If you’ve entered in to this review hoping to see me jumping in on the hate bandwagon that surrounds this film, you’re going to be disappointed. The sheer amount of hyperbolic negativity that surrounds this film is the worst I’ve seen since “A Serbian Film”. Is it the greatest film of all time? Of course not. But it’s far from the unwatchable pile of dog shit you’d assume it was by reading a few of the reviews people have written. I’ve seen several people go as far as actually calling The Butcher Brothers new film unwatchable. It’s beginning to seem like people are watching the film just to take a turn at bashing the film. I understand that not everybody has the same taste, but before slinging around such harsh words, perhaps you should verse yourself in the world of truly unwatchable films. They exist in the thousands, maybe even millions, and I can assure you that none of them even remotely resemble The Violent Kind.
The story follows Cody and Q, (Bret Roberts & Cory Knauf) members of an outlaw biker gang by the name of The Crew, as they head out to a farmhouse to celebrate their mother’s birthday. Once the birthday party ends, It’s time for some real partying. Amidst the drugs, sex, and drama, something more sinister is about to occur. After abandoning her younger sister at the party, Michelle(Tiffany Shepis) comes running out of the woods, battered, bloody and hysterical. Cody and Q decide to investigate the situation, only to find Michelle’s date still in the couple’s car missing a large portion of his head. The boys head back to the house to try and figure just exactly what is going on, and what they need to do to survive. Once they return, They discover that Michelle has uncharacteristically gnawed half of one of their friend’s face off. They proceed to tie her to the bed accordingly. Not only has Michelle chosen an odd late night snack, she’s also become possessed by someone, or something. At this point, a group of unexpected rockabilly houseguests are about to take the night into a violent direction.
What a mouthful. A lot of things are going on within this film. Some aspects of this wild story are very well executed, and some are not. I’m going to go ahead and admit here, that there are some things you are going to have to forgive in order to enjoy this film. A lot of things are left unexplained. When the rockabillies show up, it’s clear that they’re not human, but we’re never really told what exactly they are. Are they ghosts? Zombies? Demons? You’ll never be told, at least not in plain English. Whether or not it’s caused by sloppy writing, or purposefully left to viewer interpretation is fully up to you to decide. There are several theories floating around about the origin of the invaders, as well as their endgame, but none of them are any more valid than the last. If you ask me though, this does not ruin the experience at all. Some of you may be left frustrated, if you need that sense of closure, but if you can look past that, it’s still a fun, and vicious little film.
The special effects in this film are extremely impressive. This is probably one of the most violent R rated films I’ve seen for a long time. I had to check the back of the box to make sure it wasn’t unrated. On top of the gore, the on-screen violence is brutal and mean spirited. Some scenes may even be a bit uncomfortable to watch for some viewers. This film starts out vicious, and progressively worsens as we near the end. If you’re looking to quench your thirst for blood, you’ll likely get your fill with this one.
The Butcher Brothers have a body of work that’s spotty at best. They’re responsible for possibly one of the best films associated with the After Dark Horrorfest, The Hamiltons, but they followed that up with the insipid “remake” of April Fools Day. As far as I’m concerned, they’ve redeemed their selves with The Violent Kind. Some may disagree, but I find it hard to believe that viewers wouldn’t be able to find at least a little enjoyment within this film. It’s well acted, well written for the most part, features some amazing special effects, and is highly stylized. Because of the reviews I had already read, I went in with little to no expectations, and found myself pleasantly surprised. It’s not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination, but it felt fresh compared to the field of other horror films being released around the same time frame. Now I anxiously await the brothers’ follow up to The Hamiltons, “The Thompsons”. Don’t let me down, Butchers.