The Butcher (2009) Poster

The Butcher (2009)

  • Rate: 5.4/10 total 383 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Thriller
  • Runtime: 95 min
  • Filming Location: 1751 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, California, USA
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The Butcher (2009)


The Butcher 2009tt0997038.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Butcher (2009)
  • Rate: 5.4/10 total 383 votes 
  • Genre: Action | Thriller
  • Runtime: 95 min
  • Filming Location: 1751 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Director: Jesse V. Johnson
  • Stars: Eric Roberts, Robert Davi and Keith David
  • Original Music By: Marcello De Francisci   
  • Soundtrack: Green Eyed Lady
  • Plot Keyword: Nickname | Debt | Racial Slur | Pistol | Gambling

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Jesse V. Johnson  written by

Known Trivia

    Goofs: Revealing mistakes: After Merle and Jackie steal the car from the Sportsman Hotel and are on their way to see Murdoch, its clear that the driving scene is green screened and the reflection in the shop windows is a silver SUV and not the car that they stole.

    Plot: For nearly twenty years after his boxing career ended Merle Hench works for Murdoch, the capo of a San Fernando mob outfit… See more » |  »

    Story: For nearly twenty years after his boxing career ended Merle Hench works for Murdoch, the capo of a San Fernando mob outfit. Merle spends his days cracking heads and collecting debts, it is not a job he enjoys. Cool, calm and collected, soft spoken even, Merle's an anachronism, a man out of place and out of time. His Boss thinks Merle has outlived his usefulness and is expendable. So they set him up to take the fall for a multi-million $ heist of a rival mob boss. A habitual gambler on a 20 year losing streak, Merle's luck turns as he survives the trap and winds up with a piece of the take and the girl. Merle might have been content to just disappear and spend his windfall with Jacqueline. But the betrayal of his loyalty for 20 years snapped something inside. Merle Hench, otherwise known as the Butcher is slow to anger yet quick to act, he's learned to live and let live to keep on going…Written by The Film Catalogue  

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Charles Arthur Berg known as producer
    • Charles W. Crowe Jr. known as associate producer
    • Bill J. Gottlieb known as consulting producer
    • Ted J. Pryor known as executive producer
    • Anthony V. Pugliese III known as executive producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Eric Roberts known as Merle Hench
    • Robert Davi known as Murdoch
    • Keith David known as Larry Cobb
    • Geoffrey Lewis known as Naylor
    • Irina Björklund known as Jackie
    • Paul Dillon known as Doyle
    • Jerry Trimble known as Eddie Hellstrom
    • Michael Ironside known as Teddy Carmichael
    • Bokeem Woodbine known as Chinatown Pete
    • Guillermo Díaz known as Owen Geiger
    • Julie Carmen known as Rose
    • Vernon Wells known as 1970's IRA Commander (as Vernon Maxwell)
    • Maddy Howard known as Waitress
    • Anthony V. Pugliese III known as The Man from Reno
    • Duane Whitaker known as Car Buyer
    • Joe Hess known as Pearl
    • Timothy V. Murphy known as Tyke (as Tim Murphy)
    • Charles Arthur Berg known as 'Loco' Charlie
    • Garrett Warren known as Sue
    • Mark Stefanich known as Dutch
    • Charles W. Crowe Jr. known as Christian
    • John Saint Ryan known as Illegal Surgeon
    • Luke LaFontaine known as Mad Mike
    • Nils Allen Stewart known as El Paso
    • Ted J. Pryor known as Maguire (as Thad 'Ted' Pryor)
    • Freddy Champagne known as Maguire's Accomplice
    • Stewart Wilson known as Rhino Bouncer
    • Maureen Fewel known as Fired & Rehired
    • Gabriela DeBroux known as Both at Once
    • Rebekah Salgado known as 1980's Carmelita
    • Roslyn Cohn known as Cougar on the Stairs
    • Jose Vasquez known as Geiger's Cohort
    • Dan Southworth known as Traffic Cop (as Daniel Southworth)
    • Ron Léroy known as Terry the Bouncer
    • Matthew R. Anderson known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen (as Matt Anderson)
    • Jesse James Youngblood known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen
    • Anthony Vitale known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen
    • Hugh Daly known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen
    • Norman Whipple known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen
    • George O'Kreenke known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen (as George O'Krenke)
    • A.J. Barrios known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen
    • Kyle Hambi known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen
    • Mike Wilson known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen
    • Jason S. Gray known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen (as Jason Gray)
    • Sean Davi known as 1970's Murdoch
    • Dominiquie Vandenberg known as 1970's IRA Member
    • Paul Cullen known as 1970's IRA Member
    • Jesse V. Johnson known as 1970's IRA Member
    • Jasmine White-Killins known as Spearmint Rhino Dancer (as Jasmine)
    • Diana Terranova known as Spearmint Rhino Dancer
    • Sandy Sunshine known as Spearmint Rhino Dancer
    • Kiki known as Spearmint Rhino Dancer
    • Bruna Rubio known as Spearmint Rhino Dancer
    • Phylis Evenson known as Diner Patron
    • Kerry Song known as Dancer
    • Lillianna Munro Johnson known as Diner Patron
    • Violet Boudicca Johnson known as Diner Patron
    • April Montgomery known as Bartender
    • Vitta Quinn known as Spearmint Rhino Dancer
    • Terence J. Rotolo known as 1970's IRA Lieutenant
    • Camille Calvin known as Chinatown Pete's Girl (uncredited)
    • Mark Day known as Rhino Bouncer (uncredited)
    • Marc De'Antone known as Actor / Reno's Man #2 (uncredited)
    • Joshua Lou Friedman known as Thug (uncredited)
    • Russell Gannon known as Murdoch's Core Henchmen (uncredited)
    • Jeffrey Scott Jones known as Parking Valet (uncredited)
    • Gregory Stone known as Waiter (uncredited)
    • Damon Viola known as Reno's Man #3 (uncredited)
    • Jesse Wilde known as High Roller (uncredited)



