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“Hits like 80,000 volts of electricity to the genitals” - NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL
Director: Kim Jin-won
Screenplay: Kim Jin-won
Cast: Kim Sung-il, You Dong-hun
Producers: Choi Gong-jae
Distributor: Iris Entertainment
A low-budget, digital feature by newcomer director Kim Jin-Won, THE BUTCHER was shot completely outside the studio system, and it’s as unpleasant and unrelenting a descent into Hell as you'll ever lay eyes on—that's if you're able to make it all the way through its grimy, gore-soaked 75 minutes! Told entirely through two POV video cameras, giving the perspective of both victims and killers, THE BUTCHER throws viewers into the middle of chaos and death: a handful of people have been abducted and lie bloodied and bound on the floor of a rotting slaughterhouse. Nearby, a team of snuff-film producers are discussing their gruesome handiwork—torturing their captives to death, one by one, and selling the tapes overseas to foreign audiences hungry for footage of Koreans murdering one another.
Taking its cue from the recently popular "torture porn" subgenre, THE BUTCHER is less HOSTEL than it is a twisted form of verité mockumentary, as Kim uses a distinctively non-cinematic aesthetic to directly implicate not only the viewer in the crimes and serial mayhem taking place onscreen, but the mainstream Korean film industry too. You will not leave this movie emotionally unscathed. It’s part of a wave of recent POV genre titles but you can forget about the artificial "reality" of something like CLOVERFIELD—the pure energy coming out of this movie, and its commitment to rejecting every single convention of mainstream filmmaking, makes THE BUTCHER one of the best—and one of the rawest—films of the year to come out of Korea, or anywhere else.