Over the past few years there’s been a rise of brash young filmmakers reveling in the trashy cinema from the 80s. Young men and women weaned on early Troma, gonzo Kung-Fu and gross out odes to offensiveness like Street Trash are stepping behind the camera. A new wave of cinema has come down the pike to recreate those times, and it is a welcome breath of foul air in a move landscape that keeps moving towards the middle of the road, looking to for as much mass appeal as possible in order to establish a franchise and rake in overseas dollars. Joining the ranks of high octane, low budget fare like The Taint, and Dear God No is Bloody Knuckles from Matt O’Mahoney. The film made its world premiere this past weekend at Fantasia.
Travis (Adam Boys) is the creative force behind the underground comic Vulgarian Invasion, a DIY effort made to offend the delicate sensibilities of anyone and everyone that reads it. When his latest issue lampoons a shady Japanese businessman Leonard Fong, Travis soon finds himself parting ways with his drawing hand after an untimely introduction to a table saw. Afterward, Fong’s gangland associates dump Travis in the alley and toss his hand in the sewer. Drunk and despondent, Travis winds up in the same alley one night soon thereafter, puking his guts out before scurrying off in fear. Little known to him, the magical content of malt liquor infused vomit reanimates his severed hand, giving the rotting appendage a mind of its own and a thirst for revenge!
Bloody Knucklesis an often hilarious B-movie that will appeal to thirteen year old boys, and the inner thirteen year old boy that lives in all of us, and those that find dick and fart jokes the height of comedy. The film is heavily influenced by the slapstick humor of Evil Dead II, especially during the scenes where Travis mano-el-hando with his former fist. O’Mahoney doesn’t care who he offends, and the film mines humor from a number of taboo topics, including the mentally challenged in its outrageous opening sequence. Despite this, Bloody Knuckles never feels mean-spirited. It just harbors under the justifiable belief that nothing is off the table when it comes to making with the funny. While it might shatter monocles across high society, it is sure to appear to that part in all of us that just wants to watch a severed zombie hand shove a comic book up the crumpled bunghole of a yakuza gang member. This is due in part to how likeable the supporting cast around Boys is. Gabrielle Giraud is terrific as tough and indefatigable local journalist, and Ken Tsui brings a lot of comic relief as Travis’ step-brother/best friend/ business manager. However, the real star of the show is Dwayne Bryshun as “Homo Dynamus”- a bondage clad gay superhero inspired to action by Travis’ comic. Bryshun is consistently hilarious every moment he’s onscreen in his studded leather outfit and bondage mask. I swear there’s a whole movie in his character alone, and hope O’Mahoney and crew find a way to continue his adventures one day.
Bloody Knucklesis just puerile, juvenile, grotesque fun. If the idea of an animated hand writing “I Love Cock” in permanent marker on its former owner’s rubber hand is your idea of a good time, then you are going to find a hell of a lot to love here. If you find yourself inspired to start a punk band called “Franken-Cunt”, Bloody Knuckles is for you. If the following two sentences make you gag on your caviar, then what the hell are you doing reading this site?