Underground Film Journal

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Episode 1: Larry & Burt’s Gut Rot

By Mike Everleth ⋅ November 2, 2010

Let’s get the warning out of the way first: The first episode of Jason and Brett Butler‘s web series, Larry & Burt’s Gut Rot, is way NSFW. Frankly, I can’t imagine the Butler brothers making anything that was SFW. But, what I can tell you is that Gut Rot is offensive, profane and pretty much hilarious. Larry (Brett Butler) is the most pissed-off pizza delivery guy you’ll ever meet while Burt (Jason Butler) is a stay-at-home loser. Their adventures trying to bring order and common sense to a chaotic world is a futile battle not worth waging. But, luckily they do because it’s funny watching them try.

For those familiar with the Butlers’ previous work, such as the film Confusions of an Unmarried Couple, one of the more surprising aspects of Gut Rot is that — odd enough as it is to say — the series is a bit more subdued and mature. Well, “mature” in the way it presents its immature humor.

The Butlers actually give their characters time to breathe. Confusions of an Unmarried Couple, while an enjoyable modern anti-romantic comedy, was filled with wall-to-wall dialogue, as if the fear was if the characters stopped speaking then the film would just die. So, I was literally quite stunned when Episode One above began with an extended, dialogue-free car washing sequence with relaxing classical music.

The rest of Episode One is fairly low-key as well, and a little bit choppy to fully get into the characters. Burt clearly isn’t as well defined as Larry, but that changes as the episodes evolve. The Butlers eventually get a good groove going by Episode Three.

As of right now, I’m only up to Ep. Three, but I’m planning to watch the rest soon. I also like that this feels like a true “series” with each chapter being its own little film, and not just a 60-minute film that they just happened to chop up into six 10-minute pieces. It’s really conceived and executed like a series.

You can watch the whole series either at the Butler brothers website, Substance Productions.

As a bonus, I’m embedding Episode Two below.

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