Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Love Butcher

Love Butcher (1975) Directed By Donald M. Jones/ Mikel Angel starring Erik Stern
         A gentle theme (I almost expected Peter Criss to start singing Beth) comes out over a garden credit montage, but it's not all lovey-dovey because a girl is found pitch forked. Caleb the gardener seems to be the likely murder suspect, is it because he looks like a raving loony or a pervy Ray Dennis Steckler? Looks can sometimes be deceiving.
         There's a talking wig named Lester that berates Caleb and calls him a mental cripple (they flash spooky red lights over the wig). Then Caleb places the magic wig on his head and like Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor gets the nerve to kill ladies, not win them over with his charm! The Master of Disguise plot point reminds me of the 70’s doll: Hugo the man of a 1000 faces, if they decided to make it into a psychological slasher.
         Meanwhile unpredictable news man, Russ is having problems with his fiancé, will their problems be solved by coffee, not sure.

Love Butcher children's doll sold separately

         Lester, Caleb's alter ego is a literal lady killer and he goes to some irrational (could only happen in the 70's) lengths to sneak into girl's houses. He has a huge array of wigs and costumes (Puerto Rican guy, Fake Dick Cavett and regular goony Caleb). This film ended up on the British Video Nasty list and makes Mary Whitehouse and her cronies look like fucktards (maybe they thought the title was lewd enough to put it on the list). Then again I never would have bothered to watch The Love Butcher if it wasn't on that sinister list. So how is this film anyway? It's got that Eating Raoul John Waters style of 70's weirdness and the actor that played Caleb/ Lester (Erik Stern) went on to play a commander in War Games. It's very entertaining and has that Jekyll and Hyde type psychology with a dash of Three Company. Lester eventually assumes Caleb's identity and starts stabbing various women in the neighborhood and almost all of the idiotic women let him in to their houses and offer him drinks. There's a very disturbing swimming pool murder with a cute girl in a Ramones haircut, Lester takes a garden hose and hooks it up to her face and turns it up full blast (I thought he was trying to inflate her like a human water balloon)!


         Lester's wig at one point smokes a cigar and mocks Caleb as he curls up into the fetal position, this wig has an over inflated sense of self and refers to himself as an Adonis! Lester repeatedly says "But Of Course", are people asking him if he has any Grey Poupon Mustard? His personalities start battling each other and he threatens to stab himself.
Russ the newspaper man becomes a one dimensional character who shows up later only to get stabbed with giant hedge clippers. Erik Stern is a surprisingly talented actor, he carries this film and the scenes with him arguing with himself or his wig are priceless! I'm convinced Dana Carvey was a huge fan of this film and used its premise for his ultra retarded Master Of Disguise (only there's no Turtle alter ego)!
         There's a huge reveal at the end that brings all the psychological confusion together and I wouldn't dare give it away! Highly Recommended! 

Que Pasta, Me IIamo Chico

You Brute, you vicious brute!

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