When what are amusingly described as “pieces of corpses” keep disappearing from the morgue, Dr. Peter Chandler proclaims: “We must have a psychopathic deviate in the hospital!” One would think, doc! Another older doctor says not very comfortingly, “It’s probably a fraternity gag. You should’ve seen the things we did in my day” (we really hate to ask).
Welcome to Dr. Butcher MD, AKA Zombie Holocaust. Staff is then shocked to find an orderly chowing down on viscera. Hospital food is bad and all but this is ridiculous. The orderly’s got a tattoo marking indicating he’s from some archipelago in Oceania and we know this, because as luck would have it, lab assistant Lori holds both a degree in medicine and one in anthropology and is just terrific at deciphering tattoos. She also has a bunch of spears and shields adorning her New York City apartment including a knife used for human sacrifice, items which if they adorned a bachelor pad would probably prompt a visit from Law & Order: SVU.
Fortuitously, for all the things Lori could’ve studied in her doctorate — marriage and family structure in ancient Mesopotamia, ritualistic rain dances among the Haida – she is intimately familiar with the cultural practises of Maluku which neither of us could fully grasp despite furiously Googling it.
Anyhow, similar mutilations at other facilities are traced to that region of the world and then a team of investigators led by Dr. Chandler head to the small island off the coast of Indonesia to investigate when a call to the Indonesian embassy might’ve arguably been just as effective (or, as one of us said at age 13 when we first saw this: “Why the hell are they all on this stupid island?”) The intrepid explorers get a debrief:
The natives are the most primitive I’ve ever seen…they are cruel, superstitious and unwilling to accept any form of civilization.
The question, “Do you really think we’re that much different from savages?” is quickly answered in the affirmative when a bunch of loin-cloth wearing, Ramones hair-cutted cannibals impale a local with booby-trapped sticks and feast on his entrails.
Zombies show up later as well, all part of a diabolical scheme perpetrated by one Dr. Obrero, AKA Dr. Butcher who has (and this all sounds better read out as if exclamation points followed each word): “perverted medicine for his own maniacal means!” Dr. Butcher MD features Zombi 2 lookalike creatures, and to make things more confusing, much of the same cast as that movie to boot. Nude sacrificial rites then put this squarely in exploitation territory if you had any lingering doubts.
Also noteworthy, the opening sequence was redone as the initial distributor lost the rights to the “Zombi” title, and really, it’s more accurate anyway as the doctor doesn’t do the bulk of the butchering. Hey, we’re sticklers for accuracy. Alternately confusing, hilarious and incredibly disgusting, it’s brisk 90-minute run time makes it worth a quick peek under the hospital gown.
*** (out of 5)
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6 thoughts on “Dr. Butcher, MD”
Something in me desperately wants to get my hands on this movie.
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I like this one and have a lot of good memories. One of my closest friends growing up had the same name as this island they go to (although spelled differently). My wife also swears that Harvey Keitel is in this under a different name. He’s not.
Dr. Butcher MD is an awesome title and inspired a pretty cool song by The Cramps.
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I’ve heard that Harvey Keitel rumor before as well. This film is so sleazy and violent that it’s impossible not to love. Plus the fact that they pretty much spliced two separate films together makes it a gonzo treat.
I’ve recently started listening to a lot of Cramps I always get in to bands too late…ie. after the singer has passed on (RIP Lux Interior), which means I can never have the treat of seeing them live. I love Off the Bone and Date With Elvis but I haven’t heard the Dr. Butcher song. Which album is it on?
It’s called Dr. Fucker M.D. and it’s on Fiends of Dope Island. I think this was their last studio release. The production values were much higher from Stay Sick on, but the generally sleaziness is thankfully intact.