Hollywood Meat Cleaver Massacre – USA, 1976 – reviews

‘An occult film so terrifying it will never be shown on TV!’

Hollywood Meat Cleaver Massacre – aka Meatcleaver Massacre; Revenge of the Dead and The Evil Force is a 1976 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Evan Lee from a screenplay by Keith Burns and Ray Atherton, with additional material by Miklos Gyulai and Steve Singer.

The movie stars Larry Justin, Bob Mead, Bob Clark and Jim Habif. Christopher Lee appears alone in opening and closing scenes that are unrelated to the film itself.

Plot:

When a “Valley College” professor specialising in ancient rites and rituals is attacked and his family killed by four of his drunken students, he summons an evil spirit to hunt down the attackers and avenge his dead loved ones…

Reviews:

“Because the plot isn’t good enough, this movie does whatever it takes to fill time. There’s a nightclub scene of a stand-up comedian making fun of gays and does a Peter Falk impersonation. Then there’s a boring five-minute long b/w nightmare scene basically featuring a guy walking around by the beach.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

“The story itself is straightforward enough, but the movie engages in arty dream sequences, one gratuitous nude scene, lots of dull stretches where nothing is happening, and the occasional surprising touch of intentional and unexpected humor that may be the best thing about the film…” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

“The most interesting thing about MM is the completely out of place Christopher Lee scenes. Lee bookends the film with two short clips (one at the beginning and one at the end) where all he does is sit in a 70’s-looking office and spout off weird stuff about the supernatural. It is entertaining, but it has nothing to do with the film.” Happyotter

“This low budget shocker was Evan Lee’s directorial debut and subsequent swan song. Despite the overall sluggish nature of the film, he shows a certain prowess behind the camera […] There is also a surprising twist involving lots of psychedelic type imagery.” Hysteria Lives!

” …it’s downright incomprehensible—the meat of the story is easy enough to follow as it unfolds, but it eventually turns on an inane twist that leaves just about all of it in doubt. Lee’s closing narration doesn’t help because he just starts to babble on about shamans before the film abruptly hits the closing credits…” Oh, the Horror!

“This low budget splatter gets points for a few moments of minor inspiration (the nightmare sequences are interesting). But the choppy plotting undermines any real tension it tries to create.”  The Terror Trap

“Several of the revenge-murders are presented in a rather surreal and even dreamlike fashion by only-time director Evan Lee (no relation, obviously, to Chris), but beyond that this is pretty standard ’70s supernatural fare, with nothing particularly to recommend for it apart from its rather aggressively languid (there’s a contradiction for you) pacing.” Trash Film Guru

Cast and characters:

  • Christopher Lee … The Host
  • Larry Justin … Mason Harrue
  • J. Arthur Craig … Detective Wexler
  • James Habif … Professor Cantrell
  • Robert Clark … Sean Allen
  • Doug Senior … Dirk Kramer
  • Bob Mead … Phil Jones
  • Alisa Beaton … Darlene
  • Pat Nagel … Sean’s Girlfriend
  • Woody Wise … Doctor
  • Paul Kelleher … Detective Shaye
  • Undine Hampton … Mrs. Cantrell
  • Lisette Kremer … Tina Cantrell (as Lisette Kramer)
  • Doug Ely … Roddy Cantrell
  • Maria Arnold … Patty (as Natasha)
  • Carol Silverman … 2nd Girl in Massage Parlour
  • Dawna Walden … 3rd Girl in Massage Parlour
  • John DeRose … Massage Parlour Bouncer
  • Charles Woodard … Street Preacher
  • Lyle Steven … Professor in Cantrell’s Class
  • Ellen Nicklous … Nurse
  • Guerdon Trueblood … Boy in Mask (as Guerdon Trueblood XIV)
  • Dorian Crane … 1st Drunk Okie
  • Phil Meyer … 2nd Drunk Okie
  • Miklos Gyulai … Campus Poet
  • Guerdon Trueblood … Nuthouse Doctor
  • Drew Michaels … 1st Medical Student
  • Don Ling … 2nd Medical Student / Monster
  • Steve Singer … Grease Monkey
  • Marge Kazan … Woman In Crowd
  • James R. Bagdonas … (as Jim Bagdonas)
  • Carol Wood … Woman In Crowd
  • Toni Teld … Man In Crowd
  • Ollie West … Man In Crowd
  • Ken Horne … Man In Crowd
  • George Selin George Selin … Man In Crowd
  • Ed Wood … Photographer

Trivia:

  • The film received a UK cinema release courtesy of distributors Brent Walker as Revenge of the Dead having been cut to 77m 21s by censorship body the BBFC.
  • There have been suggestions that Ed Wood Jr. (Plan 9 from Outer Space) was partly responsible for this movie and that he appears as a photographer, however we are currently unable to verify this.

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