Greasy spoon motorcycle goons join forces with a corrupt funeral director in the 60s curiosity The Undertaker and His Pals, a film clearly indebted to Herschell Gordon Lewis’s early blood work.
There’s no budget, rickety sets, pastels, and lots and lots of gore in what is ostensibly a comedy (even if many of the yuks fall flat, the WAH-WAH-WAAAAA…trumpet squawks after a deflated zinger not helping matters).
There’s even a bit of slapstick zaniness courtesy of spray-on deodorant that is as unfunny as it is bizarre.
Diner operators by day (one of whom bearing an uncanny resemblance to Iron Chef Bobby Flay), the cook duo knife nubiles by night, dressed head-to-toe in leather, dragging vics back to their kitchen to put the parts through a meat grinder.
As a result, the daily specials frequently change. In one risque instance, the chef/killer, after murdering an African American interloper, asks a customer if he prefers “white or dark meat.”
The beneficiary of the carnage though is the scheming Mort, who runs Shady Rest Funeral Home and up-charges clients because of the state of the bodies, trying to get them to avoid the fine print in a text-heavy contract.
Soon though, much like Blood Feast (the films are of similar length too — just over an hour), detectives get wind of things. They begin an investigation after an enterprising friend of one of the victims grabs a revolver out of a living room drawer and fires the license plate off the back of one of the bikes.
Viewers may recognize co-star James Westmorland from the proto-slasher vetsploitation Don’t Answer the Phone! After Undertaker, fellow co-star Ray Dannis got back into the business of corpse grinding with…The Corpse Grinders.
The gang’s leather aesthetic is pretty creepy-cool and their MO is darn fantastic, especially for the mid-60s. Unfortunately, things veer too far to the side of “funny.”
**1/2 (out of 5)