The Butcher (2006)

DECEMBER 8, 2008


Anyone who claims Ed Wood and/or Uwe Boll are the worst filmmakers of all time have clearly never suffered through the works of Michael Feifer. Boll and Wood’s films may be problematic at best (though a few of Boll’s, such as Postal, are actually quite good IMO), but at least they entertain, and are made by people who genuinely care about film and filmmaking. But there is never even an iota of evidence of that being the case with Feifer’s movies such as The Butcher (which he only produced this time around), which are seemingly made on an assembly line.

Like The Graveyard, we have yet another group of unlikable “heroes” facing off against a killer in the middle of the woods. Except this time it’s more of a survival horror than a slasher, since Feifer and encoring screenwriter Michael Hurst are ripping off Wrong Turn and Texas Chainsaw Massacre instead of I Know What You Did Last Summer and Friday the 13th. However, to be fair, they go right ahead and rip off The People Under The Stairs during the 3rd act, an inspired choice of blatant thievery.

The problem with this movie is that it has no aspirations. There is absolutely nothing in the movie that would suggest that the film was actually born out of anyone’s imagination or desire to tell a particular story, or even pay homage to earlier classics a la Last House In The Woods. Everything is by the numbers and mind-numbingly boring, without a single good line or standout performance to save it. The directing style (of soft-core porn director Edward Gorsuch) amounts to simply placing the camera in a position where it can see whoever is talking, the killer is as dull as the kids he’s stalking, and the backstory is tossed in out of nowhere during the finale when our Final Kids are confronting the guy.

I mean, you take a real piece of shit like Drive Thru or Dark Ride, and as terrible as they may be, you can actually sort of see the genesis of an idea in there. “How about a killer at McDonalds?” is at least SOMETHING. And Dark Ride, if nothing else, had a great location. But what the hell could be the one liner for this shit? “How about some kids are going on a road trip, and they take a shortcut, right? But they break down and get chased by a redneck around yet another goddamn dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere!” Yeah, pal, you’re on to something. I am sure that, once again for Feifer, he simply had a location and decided to make a movie there, as quickly and cheaply as possible. My biggest fear with the current real estate crisis is that there will be a lot of properties being bought up cheap by this tool, which will just translate into more godawful movies that I inadvertently watch.

Well, thanks to Feifer, I am going to start being a bit more selective when it comes to what I watch. I’m sick of writing the same review over and over, and watching movies that are so devoid of personality that I can’t even think of a single specific scene or moment in the film to point out. It would be impossible to stick to theatrical releases, so I can’t reign myself in too much, but I will no longer be watching any direct to video films that I’ve never heard of, and I will TRY to limit the number of obscure budget pack films as well (dipping into those is not always avoidable). The whole point of HMAD is to engage in a dialogue about these movies, and with shit like this, no one ever comments anyway, because you’re all a lot smarter than me and never bothered to watch it. If I hear really good things about one, or it’s part of a franchise, then fine, but as far as “obscure for a reason” shit like this goes: NO MORE.

Which means, unless it’s 11:55 PM and I have yet to watch a movie, I don’t think I’ll be tuning into Fearnet anymore.

I will also be memorizing the entire filmography of Feifer so I can ensure I never again suffer the indignity of spending 90 minutes of my day trying to find enjoyment in one of his soulless pieces of shit.

What say you?


  1. i'm almost tempted to watch this, just so i can really comment on it and prove you wrong...but i probably won't

  2. Amen! I never have any luck with fearnet. I almost watched this one the other day but decided to go with assinine christmas horror movie instead. I can't even remember the name and was probably drunk, but still. I should have stuck with a known property like "People Under the Stairs."

  3. You must be talking about Christmas Evil, since that's the "assinine Christmas horror movie" that's been on rotation at FearNet most recently. But hey! Fiona Apple's Dad plays the killer fuck it...

    Can't these dipshits get in trouble for sampling TCM and the Halloween theme in their trailer?

    Please. Somebody. Get "them" in "trouble"...


  4. Initially I was pretty darn excited about my "trial" Fearnet subscription, but quickly found out that it was all pretty much crap. I did not get through a single movie- I started watching about 5 different ones, but don't think I lasted longer than about 15 min. on any of them.

    I was a pretty big "Twin Peaks" fan. But when I left the theater after watching "Fire Walk With Me" I was pretty pissed and wanted to contact David Lynch and demand that he give me 1 1/2 hrs of my life back. Well, I was not going to go down that road again with anything playing on Fearnet.

    I think you are definitely moving in the right direction, although I have still not seen "Cathy's Curse," which was a budget pack find as I recall.

  5. Before giving up on Fearnet, consider checking out the insanity of Waxwork II. It features time travel and no actual waxwork!

  6. @BloodPepsi - right? Really, you're gonna steal the Halloween theme?

    BC, While it's always fun to have you tear into something, or for you to at least confirm what I would probably suspect when it came to these, I completely understand. Mediocre genre pictures are always dispiriting. And I'd rather have you spend your time being funny or enjoying yourself.

    Sorta related... I just watched that trailer to the new M. Bay horror movie, The Unborn. Now, I haven't seen it, but the trailer is just packed full of "references" to other horror movies. Some quite blatant rip-offs: Mouth of Madness, Don't Look Now, Jacob's Ladder. There's barely an original shot in there.

    I guess if a lot of money and top talent can't make a truly original horror picture, and really it's all about the trailer, then it's hard to expect some hack with no budget to have any ideas besides some good shots to edit together for a trailer.


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