Friday, November 28, 2014

BLOODY KNUCKLES (Review) - BITS 2014

BLOODY KNUCKLES (2014)

review by AARON ALLEN

Written and Directed by Matt O'Mahoney

Starring Adam Boys, Kasey Ryne Mazak, Ken Tsui, Gabrielle Giraud, Dwayne Bryshun
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Bloody Knuckles feels a lot like a long lost Troma film. 

It has all the earmarks of early 90s Troma classics: melting green goo, dick jokes, racial stereotypes, juvenile politically incorrect humour, and plenty of on-screen mutilation. In fact, Bloody Knuckles would fit right at home on the VHS shelf next to The Toxic Avenger or The Class of Nuke'Em High except for one thing: Bloody Knuckles hails not from Tromaville but the good old Great White North of Canada!

You have to hand it to the special effects in Bloody Knuckles
Adam Boys plays Travis, the creator of an offensive underground comic book specializing in the tasteless satire of current events and taboo culture. Whether its the depiction of a gay superhero called Homo Dynamous eviscerating Neo-Nazis or abortion doctors dousing Pro-Life protesters with buckets of fetal chum, Travis's vulgar illustrations have earned him a place in the underground art community. That is until one of his issues angers a Chinese crime syndicate and they respond by kidnapping him, beating him up, and amputating his right hand! Through the magic of absurd cinema, however, Travis's hand returns from the dead and embarks on a quest to drag Travis out of his depression, dispatch the bad guys, get the girl, and get back to making disgusting art.

The Dragons come to collect on a five-finger discount
Bloody Knuckles is undeniably vulgar and gory, but not all that funny in the end. The premise is wonderfully absurd and instantly engaging, and its Tromaesque antics exactly are what fans of off-beat and oddball cinema crave, but it's bogged own by a needlessly heavy-handed message about censorship and artistic freedom that sticks out like a sore thumb. I can't quite put my finger on it, but Bloody Knuckles lacks the right tone of juvenile je ne sais quoi required to pull off its series of gags and one-liners. For a film that includes a reanimated hand, a sadomasochistic gay vigilante, and a background subplot about a violent uprising against artists in Canada, Bloody Knuckles conducts itself with far too much seriousness and restraint. What could have been a big old fist punching at the subversive prostate of comedy ends up as a High School finger banging around the erogenous zones of funny. Sometimes less is not always more, especially when wooden acting is what takes its place.

Warrior of the Wasteland, the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah
I appreciate the premise and the film's staunch anti-censorship message, but Bloody Knuckles doesn't quite crack for me in the comedy department. It's low-budget special effects, however, deserve nothing less than a thumbs up.

Bloody Knuckles will have its Toronto Premiere this Saturday, November 29th at the 2014 BLOOD IN THE SNOW CANADIAN FILM FESTIVAL.

9:30 pm
Bloody Knuckles w. O Come All Ye Zombies
November 29th, 2014
The Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival
Carlton Cinemas- 20 Carlton St. Toronto, ON.
BUY TICKETS @ BLOODINTHESNOW.CA



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