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Andrew Baier known as makeup artist
    • Alex Noble known as special makeup effects artist
    • Galaxy San Juan known as key makeup artist




    Production Companies:

    • World Films

    Other Companies:

    • IndieClear  script clearance


    • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (2009) (Australia) (DVD)
    • Eventity Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (DVD)
    • Metrodome Distribution (2009) (UK) (DVD)
    • One Movie (2009) (Italy) (all media)
    • Schmalz-Schneider (2009) (Austria) (DVD) (also Blu-ray) (as Illusions Unltd. Films)
    • Splendid Film (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
    • Sunfilm Entertainment (2009) (Germany) (DVD)
    • Vivendi Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)



    Other Stuff

    Visual Effects by:
    • Wagner Fulco known as digital compositor

    Release Date:

    • Germany 10 July 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Netherlands 14 July 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • USA 14 July 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • USA 20 November 2009 (TV premiere)
    • Japan 10 February 2010 (DVD premiere)



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


    1. actionfilm-2 from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      Having followed director Jesse V. Johnson's career since 2002's "TheHonorable" it's amazing how quickly he has evolved into a top notchaction director in such a relatively short period of time. The man hastoiled away and paid his dues so it's nice to see his skill is becomingrecognized by his peers, allowing him to recruit some great talent. His2009 film The Butcher slowly builds up momentum towards a brutal actionpacked finale. It does so skillfully and all the while remainedinteresting, unlike say for example "The Kingdom" starring Jaime Foxxwhich had dull dialog and uninteresting characters for three quartersof the film trusting that the final action packed reel would make upfor it (as terrific as it was, it did not). The Butcher on the otherhand, has barely a fraction of the budget and fires on all cylinders,well scripted, great leads in Eric Roberts and Robert Davi, excellentcast (including several of the director's "stock" actors such as KeithDavid, Bokeem Woodbine, and even a cameo by the Pitfighter himselfDominiquie Vandenberg), grade A staged action with superb stunt work,one of the best musical scores I've heard in some time, even abeautiful Dodge Charger and eclectic mix of firearms. Recommended!

    2. Scarecrow-88 from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      If you want to see Eric Roberts kill a lot of people, then 'TheButcher' is the movie for you. As ridiculous as they are, I have anaffinity for these "one man army" movies where someone, on his own,must overcome a militia, in this case a mobster's goons.

      Roberts is a mobster's "enforcer", the guy who is an expert at removingthorns from the ass of his boss. This mobster, Murdoch(Robert Davi) hashis eyes on money laundering, and sets up Merle(Roberts)to take thefall regarding the theft of a heavy Reno crime family. It's actually amore complex scheme where Murdoch had plans to use a hot shot in hisentourage, eyeing the "throne", Eddie(Jerry Trimble), to sweep in tosteal the money from the owner of an expensive stripper club,Doyle(Paul Dillon), who uses the joint as a front for the moneylaundering operation. Merle is sent there to "collect money owed",foiling Murdoch's plan to have him iced and left to take the fall for"attempting to steal the cash for himself." This doesn't bode well withMerle, to put it mildly, and he decides to take a dropped duffel bag ofmoney with him as a "retirement fund." Having that money is bad enough,but his decision to seek revenge against Murdoch places his life inserious jeopardy. In a spur of the moment, with nothing to lose, Merleasks a waitress at Murdoch's bar, Jackie(Irina Björklund)to come awaywith him.

