The titling of a movie is an unheralded art. The title can bluntly sum up what a film is about – Titanic is about the Titanic, Star Wars is about wars in space – or it can be a complete joke, taking the uninitiated by surprise. No one has a good time in Good Time. There are at least two things wrong with the title Naked Lunch. But maybe no movie in film history has done both and been as accurately titled as Butt Boy. Even before you read the rest of this review, you’ll know how you feel about this movie. When you saw the title “Butt Boy,” did you groan out of annoyance or disgust? Then go enjoy some other film and I’m glad to have saved you some time. Did that title illicit interest, whether it’s a morbid curiosity or a childish sense of humor that made you chuckle at simply the mention of butts? Then right this way.
But unfortunately, I am here to tell you that Butt Boy is about exactly that. Chip Gutchel (Tyler Cornack, who also acts as director and co-writer) is tired of his boring office job and his wife that can’t hide her contempt for him. After getting his first prostate exam, Chip realizes that he enjoys having stuff up his butt and his entire world (like his butthole) opens up. Chip’s rectal addiction quickly escalates, from Chip sticking soap and remote controls in his seat, but then soon after, his family’s dog is missing and the search for a lost child leaves Chip trying to hang himself in his garage.
Jumping forward nine years, Chip seems to have solved his keister conundrum by going to AA meetings, where he meets and sponsors Detective Fox (Tyler Rice). Yet when Chip’s office has “Bring Your Child to Work Day” and one of the kids goes missing, Detective Fox is on the case. It doesn’t take long before Detective Fox has put together that Chip has fallen off the wagon and is hiding the kid in his caboose.
Butt Boy quickly gets to its absurd premise and lays its entire concept on the line: this is a story about a man who can essentially stick anything up his butt and they don’t come out. The idea sounds like Swallow, directed by Quentin Dupieux. To be fair, almost any story can be made into something great with the right handling and approach, but Butt Boy doesn’t have either.
Instead, Butt Boy is like a bad theater group got together to try and realize their director’s bad suggestion, which is at all times taken completely seriously. Detective Fox trying to solve the kidnapping perpetrated by Chip and his derriere is played like a straight-forward mystery. Most of the humor in Butt Boy comes from the realization that Cornack wants this bonkers story told with a deadpan seriousness. Yet even with such a ludicrous idea, Butt Boy goes exactly where one would expect it to go. Even when Butt Boy gets to its ridiculous conclusion, it’s no surprise where the film decides to spend its third act.
There are some saving graces, however, as the few times Butt Boy addresses its stupidity lead to some of the biggest laughs, as when Detective Fox explains his theory as to where the missing kid has gone. Plus Cornack’s direction does have some talent behind it, as can be seen is a surprisingly gorgeous shot where Detective Fox climbs a tree in the middle of the night. But these moments are rare gems within the shit.
With such an insane idea, one would hope Butt Boy would go as nuts as it does in the end, but the decision to make it a bland, dull, wooden film with bad acting up until and including that point, undercuts the direction this story goes. It initially seems like it could be a fun, bizarre midnight movie ends up simply being the work of an asshole.
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