[Warning: This review contains mild spoilers for “Butt Boy.”]
Sometimes a film comes along with a premise that dazzles the mind and stretches the limits of the imagination. Then you have films like “Butt Boy,” with a premise so ridiculous that you read a synopsis or watch a trailer and say… “What the hell is this?”
Let’s talk “Butt Boy.”
Early on, the Shuffle Team clocked “Butt Boy” as one of the Fest’s most bizarre entries. Fantastic Fest is celebrating its 15th year as the largest genre film festival in the United States, thrilling and delighting audiences with the very best of horror, science fiction and fantasy. Old and new. The classic and the bizarre. “Butt Boy” made an early name for itself as a film that was made for the Fantastic Fest audience. Now we truly understand that hype.
The film was written and directed by Butt Boy himself, Tyler Cornack. The film also stars Tyler Rice, Shelby Dash and Austin Lewis. Cornack and Rice welcomed the film at its Fantastic Fest World Premiere on Saturday, September 21.
“Butt Boy” begins with the miserable life of the unassuming Chip. Chip is in a miserable marriage, has a boring job and his first-ever prostate exam is coming up soon. However, something awakens inside Chip when the exam begins. Pleasure becomes addiction and addiction becomes crime! And that’s just the cold open.
The film is a gritty noir, as Chip the Butt Boy and a hardboiled detective play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that leads all the way to the most improbable conclusions. It’s… a hell of a film.
We stan a cold open. There’s something so cinematic about being thrown right into the action. In the case of “Butt Boy,” it actually makes for a very strategic choice. Having a nice 13-minute block to ease the viewer into such a ridiculous premise sets up to better enjoy the film once it really gets cooking.
So, one can imagine a film about a man who is obsessed with sticking things up his ass is a bit snicker-inducing. “Butt Boy” would beg to differ. Out of the gate, the film is playing it straight as an arrow. It’s played as a drama. It’s played noir. It’s not a laughing matter. Granted, the fact that you’re watching a silly story being played seriously is pretty funny, but before long the viewer gets the picture.
The film doesn’t shy away from the hard and raw issues that are typical of the crime-drama. It draws you in with suspense and intrigue. On its face, “Butt Boy” has all the tension of the crime genre and sucks the viewer in completely. It’s easy to buy in completely, and “Butt Boy” can stand alongside any great serial killer movie, in terms of that arresting impact.
The genius of “Butt Boy” is made possible with the incredible performances of the cast. It is a well-written, brilliantly conceived piece that requires serious acting chops from every member of the ensemble. From the leads to the last child actor, there is some incredible work being done.
Here’s the thing about “Butt Boy”: It works. It works on every possible level. It manages to be hilarious but also fully dedicated to its genre of choice. The film is pulling it off.
Imagine the surprise of the audience when, halfway through the film, it is revealed that Butt Boy’s anus has some kind of other-dimensional, vortex-creating, superpower?! Now, we’re in a sci-fi piece and… I’ll be damned, it works just as well! “Butt Boy” seamlessly transitions from crime to science fiction and it’s all fantastic!
I could go on forever but suffice to say that “Butt Boy” is a symphony of the absurd and absolutely can’t be missed. I offer it the highest recommendation and suggest you run, don’t walk, to its final screening at the fest. We’re witnessing a cult classic in the making.
“Butt Boy” will screen for the final time at Fantastic Fest on Thursday, September 26, at 5 p.m.
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Caitlin is a lean, mean writing machine based in Austin, TX. Her love of film began when she was shown “Rosemary’s Baby” way too early in life. She currently serves as the Lead Film Contributor for Shuffle Online; other notable bylines include The Financial Diet and Film Inquiry. Caitlin is a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics and the Women Film Critics Circle.