Fantastic Fest Review: BUTT BOY
Image courtesy of IMDB

For fifteen years, Fantastic Fest has been celebrating the brightest and the boldest of genre film. The Fest has been the home for some of the most bizarre and innovative entries in horror, science fiction, fantasy, and much more. As far as perfect films for Fantastic Fest’s followers go, BUTT BOY is a jewel in that crown and audiences welcomed the film at its World Premiere on September 21 with open arms.

Tyler Cornack is a BUTT BOY triple threat as writer, director, and star of the film, alongside cast members Tyler Rice, Shelby Dash, and Austin Lewis.  The film tells the story of woeful middle-aged stereotype, Chip (played by Cornack). Between a bad marriage and a boring job, all Chip has to look forward to in life is his first-ever prostate exam. Doesn’t that sound fun?

As it turns out, Chip has been waiting for such an opportunity. He develops an addiction to sticking items up his butt. The addiction rages out of control and the items Chip is drawn to become more extreme… maybe even criminal?

What is awakened is a whirlwind of crime, fantastical elements, and gut-twisting hilarity. If you go into BUTT BOY expecting a comedy, get ready to be… confused. In a good way. The truth is that the film is a ridiculous premised, perfectly executed as a straight noir drama. This film takes itself so seriously that the audience doesn’t have to… and yet, they somehow do. 

At the structural, storytelling level, BUTT BOY throws us right into the action with an extended cold open. This is a brilliant move on the part of Cornack because it doesn’t allow the audience the time to snicker and reflect on how silly a film about a man obsessed with sticking things up his butt is. Instead, the high-octane plot bolts out of the gate and hits you with the drama, the horror, and the suspense. 

Once again, this is truly a film made for the cult of Fantastic Fest. 

BUTT BOY strikes a rare and masterful balance of humor and tension, making it a unique and effective film-going experience. The film is reminiscent of any popular serial killer movie (think Zodiac) and that ability to play the tropes of the crime-drama so flawlessly make the buy-in effortless. 

Several hats off to the wonderful cast of BUTT BOY. Performances are key in selling this idea and from child actor, to background character, to the stars, everyone is pulling their weight and showing some huge talent. This is just one of the many examples of BUTT BOY being the cream that rises to the top of genre film in 2019. 

BUTT BOY works. The premise is perfectly packaged and executed. Cornack is so comfortable within his genre that he’s able to bring a flexibility and playfulness to it that you will find lacking in other crime dramas. Every shot, every character, every line is lifting up this unlikely and, frankly, insane story. Well done. 

What we’ve got here is a cult-classic in the making. Did we mention that the film turns on its heel and becomes a sci-fi adventure in the final act? 

That’s right. BUTT BOY manages to be a must-watch staple in not one, but two genres. Another testament to Tyler Cornack knowing his craft and knowing it damn well. 

The highest praise one can heap upon BUTT BOY is that it’s a film that flies in the face of the studio machine. There is discourse to be found, across the Internet, about how tired franchises are and how audiences are sick of yet another remake. It’s boring to even mention in a review. 

BUTT BOY is what genre cinema is about. It’s about ideas (yes, even completely ridiculous ideas). It’s about gore and the most extreme scenarios possible. It’s about passion and creating. In all of these categories, BUTT BOY is exemplary and deserving of our highest recommendation. 

Caitlin Kennedy
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