Andre The Butcher (2005)
Directed by Phillip Cruz
Written by Phillip Cruz and James Hyde
Runtime – 87 minutes
B Movie Blood n’ Guts
Boners, donuts and sinfully short cheerleading skirts, what more could you really wish for in a low budget movie. Well I’m glad to report that in this feature the list of debaucheries doesn’t stop there. There’s more. But without providing spoilers I’ll state that a seasoned veteran viewer might believe they’ve been transported to B movie heaven as this dirty lil’ gem plays out.
As luck would have it a cheerleading squad, the ‘Beavers’ (and the best name ever for a sports team award goes to…), have somehow broken down on their way to the regional finals. But don’t fret as after this frustrated collective decimate another squad, answering taunts of Kristi Kreme with their fists and kicks, they discover numerous ways to titillate the viewer and amuse themselves. Jimbo, Justin Capaz, becomes the center of attention and instantly loathed by many as he transforms into what a stereotypical male viewers ultimate wet dream scenario consists of.
Toss in a narrative from a friendly geriatric Southern fellow, a few inept sheriffs and a small crowd of escaped convicts into the mix and ‘Andre the Butcher’ picks up pace within no time easily overtaking a Pinto heading downhill nearing terminal velocity with no trouble whatsoever. Our ‘celebrated’ antagonist appears in all his blood splattered glory within the films first few minutes. It takes only a few moments for the viewer to prepare for the remainder of the film as Andre is seen relaxing, picking at old wounds consuming with relish chunks of peeled off dried flesh. (Where’s the ketchup?). It’s strange then, that early on the film appears to tease the viewer with ‘cut-aways’ (making one wonder if this is in fact a film sans grisly bits) especially in an early scene Andre, Ron Jeremy, is seen swinging at assorted victims with assorted oversized tools of his trade (surprisingly not the usual ‘lady tickling stick’ he’s known to wield with his trademarked tongue in-cheek prowess).
Showcasing a script containing numerous scenes of carnage all of which are delightfully cheesy and gloriously over the top the Cruz and Hyde creative team have also managed to inject several scenes of comical ‘mumbo jumbo’ to flesh out the script and Andre’s character. He was a family man, a butcher who renounced God when his family were taken from him, he then resorted to grinding up his customers for stew. Blah, blah, blah, it’s all been done before, especially in the slasher genre although thankfully Andre plays out with a self-deprecating style of gallows humor that I believe works very well. All the audience must witness is the only deleted scene (available in the special features) to fully appreciate this.
If it isn’t the final scenes inventive take on (creating) ‘holy water’, it’s the rejuvenate powers of the film’s antagonist, or perhaps a character who spends the entirety of the movie crying out for eternal deliverance, squirming around in a patch of crimson grass, that’ll make you chortle. Truth be told there’s a plethora of other scenes that’ll ensure this feature is one that will be discussed around the water cooler for days, perhaps weeks, after viewing.
As if all that wasn’t enough the soundtrack is commendable. In fact, a nice change from what one would normally expect to hear in the low budget arena. Assorted death and black (metal) tracks keep brilliant pace with the action on screen. Black Funeral, Pest and Hades feature among others in the credits to make a metal head, like myself, bob my head whilst I smirk at the on-screen hilarity.
All in all, Andre the Butcher is a feature that’s well worth seeking out. If not for the (non-porn) Ron Jeremy enthusiast, then for the connoisseur of comedic low budget affairs, certainly not for those who enjoy twists, turns, intrigue and mystery in their cinematic escapades. Andre is straight forward, fun and messy it delivers where one expects and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is something I can fully appreciate as a long-time enthusiast of both comedy and horror genres.
Unfortunately, the creative collaboration of Cruz and Hyde haven’t produced much since the release of Andre. This is a damn shame (in my opinion) as a healthy injection of over the top humor and silliness is certainly lacking in a genre where too many filmmakers take themselves too seriously and financing companies aren’t willing to take chances on anything but recognizable, extravagant, budget visual feasts. Fingers crossed that the social media crowd funding movement puts a stop to this and allows creativity to thrive. Up until then I’ll be digging through detritus to bring to light features I deem worthy of attention.
– Cult (@cultmetalflix)