Friday, September 06, 2013

Butcher Boys: a Steady Diet of Bad Taste

You might think a horror film that opens with a quote from Jonathan Swift might have the potential for some for some smartly executed scares.  Well, you would be wrong.  Duane Graves & Justin Meeks’ Butcher Boys (trailer here) is that film and it is a nasty piece of genre gristle, releasing today in select theaters and on VOD.

Through their unbelievably stupid actions, Sissy’s outrageously reckless and irresponsible friends manage to antagonize a gang of cannibals or something.  She was in the backseat, so she had nothing to do with the death of their pooch.  Of course, that hardly matters.  The pack of urban savages chases the privileged kids into an ominous industrial park, where they quickly dispatch her friends.  Sissy proves harder to kill, but not because she is especially intelligent or resourceful.  Instead, her tormentors are simply reversing the course of evolution before our very eyes.

Ironically, Butcher is the second release of the week shot in and around San Antonio, which must have the absolute worst emergency services of any large city to judge from this film.  As Sissy, Ali Faulkner freaks out fairly convincingly, perhaps out of genuine panic for what this cinematic outing might mean for her career.  However, the only person that truly distinguished themselves on this production was the location scout, who found some truly eerie demilitarized looking spots to shoot.

In contrast, Butcher’s cinematography is often incomprehensibly dark, but in this case that is more an observation than a complaint.  This really a gruesome film that might even be scarring if there were any reasonably life like characters to invest in. The assorted villains are an especially weak hodge-podge of American Psycho-esque himbos and circus freaks.

To be fair, there is a flash of inspiration during the climax, but it is far too little, far too late. Absolutely not recommended, Butcher Boys is now available on VOD and opens today (9/6) in limited theatrical release (presumably Texan markets).