“Butcher Boys” has a tough road ahead of it. Thanks to its writer and producer, the movie will inevitably be compared to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” as soon as the opening credits start to roll. It’s unfair and a shame, because the movie once entitled “Boneboys” actually isn’t a bad little independent horror piece.
Four friends are out on the town for a birthday celebration. After provoking a couple troublemakers, the group get into a high-speed chase through a bad part of the city. They drive up on a gang hanging out in the street, causing a wreck that kills the dog of one of the thugs. Little do they know that their actions have brought them into the world of a cannibalistic band of psychopaths bent on making them their next meal.
Kim Henkel is probably best known as the producer and writer of the original “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” After the runaway success of that film, he wrote a script for a sequel which was never used. What do you do with a script that never saw the light of day, but you spent hours of time writing? You turn it into something else!
If you’re in the know about the history of where “Butcher Boys” came from, then you can’t help but draw comparisons to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” There are many elements and characters in the movie which you can see were slightly altered to change them into something else. However, it’s hard to call a movie a rip-off when it was written by the guy who helped make the original that influenced it.
Duane Graves and Justin Meeks are master craftsmen at creating low-budget films that look fabulous and feel genuine. If you haven’t already seen “The Wild Man of the Navidad,” you need to do yourself a favor and do so right away. No matter what anyone thinks about the actual storyline of “Butcher Boys,” they have to admit it looks good. Graves and Meeks work with the cameraman to establish a voyeuristic feeling that makes you feel like you’re running right alongside the poor kids being hunted down in this nerve-wracking movie.
Can you really blame Graves and Meeks for doing the film? If you were an independent filmmaker and the guy who wrote and produced “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” approached you to do his next movie, would YOU tell him no? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
I don’t believe any rating has been given to “Butcher Boys,” but I would certify it “R.” There’s plenty of foul language, some nudity, sexual content, and a healthy dose of cannibalistic gore. As usual, I felt the nudity was a bit much and unnecessary.
“Butcher Boys” isn’t breaking any new ground. I don’t really think it was trying to in the first place. If I were to give readers a description of the movie, it would be a mix of “Judgment Night” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” The greaser look of the cannibalistic gang members might even bring about memories of “The Outsiders.” I get the feeling Kim Henkel wanted audiences to see his take on Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” He took his un-filmed “Chainsaw Massacre” sequel and mashed the two together. If taken for what it is, most horror fans will enjoy the ride.
“Butcher Boys” is available now on DVD.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
Interview with Duane Graves, Director of ‘The Wildman of the Navidad’
‘Chainsaw Massacre’ Producer/Writer Kim Henkel Gives Us ‘Boneboys’
Actor Alexandra Daddario Talks ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D,’ ‘Percy Jackson’ Sequel