The Corpse-Grinders 2
Professor Mikoff calls McBride to tell him what he has found in the cat food. He discovered a number of chemicals that shouldn't be in there, such as nicotine and alcohol. After they hang up, Mikoff remarks that the only place all of those chemicals are found is in human flesh. Now, one would assume that since this respected scientists has just discovered that Lotus cat food is made from human tissue, he might try to shut them down. At the very least, he would use this knowledge in some way, shape, or form that would have some bearing on the rest of the movie. Nope. Never comes up again, actually. Instead, he becomes interested in cannibalism and applies for a grant to study it further. He never even shares a scene with any of the Lotus people. That's right, Ted V. Mikels botches his own character so badly that he gives himself the key to turning the plot of the entire movie around, then essentially writes himself out of the movie. Smooth move, jackass.
A couple of the men in black show up at Lotus Foods to inquire about the ASTAPP officer who went missing. Landau just tells them that no one ever came by, and the agents go on their way. Isn't that nice? What a great world it would be if you could just tell government agents any old lie you wanted and have them believe you.
IRS Agent: "You didn't pay your taxes this year. You're going to jail."
You: "Uh... sure I did!"
IRS Agent: "Well, all records, signs, and probabilities point toward the incontrovertible fact that you didn't, but okay, sorry to bother you!"
After dodging the feds, Landau and Maltby get down to more business. They talk with two thugs about hiring them to prowl the streets, murder random people, and bring the bodies back to them. Okay, now the business has gone from digging up freshly buried bodies to actually murdering people in large numbers. That's a bit of a moral leap for a cat food company, but okay. Whatever. The thugs want a thousand dollars for every person they kill. Landau offers them a hundred. The thugs walk out in a thuggish huff. Landau has some serious issues when it comes to determining how low people will go for a certain price. No one is going to dig up dead bodies for twenty bucks a head and no one is going to kill large numbers of people for a hundred dollars each. Jesus, you'd think the guy has never bought on the black market before. So Lotus doesn't get their hired killers, but they still manage to do quite well in the competitive cat food market.
When Angie can't find any Lotus food in the stores, she looks up the factory's address and decides to pay them a visit. She leaves a note for Howard telling him where she has gone, of course. How nice that she can just take off from her shift at the hospital to go find her favorite kind of cat food like that. I'm glad that medical professionals have that sort of flexibility. Really. I am. When she arrives at the factory, Landau is out again and Maltby is busy again, so Tim answers the door... again. He nearly bursts into tears when she asks to come in, because now he's really not supposed to let people in, since the last person he let in had a "bad accident." He then promptly lets Angie in. He tells her to wait for one of the other employees to come show her around, so of course she doesn't. I don't know what's wrong with people in this movie. Every simple task becomes incredibly complicated for some reason.
Eventually, Angie wanders to a door with numerous signs on it that make it clear that she should stay the fuck out, so she goes in. It's obvious once she opens the door that it actually leads to the outside. In fact, we actually see people use that door to go outside later in the movie. This time, however, it somehow leads to the grinder room. As soon as she steps in, Maltby grabs her from behind and she passes out. When she comes to, she is in an office flanked by Landau and Maltby. She believes she fainted and has no idea of any wrongdoing. In short, she's an idiot. She blathers on for a while about how much Kitty loves their cat food until Landau agrees to give her a couple cases full and sends her on her way. As soon as they get outside, Howard pulls up. He's pissed at Angie for having the gall, the audacity, the sheer nerve to dare go to a cat food factory without his strict male supervision. They both drive off. And so, Howard, the suspicious doctor who called for the investigation of the company's formula in the first place, and Angie, the nurse who made it inside their facility, leave the movie forever. Once again, some side characters had the chance to gain information that could shut Lotus down for their crimes against humanity, but instead they just fizzle out and fade away. Man, this movie is a roller coaster ride of disappointment!
McBride holds a stockholder meeting when Felina makes an offer to buy out Lotus for whatever it takes. McBride tells the shareholders that there is a generous offer on the table, but he doesn't tell them how much. Then he opens up the floor for question. Pasty buttertroll after pastry buttertroll sucks up valuable oxygen to spew out some asinine opinion or ask some pointless question, but nobody ever asks how much the offer is for or how much they could stand to make. You see, they're all far to concerned about holding onto their stock so they can make millions to bother with selling their stock and making millions. It all makes perfect sense, once you suffer enough head trauma. One of the shareholders calls for a vote and they unanimously vote against selling (or, to use the movie's language, in favor of not selling) without ever hearing a price. Felina is crushed. Well, not really. She just walks out without expressing any emotion whatsoever, but we can assume it's only because her poor, cat-person heart is too overwhelmed. Really, it has nothing to do with her bad acting or the fact that this movie blows harder than a middle school klezmer band. Really.
Landau has another run-in with some men in black. This time, though, they don't want to talk about the missing agent. Yeah, they've pretty much given up on that one. Just another unsolved crime. In fact, since they felt Landau and Lotus Foods were just so trustworthy, they want to purchase four hundred cases of cat food on behalf of an alien entity, with approval from the President. Landau and Maltby are both skeptical of this "alien entity" business. As well they should be. That's one of those things that it's definitely okay to be skeptical about. In fact, I can't imagine why agents of ASTAPP, an organization that exists to cover up the existence of aliens to prevent public panic, would even say anything about aliens at all. Oh wait! Could it... could it be that this movie blows goats? Oddly enough, Landau is actually more skeptical about the fact that the President is involved. He seems to have a great deal of trouble believing that the President really exists. He keeps referring to him as "Your mister President" the way one might say "your voices" to a crazy person or "your Holocaust" to a Jew. The agents say they are giving Maltby and Landau ten thousand dollars in cash, then hand Landau what is clearly a check. Now, I don't have a cat, so I don't know how much cat food goes for these days, but they're paying ten thousand up front, then considerably more upon delivery of four hundred cases, and it looks like they put about twenty cans in each case. Exactly how much are they charging to possibly justify costs that high? Well, that's government spending for you. Once the agents leave, Maltby asks to split the money, but Landau convinces him to let him hold onto it all for now. They then get to work contacting all of their associates to get ready for the huge order.
Cleo is reading in bed, when all of a sudden, a really bad special effect happens right there in her bedroom! It looks like the bubbles you see coming out of the filter in a fishtank. When the bubbles fade, there is an alien in the room. Not a cat-person or even a dog-person from Traxis, but a little gray guy with big eyes and foam fingers. Cleo starts screaming, as does the audience, who is now thoroughly confused by the direction this movie is heading. The alien fades away in another show of fishtank bubbles, but Cleo keeps on screaming. Caleb finally comes in to see what all the hubbub is about. She won't stop screaming, so Caleb tries to calm her down by gently throttling her to death. Man, Cleo was way off base with that whole "God is going to get you" thing. Turns out Caleb is fine, and she got killed! Ha! And then Caleb sells her body to Lotus Foods for fifty bucks! Ha!
One of the bums Landau hired lets himself into the grinder room and finds all of the bodies. Landau traps him inside and asks him if he'd like a closer look at how the food is made. Now, mind you, the bum has already asserted out loud that the food is made out of people. He knows this for a fact. And even so, he is positively eager when Landau asks him if he wants a closer look. Surprise, surprise, he ends up as cat food. When Landau returns to the office, the fishtank bubble effect appears and a few of the men in black are suddenly standing there! So now the agents of ASTAPP can teleport like aliens, which are different from the other aliens that this movie is actually about. This raises the question, at precisely what point during the writing process did Ted V. Mikels have a stroke? The agents tell Landau and Maltby to deliver the good on time. When Landau asks how they just materialized like that, the agents reply that they know the secret of dimensional field technology, as well as who built the pyramids and the origins of crop circles. Then they dematerialize again in a haze of bubbles. Now the audience is left wondering, what did they mean by those cryptic messages, and, oh right, what does ANY of that have to do with ANYTHING?
