BC Butcher (Troma Entertainment, NR)

What is bound to impress most about BC Butcher is how deep Bowling’s influences run.

bcbutcher

All you teenaged girls with impossibly cool movie taste: Be prepared for some intense jealousy (or to feel a little less lonely), because Kansas Bowling has arrived. Not too long ago, Bowling was 17 years old and trying to get an Indiegogo campaign funded for a girl-gang slasher comedy titled BC Butcher. It failed to even come close of reaching its goal, but did something better: It got Lloyd Kaufman’s attention. Kaufman chose BC Butcher to be the first of a series of films Troma will produce by teenage directors. Now 19-year-old Bowling’s B. C. Butcher is one of the first movies to have its initial release on Troma’s new streaming service, Troma Now.

In BC Butcher, a tribe of young cavewomen find themselves in a state of unrest. One of them, Dina (Miranda Robin), has betrayed their leader, Neandra (Leilani Fideler), by having an affair with her boyfriend. Neandra makes an example out of Dina by literally ripping her guts out in front of the other cavewomen. They leave Dina’s corpse to rot, where a disfigured man—or, rather, “the butcher”—finds it. The butcher falls in love with Dina’s corpse, and avenges Dina by trying to killing off the other cavewomen. Things get more complicated as Neandra slowly starts to suspect Dina wasn’t the only one seeing her beau, Rex (played by famed O. J. Simpson trial witness Kato Kaelin).

BC Butcher features songs from the small L.A.–based band The Ugly Kids. The Ugly Kids have a punk-rock style derivative of The Cramps, and when their songs scored certain scenes, I thought it really worked. At a certain point, the movie turns into a music video for one of their songs, which might suit the freewheeling style of the 1960s from which BC Butcher pulls, yet I found myself annoyed with it here. It wasn’t the song, either, but just the general presence of the band. They wear caveman outfits while sporting Ray-Ban sunglasses as they play guitars made out of watermelons. While they were on screen, an unwelcomed sense of irony seemed to take over in a film that is otherwise very true to its passions.

What is bound to impress most about BC Butcher is how deep Bowling’s influences run. The film is inspired by everything and everyone you’d hope for: Russ Meyer, Herschell Gordon Lewis, The Beatles, beach party movies, Rock ’n’ Roll High SchoolThe Texas Chain Saw Massacre, etc. This bodes well for Kansas Bowling: Her tastes are shockingly well developed, and the way she pulls from such inspirations is charming.

You cannot deny the amount of love that went into this one. At the same time, I never once forget this movie was made by a teenager. The humor is uneven, there is at least one sequence that is tough to follow, and nearly all the characters are completely uninteresting (with the exception of Rex). If anything will bring me back to BC Butcher for a second viewing, it’s the absolutely absurd scene in which 56-year-old Kaelin uses his sexual prowess and a handful of grapes to seduce the youngest cavewoman. BC Butcher never comes close to reaching the heights of the best of Troma, but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun. | Cait Lore

 

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