A bounty of special features and a cheesy but fun flick make the latest from Vinegar Syndrome a delicious dish worth digging into.
If you’re a fan of trashy, gore-filled, black comedy horror flicks then Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies is the movie for you. It never takes itself too seriously, and neither should the audience.
Auntie Lee (Karen Black) bakes exquisite meat pies that are popular in the area. They are so tasty and popular that she sells them to local grocery stores where they often sell out. The secret, according to Auntie Lee, is in the herbs and spices. But the real secret is that the ingredient is human meat.
Using her four beautiful nieces to lure men into her butcher shop, Auntie Lee has built up a popular business and feeds her and her nieces’ lust for murder. Things start to go awry when one of her nieces picks up a future meat pie, Ben Evans (Stephen Quadros). Unknown to the women, Ben’s father has hired a private investigator to follow him.
As the body count goes up, the investigator and the local chief of police, Chief Koal (Pat Morita), get closer to discovering the truth about Auntie Lee, her girls, and her famous meat pies.
Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies is not a good movie, mostly hobbled by a weak script that relies on painfully bad sexual innuendo jokes. They are too tired to be offensive and are more akin to “dad jokes.”
The movie is ridiculous, and the cast knows exactly what kind of movie they are in.
They seem to be having fun with this movie and are all in on the zaniness of the flick.
The cast doesn’t wink at the audience as much as they go all-in on the fun of the movie. Michael Berryman plays a slow handyman who helps the women dispose of the mens’ cars and carry the men to the kitchen when needed. Pat Morita hams it up as a chain-smoking, sword-wielding, chief of police in a small town.
Karen Black steals the movie as the title character who gleefully chops up body parts, lectures her nieces on the dangers of having sex with their prey, and leading Satanic prayers.
Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies is described by some of the cast, in the bonus feature interviews, as being similar to movies like Tobe Hooper’s classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Sweeney Todd. It does have some passing similarities to those two movies, but it has more in common with the crazed Tobe Hooper sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Both are black comedies with body parts and gore aplenty.
Vinegar Syndrome has included four interviews with the cast and the head of makeup effects for the movie. The interviews are well worth checking out, as they all make it a point to keep the discussion to Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies, without too much diversion to stories about their career. This is something that happens in many interviews where the interviewees will talk a little bit about the movie on the disc and delve more into their career as an actor, producer, artist, etc.
Michael Berryman does touch on some things outside the movie, especially the reactions to him after he played the part of Pluto in Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes. Berryman tells a hilarious story about Craven convincing him to dress up as Pluto to scare moviegoers at a drive-in theater that was showing The Hills Have Eyes.
The two other cast members interviewed, and the effects artist all have fond memories of their time making Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies. They point out that the set was professional but fun, and they all make note that the director used to make pornographic movies.
These are fun and short interviews and give some insight into what it was like being on set, and working with genre legends like Michael Berryman, Karen Black, and Pat Morita.
There isn’t a trailer included on the disc, but Vinegar Syndrome did include a video by Kaci, The Homicidal Homemaker. Kaci gives a quick tutorial on how to make your own Auntie Lee Meat Pie! Kaci is a vegetarian and makes hers with a meat substitute, but don’t let that stop you from using the recipe to make your own meat pie with whatever ingredients you find in the fridge or hitchhiking along the highway.
Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies is a fun, over-the-top, comedy cannibal flick that revels in its corny, trashy settings. Just sit back and enjoy the gonzo ending that includes an adult baby, a tiny Stonehenge replica, and a giant snake room.
Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies is not a good movie, but it’s a blast to watch.
The features are strong for this Vinegar Syndrome release, and all the interviewees are entertaining while they tell their on-set stories. The addition of The Homicidal Homemaker segment is a nice surprise, and I hope Kaci gets an opportunity to provide more material for future Vinegar Syndrome horror releases.
THE SPECIAL FEATURES
- Newly scanned and restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative
- “Express with Less” — an interview with actor Michael Berryman (19:48 minutes)
- “Blood in the Pool” — an interview with makeup effects artist Roy Knyrim (12:16 minutes)
- “So Bad it’s Good” — an interview with actor Richard Vidan (10:05 minutes)
- “Say Yes” — an interview with actor Grant Cramer (17:10 minutes)
- “Recipe for Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies” — by The Homicidal Homemaker (3:11 minutes)
- Reversible cover artwork
- English SDH subtitles
- Limited edition slipcover (designed by Tom Hodge of The Dude Designs — limited to 5,000 units)
For more information and to purchase Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies, visit Vinegar Syndrome here.