Stage and Cinema film and theatre reviews




picture - Bad MeatDVD Review

By Chad Menville

published March 25, 2008


Bad Meat

released by Arts Alliance America

rating pending

running time 89 minutes


A pair of calamitous pals in their dead-end town of Butcher’s Mill, Illinois decide to kidnap their local congressman for ransom; but before they can, the congressman dies at home on a treadmill. Regardless, they kidnap him, postmortem, and everything that can go wrong does.


If the above reads like the opening to a questionable plot, this is because the director/co-writer is Scott Dikkers, editor-in-chief of the award-winning satirical newspaper, The Onion. If you’re not familiar with The Onion, it is incredibly funny largely because its multiple contributing writers provide an abundance of variety with politically tinged observations that are rich with detail which mirrors the lives of persons whom many of us encounter on a daily basis. The characters in Bad Meat, however, are so outlandish that it’s unlikely its target audience will relate in any real way to these characters. Whereas other lowbrow comedies usually offer a pedal-to-the-metal gross out factor, big name actors, or gratuitous T&A to lure the teenage demographic, this movie supplies little of that. Its likely R rating will be attributed to language alone.


Chevy Chase gets third billing (as the dead Congressman Bernard P. Greely), even though he has less than two minutes of screen time, including the postmortem scenes. Incognito with a toupee and hillbilly teeth, it’s like a game of Where’s Waldo, or Fletch outtakes. Buddy (Lance Barber, of The Comeback, Californication, Gilmore Girls) and his pal Earl (Billie Worley, of Early Edition, Space Cowboys) will do anything it takes in order to carry out their mindless plan of kidnapping the body of Congressman Greely for ransom. Buddy’s motive for this is so that he will never have to find a job. Earl’s motive is that it will enable him to own a trailer and propose to Pam, the only single woman in town.


As ambitious a role as physical comedy plays in Bad Meat, its funniest moments are its one liners provided by the senior folk of Butcher’s Mill, actors that often unintentionally break the fourth wall and in doing so bring out in the audience more dismay than laughs. So to enjoy this movie, one must assiduously surrender to its cheesiness and, as they say, just go with it.


chadmenville @


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