      Like the action sequences, Eric delivers his part in style, blastinghoods and looking great doing it. Nice supporting turns by Keith Davidas Larry Cobb, a loan shark demanding money owed to him by Merle, andGeoffrey Lewis, as Merle's weapons supplier, Naylor. Davi has thesnake-in-the-grass mobster role he performs with ease, eliciting adangerous aura when he's in a scene. Irina Björklund is a nice surpriseas this young woman with an unfulfilled life who decides to take achance, hopping in Merle's car for a little excitement, the threat ofperil always near. There's violence aplenty, with bullets ripping apartbodies, the use of blood bags in heavy supply. Bokeem Woodbine is"Chinatown" Pete, a compulsive gambler who never loses, yet Merle, anobvious failure in the past, finds luck and earns some cash which willbe used properly, perhaps something of substance provided by a man whokills men for a living. The final bloodbath, guns a blazing, goes onforever and delivers in spades. Roberts looks quite cool in his shadesand '69 Dodge Charger. The plot is really just an excuse for Roberts torid the world of mobster scum. Again, to reiterate, these movies arebound to make many an eye role, but it's like smack to a junkie, whenit comes to my love for them..I can't help but gravitate towards them.

    3. tcarvelo14 from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      This is a world of granite faced crusty badass mothers! These guysaren't pretty, in fact nobody in this movie is pretty. But they aretough, and what they lack in looks they more than make up for inferocity of action.

      Robert davi is fantastic as the pock marked faced lee j. cobb mob boss,he doesn't like Earl, Eric Roberts' character, but like all the peoplein this movie they don't give away what they're thinking or who theylike, or even what side they're on, and when the chips are down andthey're in trouble, they all offer to join the other team to save theirbacon, anyway. The only character with any real shred of discernibledecency at all is Eric Roberts, and he is at the losing end of a run ofseriously bad luck – see the movie.

      This film was constructed strangely, it was really slow, and it buggedme a bit, then I realized I really enjoyed the slow build up, because,brother let me tell you, when this movie goes bang, it takes largegruesome fragments of the san fernando valley with it. In glorious oldschool no CG style. The guns are real and sound real, the guts andsplatter seems gruesomely real, too.

      I don't normally write on these boards, most people with the time towrite don't share my opinion anyway. But a complete miscreant made acomment about the guns, I had a sudden flash of wanting to use a 1897shot gun to flatten his head, like Earl does in the movie. The firearmsin this movie are cool, there are no modern guns at all, they are allbeat up old collectors items (like the characters, i guess), the gun inthe stripclub is a Browning 1919 BTW, wasn't in WW1 at all, and nobayonet on it, – but like I said, I'm as pathetic as him for gettingannoyed about his review.

      This film is uncompromising and fresh, the style is gritty and almostmessy, Eric Roberts is stand alone, a fantastic actor, and Davi battleshim good for the scenery chewing awards. Michael ironside gives a smallspeech on gangster etiquette at the beginning and I can now quote itverbatim, it's a small part but it stays with you!

      earl's car deserved it's own credit in the titles, as it's a characterunto itself.

      The bottom line. As i watched this film, it felt interesting and new,but a little slow getting to it's point, then the shooting happened anda divine light came over me and it all made sense. I have watched itthree more times and most assuredly get it now.

      This is a blistering individual film, a head and shoulders above mostof the steamy crXp in the theater. This film isn't about the plot, orthe suspense or any of that stuff, it's about the characters and theworld they live in and boy i enjoyed it.

      Terry. C.

    4. Bob_the_Hobo
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      Eric Roberts is Hench, a henchman for a crime boss played by RobertDavi. After several loyal years to Davi's character, things go wrongwhen Hench gets ambushed during a shakedown. Unlike most movies,however, Hench ends up with some big money and a girl (the beautifulIrina Bjorklund), and plots his bullet-riddled revenge against Davi andthe men who crossed him.

      "The Butcher" was pretty sweet. You can tell that the films director,the up and coming Jesse V. Johnson, is experienced behind the camera.He knows what an audience (in this case mostly male) wants to see;Action. And that's what you get with The Butcher, Eric Roberts shootinghis way out of a life he's tired of squandering. The action isterrific, the sets are cool, and the overall effect is a nicely doneaction piece.

      Roberts does a great job, convincingly playing a cool, badass henchman.For once he doesn't overplay the role, instead he's cool as can be,even when the bullets fly. Irina Bjorklund is a great up and comer aswell. Davi fills a great performance as the film's antagonist, a majorcrime boss who's about to go down. Keith David, Bokeem Woodbine, and asmall appearance by Michael Ironside round out the cast, all interrific performances.

      Overall a very cool action movie.

    5. P.S. Paaskynen from Tornio, Finland
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      The Butcher has a decent cast and a promising story line, but fails todeliver due to a crummy script and too unrealistic action scenes.

      The wording of the plot outline is indicative of the incoherentbombastic dialogue in this film, it makes practically all actors appearwooden and insincere.

