If you are at all turned off by the title Butt Boy, this movie is not for you. The title to the whimsical, dark, and sometimes hilarious oddity serves as a warning flag rather than an enticement. However if you are even slightly intrigued, this one is for you.
Writer-director Tyler Cornack and co-writer Ryan Koch have created a tale of fetishes and obsession, but draped it within a gumshoe driven mystery which is keenly aware of its campy roots.
Butt Boy starts with a right of passage for most middle aged men: their first prostate exam. Chip (played by Cornack) reluctantly has his first rectal examination and it is an awakening for him. What starts as a moment of pure joy twists into an obsession with backdoor pleasure. He is ashamed of his new found kink and does whatever he can to hide it from his wife. But when his dog and a neighborhood child go missing, it is clear that Chip’s sexual appetite is not exactly as simple as a good old fashioned indulgence. There is something far more sinister and expansive at play.
We then jump nine years into the future and catch up with Chip. He has the same house, same job, same wife, and is a star member of his local Alcoholics Anonymous chapter. By pure coincidence, Detective Russel Fox is assigned Chip as his AA sponsor, only to have that anonymity blown when Russel is brought to Chip’s office to investigate a young boy’s disappearance.
While ass-play in the film is explicitly stated in the title of the film, it would be nearly impossible to anticipate how far Butt Boy ultimately takes its joke. The absurdity builds throughout, and rest assured that the final climax of the film will live up to the weirdest hopes you have for it.
If all of this sounds strange, I can assure you it is. The tone of Butt Boy is quite quirky and peculiar, in large part to its zippy score and intentionally awkward performances. Chip seems off to us, in an indeterminable way, though he is loved and adored by those around him. Russel also leans into the role of detective by emulating the noir performances that have come before him while never completely diving into the satirical. This balance is important too because so much of the success of Butt Boy is owed to the fact that it takes an incredibly and increasingly silly concept quite seriously. The characters and the script never stoop to winking at the audience, but they also are aware that we are in on their joke too.
This is not to say Butt Boy is a perfect film. There are long scenes of dialogue between Chip and Russel that never quite land in the way they seem intended to be. These exchanges are not especially funny or character building, and they detract from the rest of the movie’s excellent pacing and inspired oddities.
While it is heartbreaking to not be able to watch Butt Boy with a raucous midnight audience, its release timing is still quite exquisite. In a time where we are all glued to our respective streaming services, there is a certain beauty in finding those peculiar gems that let their freak flags proudly fly. And Butt Boy is indeed a gem.
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