Eric Roberts,Irina Björklund,Robert Davi,Jerry Trimble
Producer(s):Anthony Pugliese iii, and Thad J. Pryor/Co-produced by Charlie Crowe
Jesse V. Johnson
Merle Hench works as an enforcer for San Fernando mobster, Murdoch but the boss seems to think Merle is too soft for the job so he sets him up to take the fall for a multi million dollar heist. Merle not only survives the ordeal but ends up with a bag full of money and the local waitress he has had his eye on for some time now. Walking away could of been easy but for the man they nicknamed "The Butcher", it's now about revenge and getting even with those that wronged him. All hell is about to break loose and no one can hide.
Today there's a lot of action film's made that lack one thing, a story to go along with all the action. The Butcher starts off with setting up a story and introducing us to it's main characters and what makes them tick. Merle is a man with a past, an ex boxer but he also has a dark side hidden deep down as well. The story is well-written and the cast of characters are all well-developed, there's some you love and some you love to hate which tells a lot about how a film is written when there's characters you can relate to and feel for. The film looks great, the camera work and editing are nothing short of brilliant and what's a crime film without some action. There's plenty of action among the drama here and the gun-fights are so well choreographed that I was taken back to when I first seen "Scarface", they are intense,brutal,raw and beautiful at the same time. The Butcher is a powerful film you can't look away from, it draws you in and keeps you glued to your seat till the final bullets fly. I have always been a fan of Eric Roberts and feel he has gotten short-changed in Hollywood maybe but as Merle "The Butcher" he is at the top of his game again. The entire cast was excellent and it contains some friendly faces such as Robert Davi as the mob boss and anyone that remembers watching the action/martial arts film's back in the 90's will be delighted to see Jerry Trimble back again also the talented and beautiful Irina Björklund as the waitress,Jackie. Irina and Eric show great on-screen chemistry here. Director/writer Jesse V. Johnson short career as a director has taken flight, with each film you watch as he grows and with "The Butcher" people are going to be forced to take notice. Those that have seen his other movies such as "Pit Fighter" know what he can do as far as action goes but here he goes beyond that and has created a gritty crime drama that can stand up against the best of them. As a Director,Mr. Johnson is hitting his stride and I see big things coming his way. I will be one person that will be proud to say I watched it all unfold through his films. Check back soon for more details as to when you will be able to see this great film as it just finished a very successful run at the Official Selection Cinema City International Film Festival, Universal City and the Official Selection Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. ***** Out Of *****