Beef Rings the Bell (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #195 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

This is a film about meat. About big honkin’ slabs of red meat. Beef, in particular. The first half is all about cattle raising, selling, and feeding. It has footage of the Omaha stockyards in their heydey, when they used to be the biggest in the world. Being from Omaha, this had some nostalgic value for me, as those stockyards no longer exist. The footage of a cattle auction is also mildly interesting. But it’s not until the second half of the movie that it really gets going. Then it becomes the most meat-intensive film you ever saw, featuring extensive, detailed footage of meat cutting, long refrigerated cases of shrink-wrapped packages of “rich, red meat,” billboards with giant steaks on them, and backyard barbecue footage straight out of the Big Boy Barbecue Guide (I also collect old recipe booklets), including tacky barbecue aprons and huge steaks served charred on the outside and bloody red on the inside. Which makes it a great deal of fun in my book, though it’s definitely not for vegetarians.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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