Never read reviews, that’s my advice.
I was dreading BUTCHER BOYS because, not familiar with it, I went online and read up a little. In a matter of minutes I was reassured I would soon be in receipt of an unwatchable piece of moviemaking.
This is not uncommon. I have watched some truly dreadful pictures as a reviewer. So many, in fact, that I worry my critical faculties (always skewed towards an easy tolerance of schlock) have been permanently damaged. When a reviewer is endorsing Ted V. Mikels is it time to stop?
BUTCHER BOYS is not unwatchable. In fact I rather enjoyed it. It’s a movie of two halves, the first a game of cat and mouse in the urban jungle, the second a piece of Grand Guignol absurdity delivered with such vigour it’s hard not to go along with it all.
The only criticism of any weight I can uphold — and potentially it’s a fatal one — is that it’s terribly familiar.
It’s written by Kim Henkel, co-writer, with Tobe Hooper, of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Henkel has a taste for cannibal grotesques. He proved as much in that movie. Then again in TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION, tinned stewing steak to the original’s T-Bone. Now he’s proven it again.
There’s nothing wrong with writing a movie about a deranged “family” of grotesques with a taste for human tartare. Write that movie three times, however and people might begin to wonder how long you plan on reheating the leftovers.
If you can forgive that familiarity — and Hollywood is not known for its originality — and accept that BUTCHER BOYS is an urban spin on a familiar formula, justifying some of its excesses behind a thin veil of satire, there is some brainless (at one point quite literally) fun to be had.