Butt Boy is a strange ride. It’s a film called Butt Boy after all, so I suppose some level of strangeness is suitable. It’s also a film that was added into Fantastic Fest’s lineup of perpetually great programming, which bodes well for any film I see there. However, the question still stood, how can one butt stuff joke hold an entire films runtime? The answer is complicated.
Butt Boy opens on schlub, Chip Gutchell caught in a dead end job with a wife that doesn’t return his affection. When he arranges for his first prostate exam, Gutchell finds that he very much enjoys shoving things up his butt. Now, while that starts as relatively small items, it ends up turning to live animals and even entire humans.
Flash forward a few years to Detective Russel Fox (Tyler Rice) who finds himself investigating mysterious disappearances that may have something to do with the before mentioned Gutchell.
Butt Boy is an obvious on the nose satire. Using its overt butt stuff to convey a big underlying message. Part of the fun of the film is getting to the center of what that message is. So, I won’t spoil that here. I will say that the entire film is played surprisingly straight. For the subject matter at hand, the whole thing comes off straight faced even in the film’s most absurd moments.
Tyler Rice does a pitch-perfect job as Detective Russel Fox adding a young Micheal Madsen approach to his overall look and delivery. The more absurd bits of narrative are grounded well by his serious approach to his character and is ultimately what makes the film work like it does.
Rice and Guchell going head to head feels almost comic book. Like, this could have been a character rejected and thrown away by Marvel. It feels very origin story, and like it is setting up for a bigger world built on a hero and his arch nemesis.
Director and Co-writer, Tyler Cornack creates a David Fincher-esque aesthetic to much of the film. Crafting a world that almost seems to suffocate in its visual representation of loneliness. Added to that are strong elements of effective cat and mouse mechanics. The whole thing works really well when combined, even in the moments when the pacing seems a bit off.
Butt Boy is Heat by way of Fincher… but with a lot more butt stuff. It’s an effective approach to something that could have been passed off as a one-off butt joke. The real magic of the picture is how Cornack is able to sustain the film’s thriller cadence for as long as he does. This of course all leading up to the most insane third acts you will see in 2019. Trust me, the third act alone is something that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s a strange title give it a looksee and judge for yourself.