“Knuckleface Jones” is one of those quirky and irritating little films that pops up from time to time at film festivals. It somehow manages to confuse some poor demented film festival judge, desperately trying to be “edgy,” into thinking that this obnoxious squawk box of a movie is entertaining despite the fact that it’s distasteful, makes no sense whatsoever, and is more repulsive than even the People’s Choice Awards.
Knuckleface Jones is supposedly an urban legend about a man who could have had any happiness in the world, but never took advantage of it. Now a nerdy trombone player (Andrew Auseon) may be the latest incarnation of this mythical figure. He wakes up having been hog-tied by a psychopathic Nancy Sinatra impersonator (Jessica Murnane) who steals his car and abandons him in the woods. Struggling mightily to make his way back to civilization, he stumbles across a trio of underwear-clad gay rappers, a ditzy Pippi Longstocking-ish waif in orange (Piper Perabo), and a crusty old coot in a cabin (JD Hutchison) who tells the downtrodden trombonist the Knuckleface’s legend.
Will Knuckleface II make it back to civilization, turn his life around and live happily ever after with the angel in orange? Or will his sexy psychotic tormentor continue to keep this pathetic loser down? You’ll have to watch Todd Rohal’s film to find out, if only because I want someone else to suffer through this thing like I had to.
“Knuckleface Jones” is a pointless waste of time. Director Rohal may be proud of creating a mess capable of “avoiding the short film pitfalls of plot and structure…” but the viewer suffers because of it. That’s not something to brag about.
The shame of it all is that, as useless as the film as a whole is, the cast’s throw-caution-to-the-wind energy clearly shines through, as does Rohal’s anarchic flair for the absurd. Unfortunately, that’s all wasted here in a film that not only doesn’t make sense, but revels in its aggravating senselessness. That’s not edgy. Just dumb.