Red Meat  (1997) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna


Scoop's notes

Red Meat is the latest in the "Diner" family of comedy/drama films about guys who talk guy talk while eating greasy food.

These particular guys get together periodically to sit at a table, eat red meat, and tell sexual war stories. One guy tells all kinds of insensitive and cock-sure stories about past exploits, and these occupy most of the evening. They aren't great stories, but are not without some humor. I suppose we are not meant to believe in them unquestioningly. The second guy's stories are mostly about how he doesn't get laid, even when women attack him. These yarns also have some charm, but once again we're not talking Raiders of the Lost Ark in overall entertainment value. These two guys have told stories that intersect one another. The cocky guy is always trying to get the dweeby guy laid. In essence, they are like Joey and Chandler in the earlier years of "Friends",

A really cute waitress overhears everything they say, and thinks these two guys are both complete losers. Then a third guy tells a weepy-ass story about how he dropped out of life for a year to romance a woman dying of cancer.

Guy one and two leave the restaurant. They see that the third guy is still talking to the sexy waitress after the restaurant has closed.

The never-gets-laid Chandler-type guy asks, "Do you think he made up that entire cancer story just to fuck the waitress?"

The cock-sure Joey-type guy says, "Nah, he's even more of a woman than you are ... "

... unless he did make it all up, in which case he's my hero."

Roll credits.

Great ending, but generally lame film. It was never released theatrically or anywhere else for three years until it became a Blockbuster exclusive in 2000. It finally hit the retail shelves soon thereafter.

The best treat for me was a t-shirt scene with Jennifer Grey, post nose job, and she looks to be in great shape, nose and all. You guys ready for a shock? I warn you, you're gonna feel old. "Baby" is 47! How can that be?

Trivia: Lara Flynn Boyle plays the dying woman in the pictorialization of the third guy's story - and she's completely bald. She looks pretty other-worldly with a shaved head.



DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen letterboxed, 1.85:1

  • no features


  • Female nudity from Heidi Lenhart (breasts, buns) and Ana Karin (breasts)
  • Severe pokiosity from Jennifer Grey in a t-shirt
  • John Slattery and Steven Mailer show their butts


Tuna's notes

Three men meet for a monthly ritual which consists of working out, going to dinner, eating red meat, and telling tales about women. This night, part of the audience includes Traci Lind as a surly feminist waitress. It was she who had many of the best lines. The first tale is from the alpha male, and describes a night where he made passionate love to a new woman, then almost got caught by his live-in girlfriend. Tale two, from the self-deprecating and passive friend of alpha male, concerns a birthday party for Mia (Heidi Lenhart), the current flavor of the month for alpha male, and Ula (Anna Karin), the wimp's date, who ends up in bed with alpha male. The last tale is from the newest member of the group, and he tells of how he married the terminally ill Lara Flynn Boyle. Guess which one ends up with the surly waitress?

Red Meat (1997) is a comedy that languished on the shelves for five years before going direct to video. I must have been the target audience. I found the dialogue ranging from clever to hilarious. Lines like, "I had a healthy loving childhood. I was raised by lesbians," and "She put the ich in shiksa." will stay with me. The film is about relationships, and when you strip away the often funny writing, these are people I have known. It was written and directed by Allison Burnett, who also wrote Autumn in New York. He (Yes, Allison is a dude) has real talent, and will eventually latch on to the right property and make a very good film.


Scoop's notes:

I don't know why Tuna thinks Burnett's great film is in the future. This is the man whose first script to be produced was the immortal cinema classic Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight, starring Richard "Shaft" Roundtree and Don "The Dragon" Wilson. Like Orson Welles, Burnett may never top his first great effort!

To be serious for a minute, I doubt that Tuna's prediction for Burnett is going to come true. Burnett directed Red Meat in 1997. It was his first film, and also his last. He seems to have abandoned directing in favor of full-time dedication to his writing career. (He has three scripts currently in the pipeline, so perhaps he will fulfill the prediction in another way.)

The Critics Vote

  • 2/5

The People Vote ...

IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, Scoop called it a C-, as "a watchable but not memorable entry in the 'guys talking guy talk' genre." Tuna was more impressed and estimated it to be a C.

Return to the Movie House home page