Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Three On A Meathook (1973)

Three On A Meathook (1973)

Billy Townsend (James Pickett) lives with his father on an old remote backwoods farm near Louisville, Kentucky, and is traumatised by memories of past events that are revealed throughout the film.

Stumbling across a van full of scantily clad girls who have broken down on their way to an all-girls camping trip, Billy courteously offers for them to stay at the farm for the evening.

His old man (Charles Kissinger) is furious when they arrive back at the house, ominously reminding his son, “you know what happens to you when you get around women!”


The following morning, all four girls are found dead. Pa Townsend gives his son an “I told you so” lecture and offers to clean up after Billy, sending his son to town with instructions not to return until he’s feeling “better”.

Cut to Billy in a bar, enjoying a band and drinking more than he can handle as he befriends a barmaid called Sherry (Sherry Steiner). When he passes out, Sherry takes him back to her place and by the following day, they have fallen in love.

Returning home, Billy tells Pa that Sherry and her friend Becky (Madelyn Buzzard) will visit them the following weekend. Ignoring his father’s pleas that Billy will kill them, the insecure boy allows the ladies to visit anyway.

Pa gets drunk and Billy and Sherry hit the hay. Becky, meanwhile, gets a pickaxe in her belly – at the hands of Pa.

With the true killer now revealed, the closing section of the film has Sherry finding the titular “three on a meathook” in a nearby barn, Pa being incarcerated and Billy being told that his father had killed girls to feed his cannibalistic mother who had been presumed dead for many years but was actually kept by Pa in a shed.

Billy and Sherry head off into the sunset together to seek psychiatric help so Billy can begin to deal with the lies that have been haunting him for years.

The film was allegedly based on the story of real-life psycho serial killer Ed Gein. It isn’t.

Pa Townsend
Charles Kissinger
Billy Townsend
James Pickett
Sherry Steiner
Madelyn Buzzard
Linda Thompson
Young Billy
Smith Haynie

William Girdler