June 22, 2008

The Butcher: Definitely Not Approved by the FDA

Independent cinema. Attach those two words to a low-budget movie and you're making a promise of a fresh perspective, some groundbreaking material or one original thinker behind the whole thing. But Kim Jin-won's indie horror flick The Butcher delivers on none of these promises. The script is insipid, a tediously pointless bit of torture porn filmed sea-sickeningly by a camera attached to the primary victim's head. The dialogue is fifty percent inarticulate expressions of pain (screaming), fear (panting), and defeat (whimpering from behind a ball gag). The other fifty percent is self-conscious lowbrow structuralism, some of which is spoken, appropriately enough, off-the-cuff while smoking a cigarette. Like many a hack before him, Kim is subconsciously aware he's making a piece of crap. He may try to dress up his pseudo-snuff with shockery like urinating, vomiting, the gouging of an eye, and the sodomizing of his hero by a man wearing a pig's head, but he eventually let's his self-important mask slip when he has his stand-in -- the director of the video within the film -- proclaim, "I know we can sell this to the U.S. They're always looking for more bloody things. But this ain't art at all." Truer words were never spoken. At least not in The Butcher.


  1. I was entertained by this review!

  2. I was actually thoroughly entertained by the film. Within the spectrum of torture porn, or which ever pigeon hole category you wish to place The Butcher in, I feel it did its job & did its job well. It takes a lot for my jaw to hit the floor & I take my hat off for the film achieving that result.