Post-war Britain and people are hungry. Butcher Walter, exempt from the army on account of his limp, has nurtured and protected his community during the war years. Now the men have returned, they want meat and he cannot provide enough. Gangster extortionists move in, hell-bent on destroying what’s left of the neighbourhood, and Walter fears for the future of his business.
One reckless swipe of his cleaver – one dead gangster – and he has the solution to both problems. Soon customers are queuing for more than their fair share of Walter’s meaty offerings. Gangster’s moll, Blanche, not at all suited to a vegetarian diet, sees him as the answer to her prayers. Walter, besotted, will do anything to keep her satisfied. When Blanche’s man, gangster boss Johnnie, cottons on to the source of the butcher’s supply, he’s furious – he’s losing henchmen at a rate of three per week – but sees a way to solve a much bigger problem. He offers Walter a deal: kill and dispose of Blanche’s lover and he’ll overlook the staff losses. For Walter it’s a simple but frightening choice: survival or love.