Crypto-cannibalism: Meat, murder and monstrosity in Tiwa Moeithasong’s The Meat Grinder | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-3275
  • E-ISSN: 2040-3283



Tiwa Moeithaisong’s 2009 production Cheuuat Gaawn Chim/The Meat Grinder is representative of a new trend in Thai horror cinema, one that has benefited from ‘the influence of short film, documentary film, and low-budget art-house movies’ together with new international marketing strategies and initiatives. This new brand of horror cinema (2000s) indicates that ‘the consumption of fear has started to gain ground commercially and aesthetically’ in Thailand. However, even though it trades on the popularity of torture-porn or spectacle horror, The Meat Grinder is aesthetically much more art-house than grind-house in what is perhaps a deliberate attempt to attract both local and global audiences. This article contends that The Meat Grinder transcends the generic conventions associated with extreme cinema in order to offer a sustained critique of the dominant narratives of Thai identity. These are based upon an internal transition from pre-modern to modern society and have been constructed through a fictional, linear history in which modernity was a natural progression and was not imposed by the colonial Other as in most other South East Asian nations. Specifically, this critique is performed through the figuration of the woman-as-monster, whose deadly recipe for noodles with the tasty addition of human flesh, has been passed down from generation to generation of women through a series of temporal displacements and spatial convergences. I therefore suggest that The Meat Grinder evokes what Lim defines as ‘immiscible temporalities’ connected to the ‘persistence of supernaturalism’, utilizing in particular the ghostly figure of the dead daughter who haunts the present-day frame. Such ‘ghostly returns’ I argue subvert conventional understandings of time as linear, both outside and inside the cinematic frame, which are contained within the discourse of crypto-colonialism on which Thai nationalism is built, and offers a politicized interrogation of class, nationality and gender politics in contemporary Thailand.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error