I’m having a hard time coming up with anything I like about this film.

As a reviewer, I try to judge films by young filmmakers a bit differently than I’d judge a big-time Hollywood project.  This is because I don’t want to discourage these newbies and I am sure it’s very, very hard work to make a movie.  However, I am really stumped with Buttwhistle, as I cannot come up with much that I liked about the film—and I really wanted to like the film.  With a title like this, I was hoping it would be strange.  It was, but not in an enjoyable or funny way.

The movie DID start off amazingly well—with an opening scene with a telemarketer that made me laugh.  And, the opening credits were amazing—some of the best and most inventive I’ve ever seen.  The credits are apparently done by someone or some business called ‘Ring of Fire’—and I definitely want to see more of their work. But it was all downhill after that and had little to do with the movie that followed.

Written & Directed by
Tenney Fairchild
Trevor Morgan, Elizabeth Rice, Analeigh Tipton
VOD Release Date
29 April 2014
Martin’s Grade: F+

Ogden is an eternal optimist when it comes to people.  He seems to like everyone—even people who are not very likable.  He’s also incredibly kind.  But, when he saves a young girl who appears to be ready to kill herself, he befriends Beth.  This is understandable. But what isn’t understandable is what follows.  Beth is a thoroughly hateful and horrible person and anyone with a brain larger than a pigeon’s would avoid her like the plague.  Apparently Ogden has a brain smaller than a pigeon because he hangs around this awful person throughout the movie.  Even when he discovers that she’s destroying his things and hurting people, he inexplicably maintains his great mood and relationship with her.   It continues like this and the film is very frustrating because there just doesn’t seem to be any point to this…it’s just vicious and practically plot-less.

Apart from having a confusing and irrational theme, the film irritated me to no end because it was obvious that the screenwriter was writing inside jokes to make himself laugh*.  In fact, the entire film seemed like a giant inside joke with no concern whatsoever for the audience’s enjoyment.  Additionally, I found the film raunchy and filled with a lot of material inappropriate for teens—yet this seems to be the intended audience for the film.  Rarely have I been left this confused and unsatisfied by a film.  Choppy edits and underdeveloped characters and a meandering plot didn’t help.

*Here are a few of the inside jokes:

1.  A neighbor is named Angus Blancmange.  This is taken from a Monty Python episode about an alien invasion.  I knew this and the writer knew this…but who else would?!

2.  Ogden also goes by two names he’s made up—Buttwhistle and the sound made by blowing an air horn.  When folks call him, they blow the horn.  This gets old very, very quickly.

3.  The head explosion.  Neat but irrelevant—even though there were references on the news concerning this later in the film.

4.  CONSTANT hipster talk.  Please, enough already.  No one REALLY talks that way…and if they do, I hate them—and most would as well.

5.  Impossible to believe or like characters abound.  Again, shouldn’t there be an attempt to get the audience to like someone?!

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer & Film Critic, Martin Hafer

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