“Dead Meat” features Ron Jeremy as Andre the Butcher, a bloated, apple-cheeked sloth who picks and eats scabs from his leprosy-infected skin. When psoriasis pizza doesn’t satiate this portly freak’s appetite, he’s always up for an eyeball smoothie fresh from the blender. Sporting the dangling jowls, hairy hide, and loose skin of an overfed basset hound, porn’s ugliest male specimen takes a vacation from onscreen sex to try out straight-to-video violence, instead.
Philip Cruz’s gleefully rank road-kill of a movie steals from the recipe books of B-movie mavens like Lloyd Kaufman, early Wes Craven, and Herschel Gordon Lewis, serving up what grizzled cowboy narrator Gene Nash calls, “a heartwarming story of love, loss, sin and redemption – with a little tits ‘n a*s along the way.”
En route to a regional cheerleading championship, three pom-pom wielding bimbos and a token slacker stud wreck their vehicle and stumble upon an abandoned house. All the while, overall-wearing hayseed Nash provides some voice-over character development. For instance, he acknowledges one character’s battle with obesity by stating, “Her math is a little fuzzy when it comes to countin’ calories.”
“Dead Meat” really starts to sizzle when two escaped convicts in orange jumpsuits merge on the rural estate. One is a babbling jock with a flatulence problem, which becomes a liability when the gang hides from Andre in a stolen cop car. “Crack open a window,” pleads one of our heroines, before Jeremy’s bloodthirsty killer does just that from outside the fart-saturated vehicle and dices the irritable-boweled offender. Law enforcement also enters this sordid mix, in the form of a foxy, jive-talking deputy and a sleazebag sheriff (Terry Moss, the villainous football coach from “Dazed and Confused”).
Ultimately, however, it’s Jeremy who emerges as the star of “Dead Meat.” Like Kevin Spacey’s twisted punisher from “Seven,” Andre reprimands his victims for their sins. Demonstrating the power to manipulate energy (despite a downed power line, his refrigerator still works), he televises the past transgressions of each doomed target before offing them in increasingly creative ways. What fate does Andre has in store for the tubby girl? You guessed it – she’s ground into human chili to make up for all the gluttonous gorging at King’s Table.
Another clever touch involves Andre’s ability to repair damaged limbs, including a right arm blown off by shotgun blast. Like Sally, the adaptable rag doll from “Nightmare Before Christmas,” this mutilated madman can stitch extremities back onto his weathered torso like a skilled seamstress. It’s ironic that one of Jeremy’s most widely-seen adult flicks, “John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut,” involved another gentleman with a knack for getting his body parts sliced off.
If you enjoy the intentionally cornball lowbrow of Troma, this trashy treat is right up your manure-slathered alley. “Dead Meat” aims for the toilet, and it throws a fecal swisher through the porcelain net.