Two weeks ago, I reviewed a movie called Swallow about a woman who swallows unusual objects. Now comes Butt Boy, a movie about a guy who puts unusual objects up his butt. All we need now is a movie called Nostril, about a person who puts unusual objects up their nose. The cool thing about Butt Boy is that it's much more than you think it will be. When you hear the premise, it sounds like a joke, like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes or something. Then you actually see the film and realize how well-made and clever it is, and a sense of pleasure sweeps over you.
Tyler Cornack (who also directed and co-wrote) plays Chip Gutchel, an office worker who isn't happy at his job or in his marriage. One thing he does like, though, is sticking things up his butt. The compulsion brings a strange delight. The more he does it, the more power he gets, to the point where he's able to fit the family dog in there. Chip becomes the AA sponsor to newly-sober police detective Russell Fox (Tyler Rice). Fox is working a missing child case and, through some dedicated investigation, comes to believe that Chip might be harboring the child in his bowels.
Right now, you're probably thinking, What the hell?!, right? The premise is admittedly off-the-wall. No, “off-the-wall” is too mild a descriptor. “Deranged” is a better word choice. Butt Boy certainly has all the scatological madness you'd expect from the concept. What makes it work is that the movie – in a bold defiance of expectation – plays everything completely straight. There's no winking at the audience, no nudging to indicate that the makers know how preposterous it is. In fact, the picture has sort of a dark, brooding, film noir feel. That just serves to make it funnier than it would with a more overtly comedic approach.
Good performances help to sell Butt Boy. Cornack plays Chip as a real sad sack who's filled with guilt over his ability, despite repeatedly indulging in it. At the same time, the character can come off seeming evil, especially during a sequence where he applies his skill in a desperate attempt to scare off Detective Fox. Rice is also good, making the cop fiercely determined to find the missing kid. He's a nice counterpoint to Chip.
The longer Butt Boy goes on, the wilder it gets, leading to a final half-hour that is mind-blowingly awesome. I really want to tell you how the situation resolves itself. You have no idea how much I want to tell you that. It's wonderfully insane. I laughed out loud multiple times during the final act because what transpires is perfect in its outrageousness. And again, it's funnier because the movie doesn't treat the material like a joke.
Butt Boy isn't going to win any Oscars. It won't ever be added to the Criterion Collection or placed on the National Film Registry. Who cares? I can't think of any other movie quite like it. You want to see a true original – something that will continually take you by surprise? Here it is.
out of four
Butt Boy is unrated, but contains adult language, some violence, and many scatological references. The running time is 1 hour and 40 minutes.