An unjustly forgotten horror movie from 1975, "The Love Butcher" enjoyed a release to VHS in the 1980s before drifting out of print and into obscurity where it remained before apparently getting a new DVD release in 2006. Exploring misogyny in a way few modern horror movies dare to, it's probably too politically incorrect to release today. At the same time, it isn't terribly explicit either. Don't look for a release anytime soon.
It's a shame, because "The Love Butcher" is a very good psychological horror film -- one of the few to that features the killer as the main character. The true hero and villain of the story are both played by Erik Stern, who portrays two personalities housed in the same person: Kaleb, the bald, crippled, uber dork gardener, and Les, the dashing alter ego of Kaleb.
It's Les that does the killings, murdering off town women that Kaleb does gardening work for. First Les seduces them, then kills them, all the while rebuking his crippled other self: "You're ugly. That's what's wrong. You're a mental and physical cripple. No one loves a cripple."
The film delivers plenty of camp appeal, with Les going completely bonkers around the housewives he seduces, showing his mad side before he moves in for the kill: "I am the great male Adonis of the universe. I am love, total love. I am Lester, and I am alive." Donning a hairpiece, Les shows up at his victims' doorsteps as different caricatures, portraying a cowboy stud, Latin American stud, doctor stud, etc.
Playing a game of cat and mouse with the housewives, Lester kills them off in a variety of ways. Town police are baffled, and only a journalist (whose own girlfriend uses Kaleb as a gardener) is coming close to cracking the case.
Not particularly gory, but highly entertaining thanks to Stern's over-the-top performance and the film's value as a time capsule, "The Love Butcher" deserves more attention than it's received.