Midnight Madness often showcases a number of crazy films originating in Asia, but BUTCHER… is somewhat unique in that it originates from Mainland China. This provides a unique aesthetic to the film, incorporating a number of elements that differ quite a bit even from ostensibly similar films coming out of Hong Kong.
The story is silly but effective – a chef’s knife is crafted from a bunch of historical swords, and a heap of oddballs come together to fight over their own positions. It’s all a bit chaotic, and more than a bit preposterous, but it’s a explosion of broad comedy, chop-socky fight scenes and vibrant production that makes it all very entertaining.
There’s a bunch of references that are clearly over (or under) my head, and the film has a certain sense of novelty to it, a very different type of “foreign” film that’s tackling this type of genre. While it’s hardly an unqualified masterpiece, it’s a refreshing take on this type of work, and a great contribution to this year’s MM slate.