Friday, January 22, 2016

Kansas Bowling's B.C. Butcher (Troma) - 16mm Cave-sploitation

The reason we love Troma is because they challenge the status quote, never giving into Hollywood wasteful methods and giving filmmakers a chance to be filmmakers instead of money counters and receipt watchers. Independent Horror has grown from the seed of Troma, has flourished under their watchful eye and in recent years been helped along with distribution deals and production provided to films that may never have received the chance to be made without their help. It isn't always pretty. You may not always agree with the content they provide, and you may miss the golden age when Toxie was king, but there's something important about having a guardian angel trying to get films in the market place and to inspire new filmmakers.

That brings us to an interesting case called B.C. Butcher from 17 year old Kansas Bowling who has taken her love for the Ramones' "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" about Sheen Queen of the Jungle and turned it into a short film filled with some classic slasher elements based around cave-sploitation elements you might have found in the 50's and Hammer films of the 60's. Fans of Prehistoric Women, Teenage Caveman, One Million BC and even the Flintstones have something to appreciate here. The first inductee into the Troma Institute for Gifted Youth, Bowling has made a movie on 16mm that conveys classic camp and 60's elements while working within a tight budget, a novice crew and shooting in her backyard. The outcome may not be for everyone, but it accomplishes Bowling's goal of creating a funny picture with Horror elements that doesn't take itself seriously and understands that entertainment is paramount to production.

B.C. Butcher is filled with some pretty amateurish effects, Bowling having to pick up gore-duty herself and not having any experience in this field. That means you get some classic red stuff on screen with sausage intestines and Crayola red everywhere. That can actually lighten the mood. Once you realize that you won't be completely disgusted by a picture, you're free to laugh at   kill sequences. The costuming is perfect Wilma Flintstone. This stuff is straight outta the modern stoneage family wardrobe which helps to solidify the comedic element. B.C. Butcher has been described as a longer episode of the Monkees classic TV show which was definitely in the back of my mind while watching the movie save for the fact that we are missing strong comedic presence in our leads. There's no equivalent of Nesmith, Dolenz, Tork or Jones to bring the laughs but some of this dialogue will bring a chuckle.

Bowling stays true to her roots with a soundtrack packed with 60's garage style rock and punk songs that underlay the action. B.C. Butcher even goes as far as to have a 60's homage to the beach band with a bunch of cavemen playing watermelon instruments (totally edible, man). As a fan of movies like Horror at Party Beach, this kind of thing really sets a mood for me and helps me to understand that we are dealing with a light-hearted picture. If you're looking for serious scares, the killer with a caveman mask, killing folks with rubber snakes or steak knives is probably going to detract from that.

The picture looks very good and overall film quality looks like a real movie as opposed to a student film with no production value that you might expect out of a young artist. While there are some slight sound issues, the film is watchable even if the run time is only a little over 50 minutes. 

Please understand this is not a Troma T and A flick where everyone runs around without clothes on. Faux animal skins stay on the whole time. 

Beware the Sabre tooth!

Check out the short film that inspired the Troma production here:

From Kansas Bowling regarding the short:

"The B.C. Butcher" starring Leilani Fideler, Alexis Codding, Annie Milligan, Colette Stone, Lauren Crowell, and featuring narration by Kadeem Hardison. Directed by Kansas Bowling. Written by Kansas Bowling and Kenzie Givens. Soundtrack by the Ugly Kids. Edited by John Irwin. Cinematography by Tomoaki Iwakura.

This short was made to raise funds for the feature length film "B.C. Butcher". The film is now coming out with Troma Entertainment 2016 starring Kato Kaelin, Leilani Fideler, Natasha Halevi, Devyn Leah, Molly Elizabeth Ring, Miranda Robin, Parker Love Bowling, Kadeem Hardison, and Rodney Bingenheime

From Troma: 

At just 17 years-old, Kansas Bowling directed her debut film, “B.C. Butcher”, which was shot entirely on 16 mm film. Billed as "the first prehistoric gyno-slasher movie", “B.C. Butcher” is a campy cave-sploitation horror-comedy. The story begins with an act of dissension by a member of an all female cave-tribe that leads to her sacrifice and mutilation by her fellow tribeswomen. When a beast of mythical lore uncovers the body he falls in love at first sight and what follows is his homicidal rampage to avenge the death of his corpse-bride.Starring, O.J. trial superstar Kato Kaelin as an ambiguously gay philandering cave-fop, featuring, Rodeny Bigenheimer, “The Mayor of Sunset Strip” and a performance by Los Angeles rock-n-roll group, "The Ugly Kids", " B.C. Butcher" is a superlative example of a well-crafted story set within the cinematic spirit of Troma tradition. The hit song “Alley-Oop”, adds to the unique retro feelings of the film. Kansas Bowling is the first inductee into, “The Troma Institute for Gifted Youth” “B.C. Butcher” 


B.C. Butcher was just released to the Troma subscription video on-demand service which is how you'll be able to check it out for now.

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