The Butcher

Michael Moutsatsos’ ‘The Butcher’ (2019): Los Angeles Has A New Maniac – Movie Review

Filmmaker Michael Moutsatsos (Stalkerazzi 2013) is a self-proclaimed movie nerd and horror geek. Channeling such films as Maniac (1980), Hostel, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, he crafted a beautiful love letter to the grindhouse genre with 2019’s The Butcher, which will be available later this month on the Avail TV channel on Apple, Roku, and Firestick.

Moutsatsos single-handedly financed, wrote, directed, edited, and starred in this film, which was set in 1995 Los Angeles.  The story follows Chef Thaddeus Hayes (Moutsatsos), who owns several posh restaurants in the area, as he is infecting diners with mad cow disease. He suffers from the affliction himself, and injects the meat with his tainted blood despite the disapproval of his dead mother, played by All the Creatures Were Stirring’s (2018) Maria Olsen (read our interview with her here). Apparently longing for a more elaborate infestation, he plans a birthday party for daughter-figure, Lisa, with an international flair. With the help of henchmen Mr. Cremator (Noel Jason Scott: Grindsploitation 4 2018) and Slayer (Sam Mason: Undrafted 2018), the butcher assembles an array of foreign victims in the basement of his home. More traditionally insane than infected, the henchmen deliver unsettling torture, drugs, and sadistic gestures to the captives while Hayes gleefully tends to the grandiose buffet.

The Butcher

Made on a $75,000 budget that Moutsatsos acquired by waiting tables for a year and a half, The Butcher is a highly ambitious film that utilizes a handicam-like film style. He plays the titular role with disturbing gusto, reminding the viewer of gritty films such as The New York Ripper (1982 – read our retro review here) and Pieces (1982). The film has received many laurels and praise from film festivals over the last year, prompting Moutsatsos to begin production on The Butcher 2: Fresh Meat in spring 2020 with the promise of even more gore and craziness than the original.

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