Knuckledust (2020) Movie Review

Director: James Kermack

Writer: James Kermack (Screenplay)

Starring: Moe Dunford, Katie Dickie, Gethin Anthony, Sebastien Foucan, Chris Patrick Simpson, Phil Davis, Jamie Winstone

Plot: When a special police task force kick open the doors of elite underground fight den – Club Knuckledust, they find seven levels of hell, filled with the dead bodies of countless fighters, assassins and goons. Only one man, beaten to a pulp, barely breathing, is still alive: Hard Eight. With a shady Government official en route to take him away, Chief Inspector Katherine Keaton and her team have ninety minutes to interrogate Hard Eight to find out if is the lone survivor or a multiple murderer. With lies flying from everyone’s mouths and corruption becoming apparent, Keaton starts to wonder “Who is the real criminal?

Tagline – The brawl to end it all

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Knuckledust starts as we head into the elite underground fighting club known as Club Knuckledust, the woman are glamorous, while fighters look unstoppable, the rich clients get what they want, until the plan win for the prize fighter ends in bloodshed.

Chief Inspector Katherine Keaton (Dickie) leads the investigation into what happened in the club, where the bodies are piled up and one survivor, Hard Eight (Dunford). The police start to investigate his true identity, while trying to learn the truth about the club, whose reputation is for chopping up the losers of the fights.

Thoughts on Knuckledust

Thoughts – Knuckledust is a very busy movie, this is because we are going back through the events of the night in question, while also jumping around a lot of different characters, it can be difficult to keep on top of each character too, because of this sudden change, the narrator doesn’t have the story telling skills to pull us in or know everything that is being told either. The film does have a unique style that is desperate to become edgy than it ends up being, while pushing for a comical tone, which doesn’t seem to end up hitting on the levels the jokes want to. When it comes to the performances, nobody is bad in the film, while the lead doesn’t seem to make it to the main impact they would like too. We are let down by the lack of fighting, you would like to think you would see in an underground fight club, with the first entertaining one coming well over an hour into the film. This is all about the style over giving us a world you could see being real, which could give the person feeling to the obstacles the main character needs to overcome.

Final Thoughts Knuckledust is all style, not substance.


Smiley Face Killers (2020) Movie Review

Director: Tim Hunter

Writer: Bret Easton Ellis (Screenplay)

Starring: Ronen Rubinstein, Mia Serafino, Crispin Glover, Amadeus Seratini, Ashley Rickards

Plot: About a handsome young soccer player Jake Graham who believes he is going insane, unable to shake the feeling of being stalked by something, by someone.

Tagline – They Choose. They Hunt. They Kill.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Smiley Face Killers starts as we learn about the mysterious killers that have been abducting and drowning men for years, in what was thought to be a string of accidents, but their calling sign of a smiley faces starts to connect them all.

We meet Jake Graham (Rubinstein) who has started to believe he is being followed around, his girlfriend Keren (Serafino) thinks he is being paranoid, along with his other friends.

Thoughts on Smiley Face Killers

Thoughts – Smiley Face Killers takes us into the world of a real life killers, with the mystery about the Smiley Face Killers that would leave a mark next to the body of young men who have drowned, long thought to be accidents or suicides, there is now a theory of the killers. We follow one football player that starts to believe he is being followed and his friends don’t believe him, while the killers are getting closer to taking him, we play a lot into the paranoia side of things, but it is clear there are killers after him, so any of the drama about what might be in his head gets negated instantly. The killers themselves seem to be willing to play into what the real ones did, celebrating what they might have done, over investigating the truth. The performances are not the strongest either with only Ronen Rubinstein getting an serious screen time. This is a film that does seem to focus on the wrong part of the murders, the killers, not giving us any signs of the investigation behind them, which is why Zodiac is praised so heavily, it was about the victims and the authorities trying to stop it, not the killer themselves.

Final Thoughts Smiley Face Killers seems to focus on the wrong side of the killers, falling short in answers the questions the audience would want about them, or at least investigation into them.

Signature Entertainment presents Smiley Face Killers on Digital HD 14th December