Director and actor Tyler Cornack, and his Tiny Cinema fellows, Ryan Koch and Tyler Rice, immerse viewers into the nightmarish tale of Butt Boy, told over a period of several years with a key gap in between.
Chip Gutchek (Tyler Cornack) is an IT expert whose job is about as mundane as how his wife, Anne (Shelby Dash), sees their marriage. One day, a check up with his proctologist is all it takes for him to discover a peculiar obsession, one that takes a toll greater than he imagines: shoving things up his ass.
It gets worse over time to the point where not only has he increasingly disappeared anything from the smallest of objects to actual people, he’s masking his condition as an Alcoholics Anonymous attendant. This is where he meets Russell Fox (Tyler Rice), a slick-haired, ear-pierced, leather jacket and thick goatee-wearing detective whose life is somewhat destitute, and in a way beyond their support group setting, shares the same space as Chip’s.
Things are still on life support between Chip and Anne at this stage before at least one revelation is made, and at one point, it looks like their marriage is finally back on the mend. As for his secret, his butt has evolved into a form of pure evil, and has only grown stronger in its menacing consumption, raising all kinds of red flags under the table for Russell whose superiors are anything but convinced.
It’s only then a matter of time before Chip and Russell unmask their resolve and finally square off. A stark plot twist unfolds that pushes Russell even farther down the rabbit hole of his bizzare inquiry, lands him in an inevitable situation, cranking the mystery up to levels that are as mildly horrific as they are grisly, as Russell now finds himself in a dank hellscape with no way out, and no way to stop Chip from further devouring people with his butt, and getting away with it.
Cornack’s Butt Boy is headed for a home release pretty soon, and it really is worth noting that there’s more to the movie than its provocative title. This needs to be said given that the public relations agent pushing the film to journalists a few weeks ago received a bit of misplaced backlash over it, which is a bit lame. As far as genre cinema goes, it gets way weirder than a film like Butt Boy, though this film does dole out its share of weird.
It certainly peaks the interest some, particularly upon watching the film’s trailer, which gives off more of an impression of a surreal crime comedy than the dark comedy horror it really feels like, and it’s very darkly toned to a certain hybridized effect at its core. If you’re into bizzare genre titles out of Asia and you can get this reference, think “Takao Nakano meets David Fincher” and that might possibly sum up what Cornack achieves.
Butt Boy does leave just a few holes in its wake, but there is plenty to compliment in its packaging and assembly in accordance with the dichotomy between Chip and Russell at the center of it all; Chip bodes as a mix of Stu from The Hangover and Richie Gecko from From Dusk ‘Til Dawn – minus the respective insufferable bro-degradation and petulant demeanor, is pretty listless at times and unenthused with life at first. He’s not a dick, and yet far from likeable, really, and aside from fatherhood, his affliction is really the only worthwhile indulgence he has going forward though since his wife barely looks at him. For Cornack and Koch in their writing, this uncertain neutrality translates as an opportune tipping point for the film to wholly let Chip unravel, thus driving the story where it needs to.
With the introduction of Russell into the mix after the first ten minutes, Butt Boy packs in a palpable 100-minute crime adventure that is sure to intrigue as it is to repulse at times. The film isn’t as brazen as, say, The Hangover, or even as gory or extreme as the work of some controversial filmmakers, say by the likes of Miike or Sono, or even Kim Ki-duk, but the optics will rattle you if you bare more conservative tastes in filmgoing.
Butt Boy‘s conceptual layering gets deep in scope with an innovative, nicely crafted and well-acted dark fantasy crime comedy, carried by an immersive and hypnotic score by Cornack and Koch, and one that’s rightfully unafraid to push the unevelope. There’s an intensity, a perpetual energy and pacing, a certain poetic justice, and heart in Butt Boy, and if you love genre cinema, have an open mind and enjoy living life with your head up your ass, Butt Boy is the movie for you.