‘A haunting rhyme for bedtime’
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (aka Night Warning; Momma’s Boy; Nightmare Maker; Thrilled to Death; The Evil Protege) is a 1982 American exploitation horror feature film directed by William Asher. It stars Susan Tyrrell, Bo Svenson (Sweet 16) and Jimmy McNichol.
Bigoted homophobic police detective Joe Carlson(Bo Svenson) tries to frame high school basketball player Billy Lynch (Jimmy McNichol) for the murder of a television repairman when he becomes convinced that the killing was the result of a homosexual love triangle.
Unbeknownst to the detective, Billy’s aunt Cheryl (Susan Tyrrell) is the real killer; having harboured fantasies towards Billy for years, his impending graduation has caused long dormant homicidal urges to resurface. Joe’s continued plaguing of Billy causes Cheryl to become progressively more unstable, ultimately jeopardising the lives of everyone around her…
“Night Warning is leagues better than most of the flicks to come out in the Golden Age of Slasher Films, and if you call yourself a slasher film aficionado, than you have to get your hands on it.” Slashers, Splatters and Giallos
“Too mediocre as a thriller to wholeheartedly recommend but too fascinating as a psychological time capsule to dismiss, Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker is never the least bit suspenseful but will keep you entertained with its bizarre melodramatic subplots…” B-Movie Detective
“While the film itself could be considered a by-the-numbers thriller with some horror elements, it is still worth viewing for the absolutely amazing performance by Susan Tyrrell.” Video Junkie
In the UK, the film was released on the Atlantis label in April 1983 and, probably due to its gory sleeve, made the list of banned video nasties by November of the same year. It was later dropped from the list in December 1985.
Submitted to the BBFC in 1987 with cuts as The Evil Protege it was rejected and remains unreleased in the UK at the time of writing.
In 2014, a Code Red DVD was released in the USA.