Proudly schlocky indie studio Troma Entertainment built its rep on cult curios like The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo and Juliet, the latter of which was co-scripted by a pre-Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn. But Troma’s latest achievement is supporting “the first prehistoric slasher film”—and its teenage writer-director.
BC Butcher, which stars O.J. Simpson trial “celebrity” Kato Kaelin, sounds very much within Troma’s typical wheelhouse, per an official press release from the company, which describes it as “a campy cave-sploitation horror-comedy”:
The story is prompted by an act of dissension by a member of an all female cave-tribe leads to her sacrifice and mutilation by her fellow tribeswomen. When a beast of mythical lore uncovers the body he falls in love at first sight and what follows is his homicidal rampage to avenge the death of his corpse-bride.
However. It was directed by Kansas Bowling, who is 19 now but was just 17 when she shot the movie! Bowling sounds like a pretty atypical kid:
She is a California native who gleans her film inspiration from her early exposure to Troma Films like, “Class of Nuke ‘Em High”, “ Nightbeast” and “Waitress” as well as 1960’s fashion and music, Barbara Bach, Raquel Welch and The Ramones. Her sartorial instincts and fresh, educated perspective lend informed wit, unique art-direction and hip styling to her work.
Bowling’s vision for “B.C. Butcher” was for a film shot on 16 mm film and the set was her father’s backyard in Topanga Canyon, California. The film, albeit expensive, was an artistic decision Kansas refused to compromise and was influenced by her interest in the aesthetic of the original version of, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, which was shot on the same 16 mm daylight stock.
The release dubs Bowling the first of Troma prez Lloyd Kaufman’s inductees into “The Troma Institute for Gifted Youth,” which means we may see more young talents getting their start through the studio. Who knows? The next James Gunn could be out there, waiting to cut his or her teeth on the next backyard exploitation epic. There is a catch, though; to see BC Butcher, which is out January 8, you’ll need to be a subscriber to TromaNow, the company’s video-on-demand service.