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Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker(1981)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesday]

Young Billy has been having the worst time lately. His parents were killed in a terrible automobile accident on his second birthday and he’s had to live with his Aunt Cheryl ever since. Things since then have been fine, but as soon as his 17th birthday rears around the corner, he gets caught up in a police investigation, finds his aunt covered in blood over a dead body in his kitchen, and he has a college talent scout coming to his next big basketball game and he has not been feeling quite himself.

This movie is a really nasty, but silly, time. Aunt Cheryl gives off the over-protective-that’s-my-baby vibes, while simultaneously giving off incestuous pedophilic vibes. She loves Billy, and nothing’s going to change that – especially college or his new girlfriend.

Full of giallo-esque violence and a rather depraved descent into insanity, this movie has a lot of territory to cover. One big story point though that’s a bummer is the amount of homophobia that permeates throughout this thing. Billy is targeted by police after the first murder in his kitchen because the police chief strongly believes he’s a homosexual, and he makes it very clear that he doesn’t appreciate them in his hometown. The fact that this gets brought up every 15 minutes or so is definitely a bummer.

But, the violence is fun, the acting is fantastic (especially Aunt Cheryl who gives puppy dog eyes and pisses you off simultaneously). You remember the mom at the end of ‘Requiem For a Dream’? Yeah, that’s what she looks like during the whole thing but even sadder because she’s more conscious.

It’s an interesting time and it reeks with that early 80s vibe, just be prepared for what you’re in for. Even as the credits begin to roll, you don’t exactly feel good. But, it’s definitely a bit of a gem that’s been receiving praise only recently.

3.5/5
“Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker” is currently streaming on Shudder.

‘Til Next Time,
Mike Cleopatra

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