« on: April 05, 2001, 03:52:47 PM »
What a lovely little film this was.
PRIME CUT is an action number starring Lee Marvin, released in 1972. I was originally going to compare this movie to a rotten onion, as the movie continually reveals layers showing just how screwed up it really is, but I scratched that after realizing it would indicate depth that PRIME CUT doesn't have.
We open on a meat processing plant whilst the strains of beautiful 70's elevator music play in the background. This little tour ends at a neat little machine that makes hot dogs. One of the workers makes a "special order" of some of the hot dogs and mails them off to Chicago.
As you may have expected, these hot dogs are actually what's left of a henchmen this crime boss from Chicago sent down to Kansas (where the meat plant resides). This crime boss sends Nick Devlin (Lee Marvin) down to Kansas to settle the matter.
This matter is never really explained, but it involves a guy named "Mary Ann", played by Gene Hackman, getting a little too big for his britches. Mary Ann is the guy who owns the meat plant, and pretty much runs the town. We first meet him as he is selling off naked girls in pigpens. Interestingly enough, one of these naked girls is Sissy Spacek in her very first film performance. She plays what was destined to be the first in a long line of beautiful yet dim country girls.
Anyway, Marvin has a little confrontation with Hackman and ends up rescuing Spacek from her pigpen fate. This sparks off romantic entanglement between Marvin and Spacek. (She was 23, he was 48.) Did I mention she was raised in an orphanage?
The film is amazingly condescending to midwesterners. Every single one is a portrayed as a brain dead hick who probably enjoys eating chitlins while watching pigs screw. Watch for the fair scene during which pie eating contests and cow judging competitions are "sent up".
Did you say cows? Oh we got your cows alright. Nary five minutes passes without cows appearing in one form or another.
This is getting long, so let me sum up the rest of the plot. Marvin riles up Hackman at the fair, henchmen draw guns. Marvin and Spacek escape through a grass field. Unfortunately this leads to them being chased by a thresher. Luckily Marvins cohorts show up and plow a car head on into the thresher. This is one of the films genuinely entertaining moments as the car is slowly eaten by the thresher's blades. Sometime after this Spacek is kidnapped by Hackman. Marvin and his boys decide to storm the meat plant (I just like saying meat plant) by way of a cornfield. Unfortunately almost everybody gets shot. It's up to Marvin to hijack a truck and plow it headlong into the building. There's a shootout and Marvin kills Hackman and his brother.
Yay! Films over! Well, not quite. It turns out that the orphanage Spacek grew up in is really a chattel house for young prostitutes. Marvin and Spacek show up and free all the kids from some old lady, who Spacek punches. All the kids cheer and go running off happily into a field. Where are they going? I don't know, but listen to them cheer. Isn't that a happy ending?
There's also some subplots involving Spacek's sister and Hackman's wife, but they don't matter.
This film is messed up, but I liked it. It only gets two slimes, but I'd reccomend it to anyone who likes cheesy action movies.