Eunice walks through northern England, going from one garage to another in search of her ex-lover and brutally attacking anyone who gets in her way. New flame Miriam tries to help her, but finds herself sucked in to Eunice's world
The serial killer genre appears to be running out of options. In the last few years, we've had two British middle-class psychos (White Angel, The Hawk), a Dutch comedy psycho (Man Bites Dog), as well as countless entries from across the pond (Henry, Manhunter, The Silence Of The Lambs, etc.). It can only be a matter of time before Disney recognise the market potential and treat us to an animated mass murderer ("The night Goofy came home!"), but until then, Butterfly Kiss features what is undoubtedly the most leftfield sub-genre so far: the English Transport Cafe Lesbian Psycho.
Narrated in flashbacks by the decidedly less-than-bright Miriam (Reeves), this is the story of Eunice (Plummer), a heavily-chained nutter who trawls the diesel pumps of Northern England looking for old lovers, half-forgotten songs and more victims for her homicidal tendencies. The pair meet after Eunice douses herself in petrol at Miriam's service station and, following one of the year's more bizarre love scenes, carry on this three-pronged quest together with predictably doomed results.
Sadly, the half-forgotten "love" song which continually runs through Miriam's increasingly unhinged brain turns out to be New Order's World In Motion, which is the only light moment in an otherwise grimly tedious enterprise. Both Reeves and the ever-excellent Plummer do their best, but somewhere along the line director Michael Winterbottom appears to have mistaken screw-loose for characterisation, with the result that Butterfly Kiss resembles nothing so much as a trawl through dirt-cheap, one-dimensional thrilleramics.
A film unlikely to do much for either the serial killer genre or motorway services tourist trade.