(Weird) Watching with Alex, Episode 6: Lunch Meat

Lunch Meat [1987]
Directed/Written by: Kirk Alex
Featuring: Ashlyn Gere, Chuck Ellis & Joe Ricciardella
Produced by: Pamela Phillips Oland
(Distributed by Tapeworm Video Distributors)
Category: Hillbilly Horror

Even if you’re not into exploitation cinema you’re probably familiar with the plot line of college kids going out to the woods and getting killed by crazy rednecks. As is common with these movies, all of the students run together until it’s almost impossible to remember whose name was what so bear with me if I get hazy. The one exception for me is the character named Cary who, along with being the rich, sniveling prig dressed like a yuppie, sounds and looks a lot like Harold Ramis if Ramis had been a whiney little bitch.

Our crazed redneck family du jour consists of Paw, the hardened, gravel-voiced patriarch; Harley, the bearded son clad in flannel; Elwood, the peeping-tom with a hankering for candy bars who can’t stop wetting his pants; Benny, the hulking dimwit with an odd fixation on a caged chicken that he carries everywhere; and The Truck, a vehicle that deserves a spot on the Great Horror Cars list right up there with Sam Raimi’s Classic. The family makes their living selling meat to a hamburger joint in town and it’s on this particular delivery that Harley and Elwood take note of the group of city kids stopped over for lunch; the sequence of them all digging into their burgers in complete silence inter-cut with Harley hefting full trash bags through the back door has a nice “queasy” factor. Upon returning with Paw’s money and informing him of the students, Paw gets an idea that ought to increase future earnings.

What ensues is a trap-and-chase that lasts the rest of the movie as the crazed entrepreneurs pursue and kill the students in the deep woods. Well, Paw, Harley and Elwood do anyway. Benny’s too impatient or simple to bother with any of it and just starts chowing down on the first Dead Student. He will continue doing just that for most of the movie, providing almost all of the overt cannibalism in the movie unless you don’t want to count the earlier burgers since the kids couldn’t have known what they were made of, in which case Benny provides all the cannibalism.

There are plenty of gore and shock moments but I think it’s the score that accompanies most of the action that’s the strongest element. It’s not much more than an electronic loop but it’s deep, dark, and perfectly captures the tone of what’s playing out in these woods. There’s no shriek-styled noise to announce a scare, just that constant death march that reflects the killers who will not stop until they’ve gotten every last one of these city folk.

Favored Ability: CON. They are merciless, relentless, and seemingly unstoppable. You’ll have to be likewise or you’ll either end up on the menu or between Benny’s gross teeth.

Rating: 3/5 (Average) [+1 Shovel Combo, +1 Music, +1 Tough-Ass Truck]
Almost everything about this movie is predictable. Fans of the genre won’t find anything new in Lunch Meat but the trip is still fun and even suspenseful every now and then. I have nothing bad to say, this is your average exploitation horror fare and as long as you aren’t expecting incredible things (If you’re watching a movie called Lunch Meat, you shouldn’t be in the first place.) you’re sure to get some entertainment for your troubles.

Catch Lunch Meat on your Roku’s TEN TV station.

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