Scream Horror Magazine

BUTT BOY: Film Review

Posted on: April 13th, 2020

Synopsis:
An unsatisfied man has a sexual re-awakening after his first-ever prostate exam. But what starts as a harmless kink takes a deadly turn as he develops a voracious desire to insert objects—and, before long, living things—into his anus.

There was a point early into Butt Boy when I thought, “Why am I watching this? Surely I have better things to do.” But since we’re in lockdown and there really was nothing better to do, I stuck with it. And before long, I couldn’t turn it off, because I simply had to know how this crazy movie was going to end.

Butt Boy was directed and co-written by Tyler Cornack, who also stars as Chip Gutchell, a bored IT engineer with an unhappy home life. Gutchell is an unlikeable character at the best of times, but barely 10 minutes into the movie, his newfound addiction has him “disappearing” a dog and, disturbingly, a baby.

It’s at this point you’ll probably want to turn the movie off. But stick with it, because our real hero is coming in the form of Detective Russell Fox (Tyler Rice), a recovering alcoholic who meets Gutchell at an AA meeting shortly before Gutchell relapses and “disappears” another child. While working the missing child case, Fox begins to suspect that Gutchell has done something unspeakable… But who is going to believe such an insane theory?

What Butt Boy does well is setting up Gutchell’s compulsion as one akin to a serial killer’s murderous desires, which helps to offset the absurd premise and gives the audience something grounded to cling to. You’ll have to turn your brain off to accept that Fox was able to deduce Gutchell’s modus operandi before seeing it with his own eyes, but Rice plays the role so straight that at times, you forget he’s not acting in a straightforward police drama.

While some of the cat-and-mouse scenes between Fox and Gutchell are genuinely compelling, the middle portion of the movie does begin to drag before things truly take a turn for the weird. It’s at this point, however, that you’ll begin to wonder if Cornack and co-writer Ryan Koch were self-aware about the film’s uncomfortable paedophilic undertones and whether the central gag might have worked just as well—if not better—if Gutchell was “disappearing” grown men instead. After all, his sexual re-awakening (and make no mistake, the film does play the “disappearings” as sexual acts, with all the gasping and writhing that comes with them) was triggered by a prostate exam, something that heteronormative male culture is famously squeamish about. A smarter (though, perhaps, no less problematic) film might have explored the violent and self-loathing outbursts of a man who has always believed himself to be fundamentally straight as he wrestles with his newfound desire to be penetrated.

Alas, this is not a particularly smart film, but it’s certainly an unusual one. Surprisingly stylish for the subject matter, though not as funny as it thinks it is, Butt Boy will get people talking—and that seems to be what it was made for.

Words: Samantha McLaren (@themeatispeople)

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