Some days you sit there scrolling through Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Youtube in the hopes of finding some comforting junk food entertainment to play as background noise. Then there are days when you run into Troma Entertainment’s streaming service, Troma Now, and find a new movie called B.C. Butcher – the very first prehistoric slasher movie written and directed by a teenage girl – and you think to yourself: “There is no way I can live my life happily knowing that I didn’t watch this movie the second I heard about it.” B.C. Butcher was written by 15-year old Kansas Bowling and her friend Kenzie Givens. When she was 17, she directed the film, then contacted Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger, Terror Firmer, Poultrygeist) of Troma Entertainment, who picked up for distribution. This year the film was finally released, and boy is it a good one!
Neandra (Leilani Fideler) is the leader of an all-female prehistoric tribe who start off the movie by murdering and eating one of their own, Dina (Miranda Robin), who was supposedly been fooling around with Neandra’s lover Rex (the hilarious Kato Kaelin). After their meal, Anaconda (Natasha Halevi) tells the legend of The Butcher, a killer who stalked their tribe many years ago and left big animal footprints – along with the bodies of their tribe – in his wake. This sets the tribe on edge, especially after the psychotic Butcher (Dwayne Johnson) starts killing people after he finds Dina’s body, falls in love with her and starts having visions of Dina telling him to murder all the girls that took her life.
As a slasher fan, this movie isn’t like anything else I’ve ever seen. The tone is much lighter, there’s very little blood and gore, and the music is much happier and more offbeat than you’d expect from a film of this ilk; but all of that works to give this movie a unique spin on the genre. The soundtrack is rockin’, from the opening song Alley Oop by The Hollywood Argyles to the many songs, and even a music video, by the Southern Californian band The Ugly Kids. The script is full of twists and turns and tons of laughs. You know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with one, though it is perhaps left unattended for the average politically correct viewer.
Kato Kaelin’s Rex is one of the funniest characters I’ve ever seen in a film. His comedic timing and tone is pure art. Neandra’s character, while a total jerk, was the best written one with tons of character and uncertainty with all of her actions. You could tell she was trying her best to be a good leader and always second guessed if she was doing the right thing or not. Molly Elizabeth Ring and Devyn Leah were also fantastic as the adorable Poppy and the blind seer Bamba, respectively. I also really enjoyed the way the men were portrayed as stereotypical dumb cavemen as it added a lot to the commentary about gender politics to the film, as well as some inappropriate humor.
The only things that weren’t absolutely amazing about the film were the lack of blood and gore, as well as the lacklustre ending. The blood and gore can be chalked up to a personal taste thing, but I do really wish the ending had more of an impact. It was a good idea, but it was rushed and felt very underwhelming.
If you are into Troma films, slasher films, or just indie films with tons of heart, I can’t recommend B.C. Butcher enough. It’s got a wonderful soundtrack with weird and catchy music, the acting is great, and Kato Kaelin is a riot. The ending may not be the best, but it’s still fun, and the film just oozes heart and soul. B.C. Butcher is most definitely one of my favorite films of 2016 and Kansas Bowling is absolutely a filmmaker to keep an eye on. I can’t wait to see what she makes next!
B.C. Butcher is currently available to stream on Troma Now (first month is free) as well as Amazon!