“Bloody Knuckles” takes a hot topic which you might as well have used for a highbrow drama, and uses it as springboard for a trashy splatter movie instead. A combination which most likely will not work for everyone, but I appreciated the fact that it wasn’t just about the splatter, and that there was a little bit more behind it all.
Despite all the blood and gore, at the center of “Bloody Knuckles” lies the question, how far art is allowed to go. Where’s the line? Is there a line in the first place? Should there ever be a line? And furthermore: If some find art offensive, should we be scared and stop making it? There’s definitely a certain “Charlie Hebdo”-vibe to it all, even though Matt O’Mahoney completely detaches this from any religious debate, instead making this about a comic artist who makes fun of a local gangster – who retaliates by having him abducted and cutting off his right arm as a “warning”. Subsequently, through Amy, it also deals with the work ethics and obligations of journalists, with her boss refusing to run a story out of fear – in order to protect her, and of course also to save his own sorry ass. In the real world, rebellion against oppressive forces, be it governments, terrorist organisations or organized crime, can have terrible consequences for those who refuse to bow down. And while in “Bloody Knuckles”, their insurrection also comes with a price, ultimately it’s a wish fulfilment-movie where good triumphs over evil – which is an encouraging and reassuring thought. I also quite liked the characters, especially Travis and Amy, and really started to feel for them very early on. Adam Boys and especially Gabrielle Giraud give good performances, and also had some nice chemistry together. That I still can’t rate “Bloody Knuckles” any higher, despite those strengths, is mostly due to the fact that I found all the stuff with the hand a little too silly. I also felt that the movie started to drag a little bit during the middle part. And, of course, they once again fail to make sure that the antagonist really is dead – something that I’m just sick of. Overall, though, I quite enjoyed this unusual mix of an important topic and a funny and trashy splatter movie.