knucklebones-poster

A movie review by Robert Long II ©2016

Starring Julin Jean, Justin Arnold, Tom Zembrod, Katie Bosacki, Ashley Brinkman, Brian Tyler Cohen, Erin Marie Garrett

Written and Directed by Mitch Wilson

Released through Midnight Screenings/Brain Damage Films

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We begin this film with a flashback to a Nazi doctor that looks like Michael Bay (why didn’t they slick his hair back to look a little more in character?) and his goons in a secret base hidden in a Texas garment factory A good looking topless blonde in a thong (they had thongs in WWII?) is brought in and experimented on. This brings forth the demon Knucklebones, who proceeds to lay waste to everyone around him. The flashback does boast some really good production values.

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From there we seem to go to a garment factory in 1976 Texas, where a mother is working while her young son Billy is running around the building. The mother goes to look for him and for some reason gets ripped apart by an unseen force. Seems Billy was being an idiot – playing the knucklebones game with a pentagram and some bones – and may have conjured up an evil force. What is it with kids with spirit boards or pentagrams? Anyway – ol’ Knucklebones is back and takes out everyone – save for Billy.

Present day, and we are at an amusement park where a guy breaks up with his gal, Neesa (Julin Jean). I believe she is going to be our final gal. Shaken, she tries to commit suicide, goes to hell, but is brought back. While there she met Knucklebones.

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We get to a point where five 30 year old college students go to the abandoned garment factory in present day. This is Neesa and her friends going to the outskirts of town to do – what else – but get drunk and party in the abandoned garment factory. Of course, the two nimrods of the group want to try to summon the demon of the factory. Guess what? They do! Naturally they get trapped in the warehouse by the monster as he hunts them down one by one.

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To add to the bodycount, we have a group of cork-snorting thuggies (two guys, two girls) coming to raid the place for its copper content. this allows us some fantastic nudity from Erin Marie Garrett before the lambs are brought to the slaughter. From here on out I won’t go into heavy spoilers…

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There is some really good things going on here to give this a thumbs up. The gore effects are done practically and are incredible in execution, and the monster design for Knucklebones will send shivers up the spine. The production values are spectacular for being done on such a small budget, and the camera work and pacing are competent and keep the viewer focused on the action on the screen. Plus, I will add that there are some really good story ideas and plot twists that come towards the end of the movie, and they work great!

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There are a few things that ding this movie from being completely awesome. As I alluded to above, the casting is a little off. The actors are way too old to be trying to come off as 21. I kept thinking “why are these 30-somethings doing something this stupid?” Plus one of the actresses puts forth a terrible performance, and the characters are basically cardboard cut outs of well-known character studies. Story-wise it gets much better at the end, but the beginning is a bit of a trite cliche, and I wish more thought had gone into it than “stupid young people summon a demon and get munched.”

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FINAL RATING: 6.5 out of 10 cracked knuckles. Brain Damage Films has really been a mixed bag of product in the past – in as far as the quality of films they distributed. But…. the good heavily outweighs the bad. A fun supernatural slasher full of blood, boobs, beast and lively surprises. One to have on with a party of friends. I am glad that as of late Brain Damage Films are providing much better movies for the buying public. I would recommend this as a watch, so head on over to their website and check it out!

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