2014

WEIRDO’WEEN #23: Bloody Knuckles [2014]

weirdoween2015I 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!

weirdo'ween-#23First 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 Invasionscatches 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!

If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #24! – So STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.

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WEIRDO’WEEN #16: The Babadook [2014]

weirdoween2015After reviewing not one but three movies in the Hatchet series, which were over the top [and gory] slasher films, I decided it was time to switch it up and review one of my favorite films of 2014: The Babadook. I’ve actually technically already reviewed it, here, But with it’s hauntingly beautiful cinematography, it’s really good acting, and even it’s ever depressing tone, I was begging this movie to be as good as it was living it up to be, especially after everyone wanted me to see it – and it certainly was.. It was everything I hoped it would be; with it being a foreign film, there were actors that I didn’t recognize – It’s made it something I found myself to really enjoy. This film was atmospheric, it was extremely suspenseful at times- without relying on too many jump scares- and best of all: it felt real. So let’s jump in to a film that really surprised me when it was first released. It’s not so much violent and gory, but rather psychological. So, whether it’s a word, or a look, let’s talk about..

weirdo'ween-#16The Babadook follows Amelia, a widow who lost her husband in a car crash on the way to give birth to Samuel – their only child. As seen in the movie, she struggles to cope with her fate as a single mom, especially with Samuel‘s constant fear of monsters and violent response as his way to overcome these fears. Because of this, Amelia has almost no friends, and the friends she does have become distant. Just when you think that things cannot get any worse, Amelia and Samuel read a book they found in Samuel‘s book shelf which spoke about the ‘Babadook‘ monster: who hides in the dark areas of their house. Fears become superstition when even Amelia begins to feel the effect of Babadook and desperately tries to destroy the book. This is the nightmarish experience a mother and son encounter for the rest of movie; or in this case, story.

At first glance, The Babadook may sound like it’s a tale that meant to warn people not let children make creepy stories up into their heads. Although understandable, as a way of coping, it may also seem like it’s one of those old horror movies with children being influenced by a ghost. [kind of like Poltergeist] The monster that’s called The Babadook, comes off as having the potential of being a silly urban legend, such as Slender Man[I am so tired of Slender Man] that is destined to be flooded with it’s own online stories, or simply just another horror monster, but what makes the film surprisingly effective is that it has a different plan for itself than “just scaring the audience.” More than anything, it may as well be a character study of a mother who is having a hard time moving on after the tragedy she’s been through and trying to raise her only son. It is a slow burner, as the real horror doesn’t come out that quick, when it comes to the characters we’ve already been introduced to.. it’s already built itself up as a study high. The tension you come to feel as the movie progresses is just award for being caught up by the core story line.

it doesn’t help that Samuel is a creepy looking kid.. I blame the Monster in his head

One thing that is important to note is the Babadook himself. When we actually start to see it, we notice it has an almost ridiculous design and his story is told well by a twisted storybook with wonderful illustrations. It almost feels like the movie is trying to explain that he isn’t the point of the film.. that he’s basically Amelia‘s “coping method” of sorts. The pacing of Amelia‘s life may move too fast within the film, but the sadness and deprivation beneath those regular troubling days are noticeable; you can tell that she’s struggling with Samuel, that she still isn’t over the loss of her husband, and that the plot is mostly concerned with Amelia finding a way to overcome Samuel‘s behavioral issues and her memories of accident; rather than dealing with this supernatural threat. What I’m trying to get at, is that even if there’s a “monster” tormenting this family, it still feels more like they’re being tormented by life, and the “monster” is their grievance personified.

This is where I sound like I’m complaining – at least, on behalf of some people. The thing about The Babadook is some horror fans might get disappointed for not giving The Babadook monster enough of the characterization he seemingly deserves. [I’ve heard this complaint a lot] Even if it is a lot more interesting to follow than his tricks and angry monster feelings, that is why I keep claiming that the the movie is best described as a gloomy story about a mother and a son who are desperately fighting to keep a hold of themselves and promise to protect each other from the opposing odds; even if this promise doesn’t always apply, The Babadook is more than just another horror film. While it still has the right amount of admirably campy scares, which I absolutely love, the film often explores to the larger and much affecting side of the story, making it more depressing – rather than terrifying..though it is terrifying in it’s own right.

So like I said in my original review of The Babadook; Unless you count It Followswhich I talked about in great detail over here, It’s been a very long time since I have seen a horror film this effective; especially one from the last year! The Babadook is a film that is more interested in engaging the audience with its characters, relying on it’s subtly and clever imagery to legitimately scare its audience; rather than go cheap, and use ineffective jump scares. [like 99.9% of horror films now a days] If you haven’t seen it yet – take advantage of it being on Netflix; because every positive review you’ve read is true, just take one word of advice: if you have a book calling itself Mister Babadook on your shelf, and you don’t recognize it – don’t touch it..don’t even look at it: Chances are, it’s probably not such a good idea.

If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s] please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow morning when I talk about weirdo’ween #17! – STAY TUNED!

THANKS FOR READING.