Bikers, Babes and Bullshit: The Violent Kind (2010)

Bikers, Babes and Bullshit: The Violent Kind (2010)

Jesus fuck, I hate this movie. Let’s get that out of the way right now so admirers of this can either start spewing hate at me in the comments and those unaware of the film at all, know where I stand. That said, “hate” may be too strong a word here. Vehemently dislike may be more fitting but we’re talking semantics at this point. Fact of the matter is, The Butcher Brothers (subtle, right?) have created a film that is destined to polarize viewers. It is not the worst film I’ve ever seen and has, rightfully, received a lot of negative attention but some of that is ridiculously hyperbolic. I certainly fit into the camp of reviewers that dislike the film a great deal, yet I’m not about to stand with them and tear it to shreds either.

THE VIOLENT KIND, narratively speaking, is a goddamn mess. You can basically split it up into three acts (like most films) yet these three acts happen to have three different genres (unlike most films). There is an all too unfortunate case of identity crisis here, which is a shame as if The Butcher Brothers had stuck to just one fucking genre like most filmmakers do than they could have actually succeeded at something. The plot and characters are practically irrelevant as nothing is established to the point of garnering any significant amount of interest from the viewer. In other words, plot and character development are brushed aside to allow the genre to constantly change. Speaking of which, back to the aforementioned three acts, these genres are: brutal, pissed off, biker drama; gory, over-the-top demon fest; and cryptic, 50s era inspired sci-fi invasion absurdity. Those blend together about as well as you’d expect them to: not-at-fucking-all.

In the beginning of the film we’re treated to scenes of bikers looking tough, having rough sex and partying. It plays out like a shorter, dirtier episode of SONS OF ANARCHY yet with none of the character development that the show excels at. The biggest issue here: these guys don’t look like bikers. They look like a bunch of dudes that were kicked off of the set of LAGUNA BEACH or some other crappy MTV reality show that features greased up, chiseled men. Also, if the appearance of these guys does not ruin the illusion first, they don’t even act like bikers. Apparently, according to The Butcher Brothers, to appear as a biker one must drink alcohol on screen, wear a leather vest and NOT drive a motorcycle. Yeah, the bikers don’t even ride bikes. Way to go, guys, you failed at even giving your characters the necessary vehicle to go along with their stereotyped persona. I promise you, I really am not tearing this to shreds.

Now, on to what people reading this really care about, the horror portion. This is where I’m not going to outright dismiss the film. The Butcher Brothers (goddammit, I hate referring to them as this) proved with THE HAMILTONS that they can do horror effectively and they almost achieve that again here. The demonic possession is set up well enough, though it is rather abrupt, and the effects are pretty damn convincing at times. The practical gore effects are really the highlight of the film for me and, in my opinion, are the only reason to watch it at all. If these guys can put aside their egos (which have to be large if they insist on calling themselves The Butcher Brothers) and just do effects work or at least direct something that they don’t write, than they could be a force in independent horror. The sci-fi shit that follows is not even worth going into detail about, it is just that bad. It feels as if they had no idea how to end the damn thing so they thought they would add some cryptic TWILIGHT ZONE-esque deal in the last fifteen minutes and all would be forgiven. They only made it worse.

For a film I really dislike, THE VIOLENT KIND does have its merits. The “greaser” characters, which have remained unmentioned until now, are far more interesting than that of the bikers. They’re still the same victims of zero character development though and, it could be argued, that the reason for this is that they’re “visitors” or some other forced, cryptic cover up but that just comes of as lazy. They do retain a menacing air about them whenever they’re on screen though, and that has to be commended.

The Butcher Brothers have a lot of work to do before they make another film. Firstly, they need to not write any more scripts. They have some talent behind the camera as the film does look good and the practical effects are outstanding, but they just can’t write a convincing, coherent script. Or, if they can, this is not it. The dialogue is anything but natural and the narrative trajectory is practically non-existent. Oh, and they really need to go by their real names. There is nothing good that can come of regarding yourselves as The Butcher Brothers. They sound like absent minded teenagers that are making student films and attempting to be “cutting-edge”. That or a middle-aged rock duo that is stuck playing dive bars in the mid-west.

Well, it feels good to get all of that off of my chest. I watched this one a couple weeks ago and wanted to give it time before I wrote about it so as to not be too resoundingly negative. In that time I’ve allowed myself to acknowledge the few positive elements of the film – it has boobies! hence the title of this review – but the negative aspects far outweigh what positive there is here. Though, I have to give the guys credit for making this mercifully short. It runs at about 100 minutes – which is admittedly too long, but not as long as other, worse films – and is not a huge burden of time for those who actually do want to give this a chance. That said, you should do that. This isn’t for everyone, it is definitely not for me, but there are far worse films out there that other critics of this one seem to forget.

For a completely different take on the film, check out Shawn Savage’s review on The Liberal Dead.


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Author's Quick Review
Jesus fuck, I hate this movie. Lets get that out of the way right now so admirers of this can either start spewing hate at me in the comments and those unaware of the film at all, know where I stand. That said, hate may be too strong a word here. Vehemently dislike may be more fitting but were talking semantics at this point.

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