Green Butchers

Starring: Nikolajlie Kaas, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicolas Bro and Line Mikkelsen
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 06 February 2006

Dysfunctional butcher's shop assistants Bjarne and Svend are fed up with their boss and decide to open their own shop. Everything does not go as planned. Business is incredibly slow and the duo are running out of money, and then an accidental death occurs. One hasty decision leads to another and soon the business is regularly serving up 'speciality' meat known as Chicky-Wickies. It's not long before people are coming from miles around to sample this tasty treat. But as the media become interested in the success of the butcher's wares, how long before someone discovers that it's not chicken in the Chicky-Wickies?...

Green Butchers (De Grønne Slagtere) is an odd movie. Like Svend's Chicky-Wickies, all the ingredients are wrong and the whole thing leaves a bitter after taste, but for some reason the end result is a tasty little morsel. I loved this film. But, when I really analyse it, it's difficult to justify why.

Even if you know nothing about the movie you can pretty much guess that someone is going to get turned into meat for the shop counter (that's a clichéd movie rule whenever a butchers is featured in a film). League of Gentlemen fans will no doubt draw parallels between this movie and the Hilary Briss storyline - and rightly so. There are quite a lot of similar elements. "Chicky-Wickies" is not a million miles from Briss's "special stuff", and one taste and no one can get enough of this new delicacy.

Nikolajlie Kaas is incredibly convincing as both Bjarne and his twin brother Eigil. It really is difficult to believe that it's the same actor playing both roles. Mads Mikkelsen is also fantastically creepy as Bjarne's partner in crime Svend - although a lot of this has to do with the fantastic makeup that gives his head a similar appearance of the Mekon from Dan Dare. Mikkelsen also went on to play the part of Magnus in the equally funny Torremolinos 73.

There are laughs here for everyone. There are in-your-face visual gags, like Svend with a sausage on his head as Bjarne tells him he has sausages on the brain, or Svend pushing a nosey customer roughly out of the way as he tries to enter his shop. And then there are the more subtle gags - the best being that the movie is one great big build up to an outrageously funny punchline. It's almost like being told one long shaggy dog story by that slightly dotty uncle we all have.

Kaas's brother also composed the music - which in places is incredibly beautiful. Although, I did feel that he may have been inspired a little too much by Howard Shore's music for The Fly - there are certainly a lot of similar themes.

Extras include a making of featurette (25 mins); Meat is Murder, an 11 mins look at the prosthetic and make-up effects in the movie; and two trailers.

The twist in the tale - not what you'll be expecting - will leave you chuckling to yourself for weeks to come. The end result is, contradictorily, a feel-good dark comedy.

Darren Rea

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