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By Christopher Curry | June 13, 2005

“The Butchers” also known as “Maxie” and “Murderer’s Keep” was a made-for-tv movie that while lensed in 1988 appears to have been made in 1978. Maxie, a young deaf-mute girl, knows of a butcher and his apprentice who procure their town’s favorite cuts of meat from the local morgue. Maxie is unable to communicate properly and so the butchers believe that their secret is safe; that is, until a meddling social worker steps in and begins teaching Maxie how to speak and read lips. At once the chase is on but soon justice prevails and it’s back to those same old boring kosher cuts for the small townsfolk.

The characters of “The Butchers” are believable enough and the script and acting is on par with any television movie of the era. However, the exploitative elements, that are heavily touted, are far surpassed by the convincing storyline and the moving, if not altogether touching, treatment of the mute Maxie. The cannibalism angle is there but not explored nor exploited deeply enough for the gore crowd and the direction is far too quirky for mainstream audiences thus leaving viewers with a film that is neither fish nor fowl. Is it a drama or is it a horror film? “The Butchers” is not a bad movie by any means, a little undercooked and sketchy at times but mostly it was just not nearly as realized as it should and could have been.

Troma loaded this disc up with trailers and extras that have nothing to do with the film at hand.

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