HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Guru the Mad Monk
Jezebel
Monos
Life at the Top
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
   
 
  Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker Family SplattersBuy this film here.
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, Thriller
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 1805 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: