Beauty Queen Butcher (1991)

DVD Cover (Camp Motion Pictures)
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Overall Rating 56%
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Ranked #10,837
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Phyllis Loden is an overweight shy nerd who is relentlessly picked on by the more popular girls. This year's Slivis Slough Queen Beauty Pageant is fast approaching and Muffy Fairlane is a lock to win. However, Muffy doesn't want any of her friends to come in last so she enters Phyllis in the pageant. The plan works and also provides the girls with some opportunities to embarrass Phyllis in front of the whole school. As if that isn't bad enough Elizabeth McKay thinks she could've won it all if it wasn't for her allergic reaction the Phyllis' cat. So the girls decide to dispose of the feline. That turns out to be the final straw which sends Phyllis on a murderous rampage to eliminate the beauty queens one by one. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: August 07, 2007
The back of the DVD case for Beauty Queen Butcher claims that it was "influenced by the horror classic Carrie and 1980 slasher favorite Prom Night", but if you break out your magnifying glass and read the fine print, you'll notice that there's a catch to this statement: that catch being "as told through an episode of Saved By the Bell." You may be thinking that that's a complaint from yours truly, but that couldn't be further from the truth: the over-the-top corniness and the off-the-charts cheesiness of this film gave it a certain charm that isn't usually found in other similar releases.

Phyliss Loden (Rhona Brody) is the titular beauty queen butcher, and she's also quite the hefty woman who spends her time working in (and "borrowing" from) the school cafeteria in between meals at the local pizza place and late-night sessions with Twinkies, Pepsi products, and the old-school Nintendo. Like any overweight girl in high school, she's tormented mercilessly by the popular girls due to her eating habits, and the resulting depression leads to more eating to take her mind off of the abuse. A vicious cycle, indeed, and it's about to get a whole lot worse: Muffy (Kathryn A. Mensik), the head cheerleader, has just entered the school beauty queen pageant and is a lock to take first place, and none of her co-runners - Alison (Kimberly Ann Kurtenbach), Elizabeth (Tammy Pescatelli), and Shelley (Laura Schutter) - want to come in last. So, they enter Phyliss into the contest with the plan being that she'll come in last and make all of them look better by comparison. A solid plan, but it sort of backfires when Phyliss takes the competition seriously and strives to take first place away from them. When the girls start doing vicious things to Phyliss in retaliation (such as stuffing her beloved kitty into a microwave), she decides that she'll do whatever it takes to win the beauty queen crown... even if it means knocking off the other contestants.

Now, let me just get this right out of the way: Beauty Queen Butcher is a bad movie. When the "butcher" part of the title comes in to play, the actresses simply get a little bit of the red stuff thrown on their shirts, the gratuitous nudity one usually finds in these slasher films is non-existent (the best we get is repeated panty-shots courtesy of the obese woman), the performances from most of the cast are horrible, and the storyline is... well, it's not completely uninspired, but it's certainly nothing to heap praise upon either. However, the two hours that this film ran for flew by for yours truly, and I have to admit that I absolutely loved the film.

Why? Quite simply, the movie is chock-full of charm and hilarious moments (some intentional, some not). This isn't the type of film that you'd pick up if you're in the mood for a horror film that will scare the pants off of you and nor is it the type of movie you'd want in your DVD player if you're in the market for plenty of blood and boobs, but if you want a movie that is - as the overused saying goes - "so bad, it's good", Beauty Queen Butcher should be at the top of your wishlist.

This can largely be attributed to the cast. Now, I stand by my statement that most of them were horrible in terms of acting abilities, and there's a valid reason that with one lone exception and a few "uncredited" appearances, none of them went on to appear in anything else after this release. However, while they may be lacking in traditional acting talents, they do manage to bring a lot to the table in terms of entertainment value. Take leading lady Rhona Brody, for example: she's a big girl, and while most women of her size would probably shy away from the fat jokes, Rhona takes them in stride and even reinforces all of the fat stereotypes one comes to expect from these movies. She also seems perfectly comfortable with doing this material, and the result is a character that is quite easy to laugh at even if we know that we probably shouldn't be. Then there's Jim Boggess, my favorite "actress" in the film. You see, Jim plays the part of the female beauty pageant organizer, and he does the entire thing in drag - while it may sound silly on paper, he actually nails the role and he even had me doubting that "she" was a "he" for a while. He's also quite funny to boot as he plays the prissy old lady role that we've come to know and love, and I'm shocked that he didn't go on to at least have a couple of minor roles in other films after seeing his talent here.

Again, this isn't something you should be checking out if you're looking for a "good" movie in the usual sense of the word, but if you want a movie that is overflowing with charm and will almost certainly pull a couple of hearty laughs out of you, give it a shot: you may just enjoy it as much as I did. 8/10.
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