      A lot of the budget was thrown at bloody shootouts, but no attentionwas paid to making them even a little realistic. In most shootouts thehenchmen just stand upright blazing away without seeking cover or evenactually trying to hit the protagonist. In another shootout the badguys insist on shooting above the furniture behind which the hero ishiding. Not even film goons are that stupid.

      These flaws ruin what otherwise could have been a palatable actionfilm.

    6. thomas-glass from Australia
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      Over-the-top violence with an incredulous plot line. Why the policenever catch up to this guy just further eludes to the fairy-taleconcept. Reminds me of a film noir minus the black and white. A lot of1940's themes, cheesy lines and concepts set in the modern age. Themovie is filled with violent bloodbaths mirroring that of a StevenSeagal fight scene. How this guy comes out on top is clearly some wellexecuted choreography. It leaves the viewer in utter disbelief. Itbasically takes a turn for the worse and loses momentum like a leadballoon like the director gained a terrible drug addiction and justdidn't care anymore. I almost feel like I've been violated. This one isprobably a good film if you're on a psychedelic drug because it is allhype and little else.

    7. Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      Jesse Johnson writes and directs THE BUTCHER, a crime drama starringEric Roberts as Merle Hench nicknamed 'The Butcher' in his younger daysas a promising prize fighter. For the last twenty years, he has been amob enforcer. His boss(Robert Dayl)figures its about time for Merle toslow down a bit, maybe retire from the business. Merle is set up totake the fall for a botched heist worth millions to a rival mob boss.The Butcher's instincts tell him something is very wrong and instead ofdisappearing, he decides its time to fight back in return for being putin the trap.

      Roberts seems to play it too cool. His character definitely has faithin himself. His love interest is played by the winsome Irina Bjorklund.In support are: Geoffrey Lewis, Paul Dillon, Jerry Trimble and MichaelIronside. Not a bad choice for a lazy day.

    8. pulp_fiction47 from Sweden
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      I had no expectations for this movie. From the title I guessed it was aB-grade slasher flick of some kind.

      What I got was something completely different.

      The Butcher is a dark and gritty story about a man with nothing tolose, made in the style of the classic movies of the same kind in 70's.

      Eric Roberts is good in the title role and most of the actors do theirjob quite well.

      The action is raw and naked without being over the top and the overallfeel and atmosphere is gritty and dirty.

      I recommend this film for people who like gangster and action moviesfrom the 70's.


    9. adrenokrome from England
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      This review contains spoilers!!!!!! It is so refreshing to have a solidshoot em up (the only other movie maker I've watched that loves guns asmuch as the director is John Woo) with heart and that's what makes theButcher stand out from other flicks of this genre, it makes it so muchmore than just an action film. The script has such a good sense ofhumour, the players all come together, the banter between Eric Roberts,Keith David, Robert Davi and Geoffrey Lewis just oozed cool (ooze usedin a positive sense – had that hard boiled noir feel) and there werethose little touches like the money launderer putting the pin back inthe grenade (commenting that he'd do it when his henchman offers), thehorrific nature of fire fights (not everyone dies from a clean woundthrough the heart at high noon, the panic/ mania / fear, fingers getshot off, shotguns and heads equate to Bolognese). Yes there is a levelof overkill, but then we deserve it, its the finale! I enjoyed thesoundtrack, nice classical background fare providing that calm from thestorm.

      The bittersweet ending worked perfectly, so many films about betrayaland redemption can become utterly nihilistic, but the Butcher is notabout that, it felt like it was more about learning from mistakes, keepliving until you're done and try to do the decent thing in indecentcircumstance. That's what heroes should be about, giving hope or makinga difference. But then maybe I just love the old school heroicbloodshed movies. If you enjoyed Johnny To's Exiled, then check thisout.

      The director Jesse V Johnson's style is constantly evolving and he justkeeps getting better.

      Bring on Charlie Valentine Mr Johnson! TTFN

    10. nathan-yeo from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 1:37 pm

      I like British gangster films over American ones especially urbanthey're all feeling sorry for some gangster who's trying to get out ofthe business. Our boy here isn't trying to get out of the business,well he wasn't until a quarter million dollars landed at his feet. nowhe wants to grab the waitress and take it on the road. only problem ishe stole money from his mob, that was stolen from the mafia. So noweveryone wants him dead. the characters were believable, a lil moreMicheal ironside would have helped.

      They stole a lot of stuff from several all-rite gangster films to makea mediocre gangster film. There was some "Saving Grace", the reflectionand repose of "Boiling Point" and then they tried to add in some JohnWOO type shoot-outs.

      Here's a problem, who ever did this had too much pull with the propsdepartment, mobsters, and gangsters, don't have gunfights with "BayonetFixed, Belt-Fed" weapons. He even shot-up a bar carrying a WWI era30cal machine gun.

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