Movie Review - Butt Boy
When people eat things they shouldn't, it's called pica. It's a psychological disorder and depending on what the person prefers to eat that's other than food will dictate what specific disorder they have. For example, acuphagia is when a person prefers to eat sharp objects. Hyalophagia is when a person prefers to eat glass. Pagophagia is when a person prefers to eat ice. Xylophagia is when a person prefers to eat paper or wood. Swallow was about a woman suffering from pica and those various forms of phagia. This film is arguably about a man suffering from pica, but the difference is that instead of taking things orally, he takes things inside of himself rectally. Various random objects become suppositories for him. Those various objects all become enemas of a sort.
However, strangely or even more strangely, things that he sticks into his anus disappear. Unlike Swallow, things that were put into the protagonist eventually came out. Here, Chip puts things up his butt and they don't come back out. Yet, the way Cornack shoots things, it's not exactly clear that things are disappearing into his anus. Objects around the house simply start vanishing. The assumption is silly and a bit funny. From the opening credits, one might conclude that this film is a comedy. The opening credits bare resemblance to the opening credits to the Zucker brothers' Police Squad! (1982), the comedy series that spawned the hilarious films, starting with The Naked Gun (1988). Yet, when a dog and even a child vanish, the assumption is no longer silly or funny but rather disturbing and grim.
When another child goes missing, Russel is sent to investigate. He's surprised to learn that the missing child occurred at RTM, the company where Chip works. It's clear that Russel suspects Chip of either being the culprit or being involved. The scene where Russel interrogates Chip is probably the best scene in the whole film. It shows Russel being a good detective and Chip being a cagey suspect. Yet, after that scene, the film goes downhill rather quickly because both characters start acting and making decisions that seem either stupid or nonsensical. The decisions don't seem smart. They seem done in order to keep the plot going and to contrive certain thrilling moments. Technically, the whole thing should be over about a hour into it, but the movie keeps going and only because both characters make dumb decisions.
The tone though is so serious that for the most part it feels like it's trying to be an episode of The X-Files. Granted that The X-Files did have its silly or comedic moments, but the comedy was more pronounced. Cornack's humor here is more subtle, which isn't a bad thing, but I'm not sure it's balanced or juggled properly. Given Chip's anal pica, one would assume that he's the titular character, but, the final 20 minutes or so of this film suggests that Russel might actually be the titular character, and it's the tone in those 20 minutes specifically that isn't balanced or juggled to my liking.
Yes, this film has addiction as its text or certainly in its text. However, the way that this film began, I thought it might instead be about sexual exploration. I didn't think it would go down this dark, science-fiction route. I thought it might stay in the realm of the relative real-world like Swallow. I thought it might be a film about a heterosexual man possibly discovering the joys of anal sex or anal stimulation. In that, I thought it might be a kind of queer film in that it would touch upon a straight man's sexual fluidity, a topic that's not often explored. It's not that addiction isn't an important and relevant topic, but it is often explored. The same for child loss.
Spaghettiman (2016) and The VelociPastor (2019), which are both more comic book spoofs than anything else.
Not Rated but contains language, violence, gore, rear nudity and sexual situations.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 40 mins.
Available on April 14th on VOD.