‘Butt Boy,’ About a Killer Who Stuffs Kids Up His Butt, Is the Most Bonkers Movie of the Year
You have no idea what you’re in for.
For Florida man Chip Gutchell, life is a drag. His IT job at a roofing company is mind-numbingly dull, and his boss Rick (Austin Lewis) is a clown who celebrates his employees’ accomplishments with corny rap performances. Chip’s wife Anne (Shelby Dash) barely wants anything to do with him, and their infant son needs constant attention. All in all, it’s a monotonous existence that leaves Chip operating as if in a dazed stupor, trudging through each day with a blank, miserable look on his face and a feeling that he’s empty inside.
Until, that is, Chip has his first prostate exam at the doctor’s office, and learns that he loves—LOVES—having things inserted up his butt.
If that alone doesn’t make Butt Boy the strangest movie of the year, the fact that Chip’s newfound passion turns out to have a supernatural component certainly does. You see, having discovered this pleasurable pursuit, Chip can think of nothing else but indulging in it. First, he attempts to have his wife use her finger on him. When that fails, he turns to a bar of soap, followed by a kitchen dishwashing brush, and then—amazingly—his small puppy Rocky. Now fully addicted to the erotic rush derived from this activity, Chip truly ups his game, snatching a young boy from a public park and stuffing him in his anus. This leads to a community-wide search for the kid, but to no avail. Because as it turns out, anything and everything that goes inside Chip’s butt disappears.
Butt Boy is the brainchild of Tyler Cornack, who not only stars as Chip but also co-wrote (with Ryan Koch) and directed this bonkers feature, which premieres on VOD on April 14 after making a splash at last year’s Fantastic Fest. It is not, as you might have gleaned from the above description, high art. Like a more puerile variation of a Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim Adult Swim genre-mash-up spoof, it boasts a premise that one can imagine was concocted while Cornack and Koch were stoned out of their minds. Given the sheer inanity of its central idea—as well as its ensuing narrative—the film deserves some (minor) credit for simply existing in the first place.
Fortunately, Butt Boy’s lunacy extends past its basic concept. Following his consumption of the aforementioned adolescent, Chip—wracked with guilt over what he’s done, and who he’s become—attempts to hang himself in his garage with a rubber hose. Escape from compulsion, however, isn’t that easy, and the film promptly jumps nine years ahead to find the shlubby Chip still living the same tedious life, albeit clean and sober, thanks to regular attendance at his local Alcoholics Anonymous gatherings (which he uses as a substitute for his one-of-a-kind problem). There, he’s introduced to, and becomes the sponsor of, Russell Fox (Tyler Rice), a detective with greased-back hair and a bushy goatee that’s roughly three times too big for his face. Over coffee after Russell’s first meeting, Chip tells him, “You look like every detective ever,” which is true—although he also resembles Stephen Baldwin, just as Chip brings to mind a more disheveled Josh Radnor.
Russell’s wistful memories of enjoying booze stir in Chip his long-dormant urges, which he succumbs to at his job’s bring-your-kid-to-work day. During a game of hide-and-seek, Chip can’t resist inhaling young Andrew Lee (Kai Henderson), thus leading to a missing person’s investigation spearheaded by Russell, who learns that the office’s CCTV footage has been erased—and only Chip, his sponsor, had access to it. His suspicion piqued, Russell begins looking into his new friend. What he finds is a weird glob of organic material (boasting a few hairs) under Chip’s desk, and a similar bit of goo in a tunnel where Chip has apparently left a cat carrier, minus the kitty. Convinced he’s cracked the case, Russell goes to his boss with a theory that Chip is cramming objects, animals and children up his heinie “almost in serial-killer fashion,” which, unsurprisingly, earns him only a cold, disbelieving stare down.
Butt Boy thus transitions from a surreal addiction drama to a police thriller—if, that is, one can claim it’s anything other than a wacko lark. Cornack plays his material as straight as possible, so that, for example, when Rick states, in the wake of Andrew’s disappearance, that “we’re going to get to the bottom of this,” there’s no attendant winking on the director’s part. Such relative understatement lends the action some deadpan humor, and it’s aided by Cornack’s lead performance, which involves affecting an expression of either zonked-out desolation and vacancy, or frenzied bliss. He’s as believable as could be expected under these preposterous circumstances, and though Rice embodies Russell as more of a stereotypical tortured-grizzled gumshoe, he too never allows Russell to veer into outright caricature.
That said, no one is watching Butt Boy for its earnest characterizations; they’re only interested in backdoor insanity, and in that regard, it (mostly) delivers. At 100 minutes, Cornack’s film has more than a few draggy patches involving Chip’s domestic dysfunction and Russell’s tragic backstory (hint: he has a personal stake in Chip’s nefarious deeds), which are so conventional that one suspects the joke is just that they reside in a movie this ridiculous. That’s far less funny, though, than the actual idiocy that eventually materializes, most of it having to do with the fact that Chip doesn’t just shove objects and living beings up his backside; he literally vacuums them in, with vortex-like force.
Suffice it to say, you won’t be showing Butt Boy to your grandmother—or, for that matter, to anyone with a distaste for dumb, dirty, dreamlike madness. There’s no profound theme to these proceedings, nor any larger meaning; at every turn, the action shrewdly eschews import and good taste. What’s left is merely a juvenile saga about the hunger and need of a disaffected man with the most magical butt in cinema history—as well as a cautionary tale about the inevitable catastrophe that awaits those who don’t handle constipation in a timely fashion. For better or worse, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience.