The Butcher (2006) Review
Written by: skfan
Shocking, disturbing, graphic, original, and breathtaking are just a few of the words that should never be used by anyone to describe the direct to video piece of trash that Maple entertainment has tried to pass of as a horror film. That film of course is “The Butcher” a super low budget attempt at a gorefest/tcm rip off that just simply doesn’t have enough going for it to even make it enjoyable in a bad kind of way. What there is of a plot is pretty simple and about as fresh as Ms. Hilton’s meat flaps.
The film opens with six one dimensional stereotypes that are on some sort of road trip. Of course it doesn’t take long before the stupid teens decide to take a short cut directly into inbreed psycho killer territory that we’ve all become all to familiar with. Everything is going a ok until they nearly run over a strange woman. In the process of avoiding her they total their suv and one of the passengers is killed in a truly hilarious fashion.
What remains of the group go in search of help and come across a isolated old farm house, where they find…yeah you guessed it. A family of murdering psychopaths. If any of this sounds even the faintest bit familiar that probably means you’ve seen a horror film in the last thirty plus years.
The original TCM was the film that perfected this formula and its been used in countless films since with varying degrees of success. It isn’t always a bad thing either, just because it’s a clichéd setup for a film doesn't mean it can't work. If the filmmaker understands what he or she is doing they can add a twist to the formula and come up with something entirely new and fresh. A film that fits this description that comes to mind is “High Tension”, not to mention the whole idea of a “slasher” film rest on this concept.
The problem with “The Butcher” is there is absolutely nothing new or original about it. I realize this might seem like unrealistic expectations for a cheap direct to dvd title but it shouldn’t be for horror fans. In fact this is exactly where we should expect something new and creative, where there is less studio involvement with the filmmakers. Instead what we get time after time is cheap generic pieces of trash that simple try to cash in on the latest creative trend in horror films.
It seems like a waste of time to even talk about the “acting” in the film but I do feel that I should warn you. The acting isn’t just grade b horror bad but at least two members of the main cast deliver performances that actually made me mad. The worst is the actor that plays the jock/asshole of the group. I won’t place all the blame on him since his character was written so poorly there really was nowhere to go but down. That being said though his acting was teeth gratingly bad and made almost all the scenes he was in nearly unbearable.
There isn’t really anything to say about Edward Gorsuch’s direction either. It was simple straight forward a to b scene shooting without so much as a flash of originality or creativity worth mentioning.
The real criminal here though is Ellis Walker who is responsible for writing this whole mess. One has to wonder if Walker ever actually wrote a script for the film or if he just simply copied the outline of TCM and then changed the names and rewrote the death scenes because besides that there really isn’t much difference between the two film besides the obvious lack of talent, quality, and all the other main ingredients key to making a great film that are lacking in the latter mentioned.
There’s even the clichéd plot twist near the end of the film involving a surprise extra family member. The bottom line is I picked this film up for $2.99 in a discount bin at Zellers, yet I still feel slighted and honestly didn’t enjoy a minute of this film. There wasn’t even any memorable gore and the one pair of fleetingly quickly flashed breast were of the lowest grade possible to be shown on film. I mean no disrespect the young women that presented them in the film but they are certainly not her assets.
In closing, even if you come across this film for free my advice is save your valuable eighty-four minutes and watch something else.