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THE BUTCHER
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Reviewed by: Zombie Boy

Directed by: Jin Won Kim

Starring:
Yoo Dongheun
Ha Yooyie
Kim Seongil

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A slice of life about a doomed couple unwittingly cast in a snuff film featuring a demented killer wearing a pigís head as a mask. Totally original.
Is it good movie?
A young Korean couple wake up one day to find that they have been chained up in an abandoned and dilapidated house in the country, with camera-helmets strapped to their heads. Two annoying men harass them for a while, then bring them into another room where they are strapped into chairs, on opposite ends of the room, and annoyed some more until the butcher comes in: a man with severe emotional problems. So severe that he feels the need to grunt like an animal while wearing a severed pigís head over his own and madly flailing a chainsaw through the air. And occasionally through the people. The three antagonists then collectively psychologically and physically torture the two and, frankly, the audience as well.

Oh, sorry, did that last sentence give away my feelings about this movie? My bad. The fact is, it sucks. I mean, there were a few instances of gore that were unsettling, but even rampant gore is not enough to save a bad movie. This stinker suffers right out of the starting gate: a terrible mingling of TCM, Motel Hell, and Hostel. There is not an original idea in the whole mess, nor anything executed (haha) with anything approaching panache. All tension is defused by the two non-piggy men constantly jabbering and the ear-piercing squeals of the victimsÖeven when no one is touching them. By ten minutes into the feels-too-long 75-minute run time, youíll be begging for them to die. For all of them to die. Anything just to shut them all the hell up.

As to the mechanics of the film, everything is POV. Either from the camera-helmets on the victimsí heads, or the camera one of the jabbering dudes is filming the snuff film portion of the film with, and, in one notable instant, from a guy who does not appear to be holding any sort of camera at all. So expect Blair Witch Project headaches most of the way through. In fact, the two instances of gore I pointed out earlier, while being unsettling to look at, actually work counter to the whole point of the thing being all POV. What you donít see is always more disturbing than what you do see. So instead of playing with the POV aspect, they make sure to show you things, and make the already tired gimmick annoying instead of intriguing.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen, 2.35:1...supposedly. The whole movie is told via POV from video cameras held either by people trying to kill or trying not to be killed, so I really don't see the point in quibbling about the presentation.

Audio: Dolby 2.0 in Korean, with English subtitles. I have my doubts as to the veracity of the translation, but once again, I hardly see where it matters.
The Extras
Trailer: This is a really bad trailer. I mean, just, bad. Just a random scene from the movie, with the title at the beginning and an abrupt cut into blackness at the end.

Alternate Ending: Someone was unclear on the concept of an alternate ending. What we have here is an extended ending. Basically the pig head guy dancing around with his chainsaw just like Leatherface at the end of the first TCM. Thatís it.

Making Of: This is not a making of. It is a photo gallery. Not a bad one, really. Just not a making of. At all.

Storyboard Sketches: These are actually some interesting animations of storyboards. Hard to believe this thing was plotted out so well. It doesn't show.

Previews: A bunch of previews from other Tartan Extreme DVDs.
Last Call
I imagine this film was meant to pay homage to American slasher/torture films, but instead takes elements of their physiology and ignores their psychology altogether. So what you end up with is a film full of characters you hate doing things you donít care about. Way to go. Good job, fellas.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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