Landau and Maltby make their delivery of four hundred cases to the designated drop site near the cat-people's spaceship. Some ASTAPP officials give them their money, which again Maltby wants to split, but Landau keeps. The cat-people transport the cases of food into the ship using the same annoying bubble effect, which makes me wonder why Landau and Maltby had to deliver the food at all. The cat-people then say their goodbyes and prepare to leave. Before they do, however, Professor Mikoff arrives and asks to go with them. Having never met this man before and without asking him any questions about his intentions, they agree. Mikoff, Felina, Borath, and Fat Guy lift off and fly away in the midst of a really bad special effect, which is actually superimposed over another really bad special effect, and that one doesn't even make sense. As the ship flies away, looking ridiculous enough already, there is the red light that continues to flash. It is not attached to the ship or anything in the background, it's just a red light that produced a ring of redness around a portion of the screen that keeps flashing. There is no explanation or reason for this effect and it does nothing but detract from the shot. It's like the entire movie condensed into just a few frames. How wonderful.
In case you didn't catch it in the last paragraph, that confusing effect was the end of the movie. It just ends right there. The cat-people return to Ceta with Mikoff and a bunch of Lotus cat food, which is, of course, made from people. They still have that water problem, though. Oh, and they'll have to get through a Traxis blockade to get home, and even if they make it through, there will still be a war going on which they will still be losing. Back on Earth, Caleb never gets his comeuppance and Landau and Maltby not only don't get caught making cat food out of cadavers, they get rewarded by the United States government for it! All that crap with the agents teleporting never goes anywhere, and the little gray man in Cleo's bedroom is never explained. Add in Howard and Angie, who come close, but never actually learn the secret of Lotus cat food, and Professor Mikoff, who knew the secret but never told anyone, and you've got enough failed subplots to fuel a dozen movies nowhere near as crappy as this one. Worst of all, because there are so many loose ends, Ted V. Mikels leaves himself room for another sequel in another twenty-eight years.
The combination of the pathetic storyline from the original "Corpse-Grinders" and the new elements in this entry is like watching two short busses in a head-on collision. Sure, it's a terrible tragedy, but there's something horribly funny about it. It's hard to pick one role in which Ted V. Mikels fails particularly badly. Whether as an actor, writer, director, or producer, he never seems to know what he's doing or what his own vision is supposed to be. By the last twenty minutes of this movie, you just want fire to rain down from the sky and kill everyone. Sure it would be completely random and totally unexplained, but that would be par for the course, and at least that would end the torment. But Mikels could never pull off the effects necessary for fire from the skies. It would end up being small torn pieces of red construction paper tossed in handfuls over the set by some guy on a ladder who would inevitably end up in the shot. Everything in "The Corpse-Grinders 2" is a failed attempt at something that was a bad idea to begin with. There is no real music to speak of in the movie, just the same repetitive horror chords that sound like they were stolen from a Kefka scene in Final Fantasy III. At least a good quarter of the dialogue is lost to the godawful sound quality. I realize that this movie was made on a budget that must have been nearly nonexistent, but if you don't have the money to make an effect at least passably convincing, why would you bother to use the effect? The special effects in this cinematic war crime aren't just bad, they're so bad that they become the focus of whatever scene they're in, and thus they detract from everything else that is going on. And dear sweet Jesus, the cat-people and dog-people should all be given medals by Congress for having the balls to not change their names and addresses or just flat out kill themselves after being filmed wearing such stupid costumes. Beware of this movie. It will leave visions of meat squeezing out of tubes scorched into your brain until your dying day. However, while it does teach the lesson that acting with no concern for the moral or societal consequences leads to untold success, the movie does have very few naughty words, so the Christian Right should approve. Hooray!
|Special Effects:||- 10|
|Music / Sound:||- 8|
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).