the great soundtrack. The back story is that Buss was severely abused her whole life by her Mother, and Mother comes back in the end, depending on how you interpret the ending. THIS IS NOT TO BE MISSED. It's the real deal, and whether you are a gorehound, lover of Asian horror/gore, or just love offbeat movies, "Meat Grinder" fills the bill. It's not available in the States yet on DVD, but I assume it soon will be.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know why this film isn't rated higher. Probably not so good for the faint of heart but the film displays a deeper, problematic and serious meaning. The film portrays real and serious issues in today's society which are mistreatment of women or children, mental disorders and the outcome of what it has. It shows the horror, Buss the main character, who has to deal with her mental anguish, post traumatic stress disorder from when she was younger and quickly going more and more insane leading to more people ending up on her chopping board and selling the noodles to unsuspecting customers. The acting and visuals were just brilliant. The only reason why I didn't give this a 10 is probably because, being a horror movie, it kind of dragged a bit too much on the meaning as I said above and other things and did not really pay attention to scare or horrify the viewers as much which is probably why the film didn't earn a higher rating. Other than that, it is a true Thai masterpiece.
Thai gore-fest The Meat Grinder is in the tradition of such classic
Asian shockers as The Untold Story, Human Pork Chop and There is a
Secret in my Soup, exploitative films supposedly inspired by real life
incidents wherein psychotic individuals dismember their victims, cook
them, and serve them up as a tasty meal.
In this case, the crazy chef is Buss, a demented noodle vendor who deals with unwelcome visitors to her shop by chopping them up and adding them to her menu. The product of an abusive childhood, and further mentally scarred by her adulterous husband and the death of her child, Buss is a tragic and slightly sympathetic character, but one that should be avoided at all cost lest she consider you a threat and starts to get slicey and dicey with her cleaver.
Director Tiwa Moeithaisong's film is, first and foremost, a very gruesome splatter-fest, revelling in the gory detail and an excess of bloody body parts; in this he succeeds admirably, giving fans of blood 'n' guts some really well executed and nauseatingly explicit gore. However, The Meat Grinder is also intended as an emotionally powerful psychological horror tale AND as a work of art, and here Moeithaisong isn't quite as successful, his storytelling hampered by far too much confusing cutting between present day and past events, and the 'stylish' editing/directorial techniques employed only serving to annoy and irritate.
If you're a gore-hound, The Meat Grinder is well worth seeing for the high level of splatter on display: arterial spray, severed limbs, impalements, evisceration, dismemberment. If the other aspects of the film had been as brilliantly handled as the grisly stuff, this would be 10/10 material; as it stands, 7/10 seems like a more reasonable rating.
If you thought "The Meat Grinder" was the Thai equivalent of Mrs Lovett
without Sweeney Todd, think again. This film has no humour and even
less continuity, even if it has lost something in translation. A
wretched woman who runs a noodle bar stumbles upon an amazing if
bizarre recipe. There is a riot, and one of those taking part ends up
dead on her premises. Instead of contacting the police, the army, or
whoever is running that particular town, she, well, you can probably
Now this woman has certainly had a hard life, and there is one bloke who is intent on making it even harder, but did he deserve this, and what about his henchmen? We never really understand what this film is all about, a woman's descent into madness perhaps, but it is impossible to feel sorry for her considering how much innocent blood as well as guilty blood she has on her hands.
Those who enjoy gore and special effects may find something of interest here, but enjoyment is another matter.
I have had "Meat Grinder" (aka "Cheuuat gaawn chim") on the DVD shelves
for quite a while, about two years, give or take, and never gotten
around to watching it before now. Which is odd, given the fact that I
enjoy Asian horror movies quite a lot. And now having seen "Meat
Grinder" I can say with all honesty that it is more than just your
The text advertised on the DVD cover, "SAW was just an appetizer... Welcome to the main course", is somewhat of a grotesque exaggeration, because "Saw" and "Meat Grinder" are two very different movies and two very different sub-genres of horror. The only similarity is that they are both visually graphic in terms of gore and mayhem.
The story told in "Meat Grinder" is about a street vendor in Thailand named Buss (played by Mai Charoenpura) who opens up a noodle store, where she serves dishes prepared with meat from the people she kills and stores in her basement.
Initially, the storyline is fairly simple, but it adds additional layers to the story, as this is more than just a gore movie. It also deals with the personal issues and traumas of Buss. And director Tiwa Moeithaisong managed to construct a story where the audience is gradually given more and more information and insight into the story, into what is actually going on, and into the history and trauma of the main character.
"Meat Grinder" is a very explicit graphical movie in terms of showing mutilations, gore and being shocking. As such, it is not suitable for all people. And you should take into consideration that the visuals in the movie is very realistic and very effective (in my opinion). Just a friendly reminder.
The combination of a good, albeit simple, storyline and a great character gallery and character development, alongside with some good acting performance really helped flesh out, no pun intended, "Meat Grinder" to the screen. And the overall result is an enjoyable movie about the breakdown of a woman's psyche, the fall into insanity and the brutality that she was able to dish out.
This 2009 Thai horror movie is well-worth a watch if you enjoy horror movies that has an abundance of gore and presents this in a very in-your-face graphic manner.
I am rating "Meat Grinder" six out of ten stars.
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