Andre the Butcher DVD Review
Written by Sham
DVD released by THINKFilm
Written by Philip Cruz and James Hyde
Directed by Philip Cruz
2006, Region 1 (NTSC), 87 minutes, Unrated
Ron Jeremy as Andre the Butcher
April Billingsley as Jasmine
Maury Sterling as Hoss
Heather Joy Budner as Cookie
Justin Capaz as Jimbo
Faye Canada as Deputy Hollingsworth
Terry Mross as Sheriff Cooper
Elizabeth Mullins as Kristy
Alan Fessenden as Tober
Gene Nash as the Narrator
I spent 20 minutes trying to think of a way to start this review.
The review is, of course, for an independent movie called Andre the Butcher, a perfect example of trashy, exploitive cinema. It should be an easy job on my part to lay it all out for you and explain my thoughts, but it’s not.
You see, Andre the Butcher is not your average film, and it doesn’t try to be. It can’t be categorized because it’s too eccentric. It can’t be taken seriously because it’s too vivacious. It’s like the Dead and Breakfast of the slasher genre. It’s unforgettable.
This is the most fun I’ve had watching a movie this year. It’s better than Dead & Breakfast with twice the guts. It’s an outrageous, nasty, and uproarious good time.
Like Dead & Breakfast, the film is narrated (but not through song) by a country hick (Gene Nash). He tells us a little bit about a group of cheerleaders on their way to a regional tournament. There’s Christian girl Jasmine (April Billingsley), straight guy Jimbo (Justin Capaz), sex crazed Cookie (Heather Joy Budner), and overweight Kristy (Elizabeth Mullins).
When Jimbo gets sleepy, and Cookie tries to keep him—eh hem—stimulated, he wrecks the car into an electrical pole.
Well, just a few miles away, notorious cannibal Andre the Butcher (Ron Jeremy – The Wickeds, Loose Caboose) is trying to make a human smoothie, but those damn hooligans knocked out the power. Can’t teenagers ever do anything right? Rest assured, Andre gets his revenge on the gay kids (gay meaning cheerful, of course!) in seemingly funny ways.
In the center of all of this, there are two convicts (Maury Sterling and Alan Fessenden) looking for shelter, a couple of estranged cops (Faye Canada and Terry Mross) looking for the prisoners, and, oh yeah, a man torn in half who just wants somebody to kill him.
Doesn’t this stuff just warm your heart?
The thing that separates Andre the Butcher from the rest of the copious clan of slasher movies is its approach to the material. The film has many flaws, but director Philip Cruz recognizes every single one by incorporating them into the movie in an effective new way. The story is ridiculous at first, and it only gets more offensive. This really raises the bar for horror comedies.
All of the actors have scene-stealing moments. Ron Jeremy is particularly raunchy as the title character, especially in a scene where he is required to eat the dead skin flaking off his arm. April Billingsley, as Jasmine the Christian girl, is terrific. She alongside costar Maury Sterling, who plays Hoss the convict, make a great duo. They each have they’re shining moments, but they work even better when they’re together. The climax, in which holy water is given new meaning, really gets the juices flowing by being completely fearless. Supporting actors are pretty good, too, especially from narrator Gene Nash. He has the best dialogue, the best deliveries, and the most hilarious last line I can’t stop quoting.
The movie works more as a comedy than a horror film, but I did jump once, and the gore is pretty heavy for a movie of its ilk. It’s a comic book of insane special effects and ridiculous butchery, and that makes the effects that much more memorable. Heads roll, knives fly, and lesbians lick human chili off of each others’ toes. Oh yeah, and the killer gets his arm shot off – twice.
Andre the Butcher has the potential of being a B-movie classic.
Bring on the sequel.
- Cast and Crew Commentary
- Deleted Scene
- Trailer Gallery
First up is the audio commentary with director Philip Cruz, actress April Billingsley, co-writer and producer James Hyde, and actress/body double April Renee.
The commentary, like the movie, is fun. It’s cynical and self-aware. However, I had issues with volume control. The movie during the commentary is entirely too loud, and it makes it harder to hear the participants discussion. You can also hear Butcher being played when the actors recorded the commentary. It’s confusing because you are hearing two versions of Butcher competing with the actors—the version that they were watching during the recording and the version that the commentary track was recorded on. So you’re hearing the movie, the commentary and the movie once again.
Next is the deleted scene called “Is That Ron Jeremy?” It’s basically a contemptuous segment involving actor Ron Jeremy where he has his mask removed in the movie, and one of the characters screams, “Holy shit! Is that Ron Jeremy?” I’m kind of disappointed it didn’t make it into the movie because it’s pretty funny.
Following that is the trailer gallery, including trailers for The Zodiac, The Choke, and Andre the Butcher.
Video and Audio:
Andre the Butcher looks decent in its non-anamorphic widescreen transfer. There are many times where it’s easy to mistaken the movie as being made on film, but there are even more times when the picture is out of focus. The darker scenes give away its inferior camera quality.
Andre the Butcher’s 5.1 Digital Surround is great. I had no issues with it whatsoever. The score is suitable and the soundtrack is awesome. This is great stuff, principally for a low-budget film.
Daring and exploitive, Andre the Butcher is exactly what I enjoy about movies.
I hope the DVD does well enough for the filmmakers to go back and make a sequel. This could be the start of a great franchise.
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