HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker Family Splatters
Year: 1982
Director: William Asher
Stars: Jimmy McNichol, Susan Tyrrell, Bo Svenson, Marcia Lewis, Julia Duffy, Britt Leach, Steve Eastin, Caskey Swaim, Cooper Neal, Bill Paxton, Kay Kimler, Gary Baxley, Vickie Oleson, Clemente Anchondo, Alex Baker, Randy Norton
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Fourteen years ago, the parents of Billy Lynch (Jimmy McNichol) left him in the care of his aunt Cheryl (Susan Tyrrell) as they went off on a trip, but as they were driving along the road out in the hills, heading for the highway, Billy's father was horrrified to discover the brakes were no longer working on the car. He weaved in among the traffic, desperately trying to stop, but it was no use and he crashed into the back of a truck which sent a pipe ramming through the windscreen, knocked his head off then the vehicle flew off a cliff, landing in a shallow river below and exploding. As you can imagine, Billy was now an orphan...

But Aunt Cheryl is a little too attached to young Billy now he is on the cusp of his seventeenth brithday, and that's an understatement in this, the odd one out in the canon of director William Asher, the man who had directed countless hours of fluffy television and started off the Beach Party series at A.I.P. back in the sixties. What it was that drew him to a lurid horror movie at this stage in his comfortable career remains lost to the mists of time, but its fans were happy he did, adapting an obscure novel in a rather uninspired style which curiously rendered it all the more bizarre when it was presented in such unadorned and matter of fact fashion.

However, there was nothing matter of fact about Susan Tyrrell's performance; she had signed on because she so relished the chance to play, shall we say, the more eccentric type of character and in this instance she seized her opportunities to create one of her wildest interpretations. We can tell early on that Aunt Cheryl is a few sandwiches short of a picnic, not because Tyrrell starts at screaming pitch, but simply because of the demeanour the star brought to the part. Soon she has stabbed the TV repairman to death and claimed he was trying to rape her (he wasn't), but what has prompted this outburst of violence? It's the news that Billy may win a scholarship to Denver University thanks to his basketball skills, that's what.

Cheryl cannot bear the thought of being alone and there's only one man in her life, who is Billy. Her incestuous attachment to him - which the kid doesn't latch onto at all - is the impetus for the mayhem that follows, but she's not the only crazy in the movie, just get a look at the investigating Detective Carlson, played by Bo Svenson who essays it just as laugh out loud loathsome as Tyrrell's creation, only with a different tack. Carlson has a prejudice, you see, he cannot stand homosexuals which means he brings them up as often as possible in conversation just to denigrate them, to the extent that he sees the sinister machinations of a supposed gay agenda in every crime he investigates: the fact Billy's coach is openly homosexual and there's nothing wrong with that sends him nuts.

Carlson and Cheryl would be perfect for each other, being on the same level of insanity if of different stripes, and it's the cop's incompetence which allows her to continue her crimes to the stage that most of the cast are in peril. Also known as Night Warning, Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker was the title of the book, and how it became known in the United Kingdom where it was classed as a so-called "video nasty", probably because it was so explicit in its twisted Southern Gothic's implications, though it didn't get particularly gory until the final fifteen minutes. Indeed, for the most part it unfolds as a variation on Psycho except the mother character is far more visible in her evil, you think if Billy survives he has decades of therapy to look forward to. Also showing up were Julia Duffy (best known from TV's Newhart) as the girlfriend Cheryl develops a huge grudge against and in a small role as a school bully, Bill Paxton already marking out his individual technique, but it was Susan you'd remember, a fantastic grotesque who was really too great for the film to bear. Music by Bruce Langhorne.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3797 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: