Andre The Butcher (DVD)
Starring Ron Jeremy, April Billingsley, Maury Sterling, Heather Joy Budner, Justin Capaz, and Terry Mross
Directed by Philip Cruz
Distributed by THINKFilm
Sigh. I HATE when this happens. A movie comes along you've never heard of. The box art instantly catches your eye. You pick it up, flip it over, and read the synopsis. Doesn't sound so bad. If you're really lucky, there may even be a quote or two to prepare you for what you're in for. You shrug your shoulders figuring, "What the hell, I got nothin' to lose," and pop it in your DVD player. Nothing to lose. That's a lie. You may try to convince yourself that even if the movie sucks, you won't be too disappointed, but deep down inside there's always that want to discover a gem amidst the crap that's out there. This was the exact set of conditions under which I watched Andre The Butcher. I mean just look at that cover. A giant deformed guy wielding a machete in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other. If that doesn't spell promising, then I don't know what does. More on the cover in a bit; first let's tackle every little gory detail that you have to look forward to.
Cheerleaders. You either love to lust after them or want to see them eviscerated with a rusted metal spork. (Myself? I fall into the latter category.) While on their way to a cheerleading competition somewhere in Florida, a group of overly peppy douche bags, errr . . . sorry, I mean kids, end up taking a turn down the scary back roads of the sunshine state. Of course making a wrong turn onto a supposed short cut is always deadly in these films. For once I'd like to see just one character follow the exact route set before them on their maps. But then again, if they did that, we'd have no movie. In any event, faster than you can say "bring it on," the cheers suddenly cease when they come face to face with the film's namesake, Andre the Butcher. Throw in a couple of escaped convicts, a drunken redneck narrator who semi-plays the harmonica, and your prerequisite ever so cliche cops, and --WHAMMO-- instant slasher film. What could go wrong, right? A lot.
Let's go back to the cover art for a moment, shall we? See that badass killer on the cover? Go ahead, click to enlarge the image. Take a good, long look because you ain't gonna see him in the movie. Instead we get, how I wish I could make this up, aging cock-sure porn star Ron Jeremy. Um? Huh? Where's the scary looking guy in the picture? Are you kidding me? Let's face it, there's only one thing in this world that makes Jeremy intimidating, and it's not seen in this film. The character of Andre the Butcher is a complete joke resembling a poor man's Leatherface. Most of the time it's not even Jeremy playing him. Gaze in awkward silence as the killer goes from hulking giant to tubby guy wearing a welder's mask through the magic of movie editing. Words cannot describe how distracting and obvious this is. The film-makers only use Jeremy for sporadic tight shots and close-ups, and we should all be very thankful for that. Normally I'd be stymied by this type of casting choice, but there is a reason for it. This is a horror comedy! It's not supposed to be taken seriously. Creepy, didn't you get it? Rest assured, I got it all right. I just wish I could give it back or, thanks to Jeremy's involvement, be issued a soothing salve to remedy my new cinema induced burning itch.
The attempts at humor in this film fall flatter than sailor-loving vixen Olive Oyle's chest. Get ready to be treated to a nude scene blocked out by the words "No Nudity Clause". Question the value of your very life as Andre raises his arms to signify that "It's good!" after throwing a knife at his victim. Weep openly as your penis falls flaccid during a lesbian scene that turns into a toe-sucking, chili-lapping food fest. Bang your head in frustration at the endless wink-wink inside jokes that each start something to the effect of, "If this were a horror movie . . .", blah blah blah. I could go on for hours ranting about this, but to do so would be paying more attention to this shitfest than it is actually worth.
On the supplemental side of things, thankfully there's not a lot. We get a few trailers for films that look way better than this, Spanish subtitles (yes, they're listed as an extra; oh happy day), this film's trailer, and a deleted scene in which Andre the Butcher's welding mask gets knocked off and one of the characters quips, "Is that Ron Jeremy?" I shit you not. For the really curious, or really stupid, there is a commentary. In it the film-makers seem quite proud of themselves as they have a rollicking good time. This was the only instance during my experience with Andre The Butcher in which I was truly repulsed.
In short, this is not "a good horror party" movie, as a quote from the back of the box claims. It's a dumb, poorly written, mind-numbingly bad experience that doesn't even begin to tread the type of ground that it was attempting to cover.
To add even further insult to injury, this is touted as an unrated film. Unrated? How I wish I could unwatch it. You would think judging by the box that at the very least you're in for a good splatter fest. Sorry, kids, there's some blood splashed around here and there, but it's delivered (just like the rest of this celluloid mess) clumsily and without merit. Funny how a movie from a company called THINKFilm could be so utterly brain dead. What a world!
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