Beauty Queen Butcher (1991) – By Brian Morton

 Women have their own special kind of horror. It seems that, as men, hurting our feelings and making fun of what we’re wearing or how we look, just isn’t that terrible for us. However, make fun of how a woman looks and it’s like the entire world has crumbled around them. As men, this sometimes doesn’t make sense, but it’s something that we all understand and accept, hence the answer to the question, ‘Does this make me look fat?’ is always a resounding ‘NO!’.

Camp Motion Pictures is releasing a movie that will send chills down the spine of every woman out there, it’s called Beauty Queen Butcher and, for us guys, it’s not a bad movie either. Here’s the story: Phyliss is the local fat girl, she’s got low self esteem, and all the popular girls take great delight in teasing her. One day, when the local beauty pageant is announced, none of the girls wants to come in last, so, in a brilliantly evil move, they sign Phyliss up, so that she’ll definitely take up the rear. So, after quite along set up, Phyliss loses, but for the popular girls this isn’t enough, they decide to torture her even more and stuff her cat into the microwave. Well, since Phyliss’ only friends are the local geek and her cat, she snaps and begins tearing through beauty queens faster than she tears through Twinkies! {That was a cheap joke, but, speaking as a fat guy, I feel that it’s appropriate!}

Beauty Queen Butcher is a very strange combination of an 80s slasher movie and Revenge Of The Nerds, this is the kind of revenge most people think of taking, not weird pranks. The very strange thing about this movie is that it takes so long to build to the butchering; it gets you involved in it. I have to admit, once I realized that it was just a bunch of girls making fun of a fat girl, my interest wasn’t really peaked, but after seeing it for so long, I was drawn in and began hating the popular girls just as much as Phyliss did. Then there’s the part of Betty Prunish, the head of the beauty pageant, who’s played by Jim Boggess. At first, I was sure that this was a man in drag playing it for laughs (which he does) but then, as the movie goes on, I realized that this was as much as a commentary on the pageant system as it was for laughs! The use of what is obviously a guy in drag as the one telling the girls how to comport themselves and what to do to win, is a brilliantly understated (yet not) way for filmmaker Jill Zurborg to make a statement about pageants in general and how they’re more about men than women. After some thought, I was very impressed with that subtle symbology.

I’m giving Beauty Queen Butcher three out of four cigars, because it’s just a little long and I was ready for the revenge way before it started. The idea is great, a girl getting revenge done in a pretty original way, but it was just a little bit long for my tastes…too much beauty and not enough butchering. You can judge the pageant for yourself by heading over to Camp Motion So, until next time, remember, don’t make fun of fat chicks, sometimes there’s a whole lot of muscle underneath there, and remember that the best movies are bad movies.