Lionsgate // 2006 // 84 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // September 1st, 2006
Rest in pieces.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: Six teenagers on a road trip to Las Vegas decide to take a shortcut and end up being terrorized by a family of backwoods cannibals.
The Butcher is brought to you by many of the same fine folks responsible for The Graveyard. They exhausted their supply of lifts from the Friday the 13th flicks with that movie, so here they swipe from The Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn, and both versions of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (guess this means they're getting more ambitious). Dumb kids get into an accident after they take a shortcut? Yep. Dumb kids find a young girl who appears to be the victim of unimaginable horror? You got it. Dumb kids venture into an old farmhouse looking for help? Yep. Dumb kids find human remains in a refrigerator inside the old farmhouse? You know it. Dumb kids continue to wander around the house even after they've found evidence that the owners of the house have a taste for human flesh? Yep. Creepy bastard starts hunting down the dumb kids? Check. Creepy bastard cranks up his Husqvarna and carves up one of the dumb kids? Yep. Dumb kids find the creepy bastard's truck but are too stupid to steal it and get the hell out of Dodge? Uh-huh. One of the characters had intended to propose to another character during the trip? Yep. The one character you expect to make it out alive makes it out alive? Naturally. The stupid twist ending is telegraphed well before it actually comes to pass? Yep. I start wondering what I've done to warrant such punishment? You know it. Am I starting to run out of ways to make fun of these things? Yep.
Who do these guys think they're fooling? Being shameless rip-off artists is bad enough, but do they have to be so damned lazy in every department? How can they harbor this much contempt for the people off whom they hope to profit? The acting is terrible? Who cares? You can tell we're using muddy water for blood? Who cares? There's a thirty-minute stretch in the middle of the movie during which absolutely nothing happens? Who cares? Half of the audience is going to be pissed that the two lesbians who get stoned and start making out are only shown getting stoned and making out once in the entire movie? Who cares? That same half of the audience is going to be pissed because the one chick who gets naked is once again the first person we kill? Who cares? The movie is less stylish than your average industrial training film? Who cares? Mary Poppins contains more gore? Who cares? Man, this is beyond sad.
The Butcher was shot on cheap digital videotape, and the disc's transfer is flat, dull, and noisy. There is little channel separation in the stereo soundtrack, and dialogue sounds tinny and canned. An assortment of previews is the only bonus feature.
I would be remiss if I didn't give the filmmakers props for their one original idea: I'm pretty sure this is the only movie in the history of cinema in which a character is killed by being drowned in a bathtub filled with strawberry Nestlé's Quik. Eat your heart out, Mr. Hitchcock.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated R