• Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: August 31st, 2021.
    Director: Joseph F. Robertson
    Cast: Karen Black, Pat Morita, Michael Berryman, Teri Weigel, Werner Pochath, Kristine Rose
    Year: 1992
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    Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies – Movie Review:

    What happens when the director of porno movies like The Long Ranger and Snow Honeys and trash like The Love Feast teams up with exploitation/adult film actress Teri Weigel (of Savage Beach) and legitimate name actors like Karen Black and… Pat Morita to make a low budget horror movie? Throw in Michael Berryman of The Hills Have Eyes and Playboy covergirl Kristine Rose and some bad eighties metal-punks and you wind up with the eminently watchable disaster that is 1992’s Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies.

    You want to know what it’s all about, huh? Well, Auntie Lee (Karen Black) and her four smoking hot ‘nieces’ - Fawn (Rose), Magnolia (Ava Fabian), Coral (Weigel) and Sky (Pia Reyes) – have made quite a name for themselves with their catering business wherein they dish up the best meat pies that anyone has ever had. Auntie Lee, of course, has a secret ingredient that she won’t divulge to anyone, but again, of course, we know that it’s human flesh. The movie doesn’t try to hide this, nor does it really need to.

    Anyway, having four hot young women around means that it’s easy for Lee, with some help from her dimwitted assistant Larry (Michael Berryman), to ensure that she never runs out of product. Horny guys prove to be easy prey and her ‘nieces’ are only too happy to help her out by using what they’ve got to lure dumb dudes in to be ground into fresh chuck. Things are going swimmingly for all involved until a gang of metal-punk early nineties dirt bag guys show up. They suspect shortly after their arrival that something might be amiss, and while all of this is going on, Police Chief Koal (Morita) and a private detective named Harold Ivars (David Parry) start poking about, trying to figure out what happened to the missing Bob Evans (Stephen Quadros).

    This is a ridiculous, garish turd of a film but it’s a very watchable, garish turd of a film. It doesn’t ask much of its audience and while it, sadly, doesn’t deliver the nudity that you’d expect given some of the people involved in its creation, it does build to a pretty wonky finale and make use of a pretty interesting cast even if the acting is, typically, less than great. The ‘name’ actors do fine – Karen Black, Michael Berryman and Pat Morita (ha!) – but some of the bit part players, well, they’re a little rough at times. Still, the movie has its goofy charm and, as light entertainment that never quite goes as far as you want it to in terms of horror or trash elements, it’s amusing enough.

    Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies – Blu-ray Review:

    Vinegar Syndrome brings Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies to region free Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.85.1 widescreen with the feature taking up 29.8GBs of space on the 50GB disc. Restored in 4k from the original 35mm negative, it’s hard to find anything to complain about here in regards to the picture quality. Detail is very strong and those garish colors really pop. Depth and texture are generally nice and impressive and the image always looks like film. There aren’t any problems here with any noise reduction, edge enhancement or compression artifacts to note. All in all, it looks really good.

    The English language DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo track on the disc is good. Optional subtitles are provided in English only and an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track is also included.

    Extras start off with the twenty-minute Express With Less, a new interview with the always excellent Michael Berryman who speaks being excited to get the chance to work alongside Karen Black and Pat Morita, thoughts on his character and what he was able to bring to the role and his appreciation of the fans that continue to appreciate and enjoy his work in this and other films. Blood In the Pool is an interview with makeup effects artist Roy Knyrim that runs for twelve minutes. He goes over how much he enjoyed working on the film, what was required of him during the production, some of the quirkier tasks he had to deal with and what went into creating some of the props featured in the picture. So Bad It’s Good is an interview with actor Richard Vidan that clocks in at just over ten minutes and covers how he wound up in the movie, his thoughts on filming the rape sequence in the movie and the difficulties of having to act with a prosthetic on your head. Actor Grant Cramer is up next in the seventeen minute Say Yes, where he discusses where his career was at the time he decided to appear in this movie (spoiler alert: it wasn't in a good place), and how he then decided to get into other aspects of filmmaking aside from acting in front of the camera.

    The disc also includes a three minute piece with ‘The Homicidal Homemaker’ (check out her YouTube channel, it’s pretty fun) wherein she comes up with a recipe for Auntie Lee’s meat pies. Menus and chapter selection options are also included and this release comes packed with some nice reversible cover sleeve artwork.

    Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies – The Final Word:

    Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies isn’t an unsung classic but it’s a mildly amusing mix of horror and comedy with some interesting cast members and some genuinely weird style. Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray looks and sounds quite nice and has some decent extras too. Overall, a nice package for a goofy film.

    Click on the images below for full-sized Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies screen caps!