HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
Robert the Bruce
Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, The
Kindergarten Teacher, The
Carne
Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows
Girls Town
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  Prime Cut Meat MarketBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Sissy Spacek, Angel Tompkins, Gregory Walcott, Janit Baldwin, William Morey, Clint Ellison, Howard Platt, Les Lannom, Eddie Egan
Genre: Action, Thriller, Weirdo
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: Chicago hit man Nick Devlin (Lee Marvin) is minding his own business in a bar one night when he is approached by a representative of the local gangsters. They have a proposition for him to go down to Kansas and see if he can make a troublemaker, Mary Ann (Gene Hackman) see sense and pay what he owes them. But Mary Ann is a powerful figure in Kansas, running meat processing plants and drug rings with equal skill, and he has killed the previous hoodlums who have gone to get the Chicago gangsters' money, even going as far as turning the last man into sausages. Will Nick be a match for him?

Starring two of the most virile stars of their time, Prime Cut is not short of machismo. Written by Robert Dillon, the plot is fairly straightforward, but it's the trappings surrounding it that mark it as out of the ordinary, and something that only the seventies could have come up with for a thriller. It gets to a point where you're not sure how seriously to take any of it, with its villain who treats everything in terms of cattle, including people - his wife (Angel Tompkins), an old flame of Nick's, even has a cow's name: Clarabelle.

Nick wastes no time in announcing his presence in Kansas, and the first time we see Mary Ann he is at a meat market. Sort of. The cattle here are young women from the local orphanage, who are grown until they reach the right age and sold off as sex slaves to the highest bidder. In this market, they are lying drugged and naked in straw-filled pens, just like cows or pigs. One of these girls is Poppy (Sissy Spacek), who Nick gets to live out a "rescuing the damsel in distress" fantasy with when he liberates her from Mary Ann's auction on his way out.

Mary Ann dismisses Nick's attempts to get the money, and Hackman's sinister, overbearingly cheerful peformance is a good match to Marvin's more understated, quietly humorous approach. That's not to say that Nick is not a man of steel, as we witness in the action scenes, including a shoot out at a country fair. This leads to a rural spoof on Alfred Hitchcock's famous North By Northwest set piece, with a combine harvester instead of a crop dusting aeroplane. Another strange bit has characters stand about in awe to watch the machine devour a limousine.

From its off-kilter opening with a meat factory making sausages and hamburgers accompanied by anodyne music as we see a shoe mixed among the cuts of meat, to the climax that sees Nick stabbed with, yes, another sausage, Prime Cut is determined to be unconventional. Nick may be a cold blooded killer, but he is blessed with a sense of humanity that Mary Ann does not have, and he proves it in this test of manhood that almost reduces everything to level of product and consumer. They don't make movies like this anymore, but I imagine they still make sausages in this way. Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 10689 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Ritchie  (1938 - 2001)

American director, from television, whose films of the 1970s showed an interesting, sardonic take on America. After sour skiing drama Downhill Racer, he had an unhappy experience on the bizarre Prime Cut before a run of acclaimed movies: political satire The Candidate, the excellent Smile, coarse comedy The Bad News Bears, and another sporting comedy Semi-Tough.

Moving into the 1980s, Ritchie lost his edge with such lukewarm efforts as The Island, underwhelming comedy The Survivors, the not bad Fletch and its very bad sequel, Eddie Murphy vehicle The Golden Child and The Couch Trip, but he made a brief return to form in the early 1990s with boxing comedy Diggstown.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: