Anus Mirabilis: ‘Butt Boy’ (2020) reviewed

This is a work of pure derangement, both hilarious and grotesque in equal measure, writes Nick Clement.

“Maybe the film exists as a metaphor for addiction or…well…I’m not sure…you tell me. Maybe I’m thinking too hard. Maybe this really is just a lovely little story about an unhinged man who likes sticking objects up his rectum.”

I can’t believe that this movie got made, but, then again, in this day and age, I guess I can sort of understand how this movie got made. People have to swing for the fences and provide a go-for-broke experience when playing in the indie-cinema realm, because, let’s face it – the options are endless. How do you make a splash? How do you grab someone’s attention or command people to pay attention and take notice? For starters, you might make a movie like Butt Boy, which centers on a man who becomes surprisingly sexually aroused during a prostate examination, which then leads him to inserting lots of different household items into his anus to experience varying degrees of pleasure. But when that’s not enough, the guy begins to get some really odd impulses and ideas about what might be a good idea to next stick up his own ass. And, well, as one might imagine, complications ensue.

This is a work of pure derangement, and I applaud co-writer/director Tyler Cornack for having the stones to present material that’s so far removed from what anyone might be ready and willing to expect and accept; this film has a strange and singular tone that is clearly indebted to other works (my guess is that John Waters would have apoplexy upon seeing this movie) and yet is something so all its bizarre own that I’m struggling to find direct cinematic comparisons. The absurdly gloppy and utterly disgusting finale is both hilarious and grotesque in equal measure, and while clearly none of what transpires in this film makes any rational sense in a logic-based manner, the film exists as a metaphor for addiction or…well…I’m not sure…you tell me. Maybe I’m thinking too hard. Maybe this really is just a lovely little story about an unhinged man who likes sticking objects up his rectum.

A film like Butt Boy – yeah – it’s going to appeal only to a very select audience. It’s not going to make huge headlines in the four quadrant market, and it’s likely only to be discovered by adventurous audiences who are willing to take a walk on the wild side. I’m not sure how much I “enjoyed” this movie, to be perfectly honest. It made me feel uncomfortable because I wasn’t sure where anything was ever going at any given moment (which is a nice quality) and I loved how Cornack generated true psychological suspense, especially via the unnerving, droning musical score by himself and his co-scenarist Ryan Koch. And there’s definitely lots of sick humor on display, with the central conceit of the film running the risk of turning the entire endeavor into a big joke. And yet, the filmmaking is too confident to be brushed off, and the performance by Cornack in the leading role is too compelling and oddly involving to be ignored. If you’ve been waiting for a movie with an insane anal fixation, this one is for you.


❉ ‘Butt Boy’ will be released in the US on VOD April 14th and on DVD & BluRay April 28th, and has been picked up for UK and Ireland rights by Blue Finch Film Releasing, who will be putting out the film later this year.

❉ Nick Clement is a journalist for Variety Magazine and motion picture screenplay consultant, as well as a critic for websites We Are Cult and Back to the Movies. He wrote the introduction to the book Double Features: Big Ideas in Film, which was published by The Great Books Foundation, and is currently working on a book about the life and work of filmmaker Tony Scott. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.

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