Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker details the less-than-appropriate relationship between 17-year-old Billy Lynch (Jimmy McNichol) and his mentally-unstable aunt (Susan Tyrrell’s Cheryl), with the pair’s bond tested by the latter’s increasingly unhinged behavior and a murder investigation led by an oddly homophobic police officer (Bo Svenson’s Joe Carlson). There’s little doubt that Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker eventually becomes precisely the sort of over-the-top and entirely bonkers horror flick one might’ve anticipated, but it’s equally clear that getting to that point requires the viewer to sit through an exceedingly, excessively deliberate and uneventful midsection – as scripters Stephen Breimer, Alan Jay Glueckman, and Boon Collins deliver a slow-moving narrative suffused with elements of a decidedly uninteresting nature (eg Carlson’s almost comically inept investigation, Billy’s girlfriend’s growing concern over Cheryl’s behavior, etc). The movie’s few positive attributes, including Tyrrell’s delightfully go-for-broke performance, are subsequently rendered moot by the otherwise pervasively tedious atmosphere, and it is, in the end, impossible to label Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker as anything less than a misbegotten and terminally dated bit of schlock filmmaking.

*1/2 out of ****

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