I sure hope you’re all excited because for today’s review, I’m writing something special: something that isn’t released until October 27th, 2015! This means, it’s a film I received in the mail, and it’s not just a horror movie – it’s a horror comedy. [and not a boring, generic one either!] I watched it yesterday, and I can hereby say it’s crude, dirty, inappropriate, and down right hilarious! [fun for the whole family?] It makes fun of contemporary issues involving freedom of speech, has a romantic sub-plot that isn’t boring, and some very special effects. Oh! and it’s also a Canadian film, so that earns it points in it’s own right! This movie, is none other than Bloody Knuckles!
Bloody Knuckles follows Travis, an underground comic book artist who happens to enjoy drawing anything, and everything; that could be considered obscene. But, when one of his comics insults a Chinatown crime boss, a gangster punishes Travis by sawing his his drawing hand clean off – leaving him with nothing but a stump. Naturally, this leaves Travis to retreat into a life of alcoholism, and it seems that he’s given up on drawing comics. After all, the last thing he needs is his other hand cut off! But suddenly, his hand returns from the grave..and wants vengeance! Although I had heard nothing about this movie prior – not even the trailer! – but after watching it in full; I was really glad to receive this one – because it’s quality entertainment! I know what you’re thinking: a cut off hand, running around and causing havoc.. sounds a lot like a certain other horror movie, doesn’t it? Something like..Idle Hands? While some aspects may seem similar, Bloody Knuckles stands as it’s own film, and it’s one hell of a ride!
First of all, it goes without saying that this film delivers a strong moral to each and every one of it’s viewers: don’t draw an underground comic about a Chinese crime lord or you’ll get your hand severed with a portable band saw! [as if this wasn’t already obvious] It’s an easy enough thing to learn, since that’s the lesson learned by our ‘hero’, Travis, when the latest issue of his indie comic – titled Vulgar Invasions – catches the eye of a Mr. Leonard Fong: a ruthless businessman and the head of a violent street gang. There’s a ton of nods back to older 80s horror, such as the over the top acting and the excessive blood spilling. However, the most 80s thing about this movie is the gang members, who look awesome while being decked out in tank tops, dragon bandannas, and other “hood” attire. If you look carefully enough, one of them even wears chain-mail! It’s absolutely ridiculous, and it’s so awesome to see in action!
It all starts when Fong doesn’t like what he sees in Travis’ comic. Naturally, like every other crime boss you can think of, Fong has him abducted and responds in kind by sawing his his drawing hand off – as a “warning.” The severed hand is then thrown into the nearby sewer and Travis is left physically – and emotionally – crippled. He turns to malt liquor [a lot of it] for comfort. After one particularly drunken night out on the town, after getting kicked out of his local bar, his lost hand returns to try and persuade Travis to get revenge on Fong and continue work on the comic series together that they started so long ago. With a somewhat crude mind of its own, Travis’ undead hand is both a friend and an enemy, who seems to always have the best intentions in mind ..maybe.
One of the cool concepts this movie plays around with is the idea that when the undead hand first arrives, it makes it way to communicating with Travis through a Text-To-Speak program on the computer. It makes it seem quirky, and almost unexpected. But, I guess if you’re a sentient hand; [kind of like The Addams Family‘s Thing] you have to find ways to “talk”. The humor in the movie feels like it’s a finely tuned blend of absurd, gross, and surprisingly clever; though at times the film does try to be too inappropriate. For example, there’s a character that’s like who looks like Lord Humungus’ homosexual brother – though I feel like that was intentional. [the character in this movie goes by the name of Homo Dynamous: see the similarities yet?] But, aside from the gory and funny aspects, Bloody Knuckles has a story to tell and it tells it well. Travis’ relationship with his stepbrother is genuinely endearing, and his blossoming romance with Amy, a young journalist doing a story on his comic is just plain adorable! [let’s be honest though, Amy – is pretty damn hot]
In the end, Bloody Knuckles is a really fun film to watch. I’m so thankful to Artsploitation Films for sending me a copy on Bluray, and I’m hoping to see more from the Director, especially being a Canadian myself! It’s a crude, gory, and enjoyable movie to watch with friends, or even to laugh at on your own. It’s definitely not for everyone [some of those jokes will offend someone] but if you can handle racist jokes that result in someone’s hand being chopped off; you’re in for a special treat this Halloween!
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THANKS FOR READING.