This review contains some spoilers. Those lucky readers not planning to subject themselves to The Violent Kind should feel free to read on.
With excellent efforts like Frozen, 7 Days, and Buried coming out of the 2010 Park City at Midnight series, it’s surprising that The Violent Kind is the one movie that people couldn‘t stop talking about. On shuttle busses. On street corners. In ticket lines. I personally had three individual conversations with strangers regarding The Violent Kind, and I overheard a half dozen more. And all of those conversations centered around one basic consensus: The Violent Kind is an enormous piece of shit.
Crashing the Sundance Film Festival with their stable of “actors” from The Hamiltons, The Butcher Brothers’ most recent directorial effort is sort of a 70s-era biker-sploitation movie, as long as you’re willing to believe that skinny nerdy dudes can throw on some tattoos and suddenly become bikers. After a drug deal gone bad and a good 15 minutes of shitty banter, a trio of bikers decide to kick-start the plot by taking some chicks up to a secluded cabin to do whatever fake movie bikers do at secluded cabins. Which is apparently bicker like little girls, at least in The Butcher Brothers’ biker cabin. Cody was going out with Michelle, but then they broke up, so now her little sister Megan is totally flirting with Cody, like, right in front of her!!!, and that makes Michelle way super sad and jealous so she bails, I mean, she’s a biker chick so she acts tough, but really she’s sweet on the inside, and OMG!!!, there’s more boring-ass, bitch-slapping drama going on in that cabin than in a whole fucking season of 90210.
When Michelle finally returns to the cabin, she’s possessed…or something. She’s all bloody and spaced-out, and when a dude tries to finger-bang her, she eats his face. Their truck won’t start, so they go to the old hermit up the road for help, but his face is eaten, too. Then a rockabilly gang shows up (maybe from the 1950s, maybe from outer space, who really gives a shit?) and proceeds to psychologically torment the bikers until the Butcher Brothers deem the audience sufficiently bored enough to finally put the movie out of its damn misery.
If you think about it long enough, the poorly-paced, overly-convoluted plot of The Violent Kind begins to make sense, but who wants to waste time remembering a film this shitty? The Butcher Brothers have taken a much-revered sub-genre and wrung all the fun and pleasure out of it. Yes, there’s some blood, some boobs, some tame lesbian action, but all of that exploitation goodness is buried under a dung pile of atrocious dialogue and inane plotting, particularly during the irritatingly talky final 30 minutes.
Boarding a Park City shuttle after the screening, I uttered a frustrated, “What a shitty movie!”, under my breath. A fellow journalist looked up, saw I was leaving the Egyptian Theater, and said, “Oh, you must have just seen The Violent Kind.” And thus begins the legend. I can state with some assurance that it will make my Top 5 Worst Films of 2010. And it’s not even February yet.