VIFF 2014 BC Spotlight: 5 Questions with Matt O’Mahoney

Travis, a brash underground comic book writer gets his right hand chopped off after offending the Chinatown crime gangster with his obscene comics. While Travis wallows in despair, his decapitated hand takes on a life of its own and vows to avenge its owner and defend the freedom of speech… and that is the premise for the upcoming VIFF 2014 BC Spotlight film Bloody Knuckles.BloodyKnuckles_Still_1-thumb-1540x900-49064
Directed by Matt O’Mahoney, the film will be screening next month at the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival (September 25th to October 10th). But before then, we had a chance to ask director Matt O’Mahoney a few questions about his gorily bizarre film:

VIFF: What inspired you to make Bloody Knuckles?
O’Mahoney: I was very disturbed by the embrace of self-censorship following the Danish Muhammed cartoon controversy. So, I wanted to make a film that stressed the importance of protecting “offensive” speech without being too heavy-handed about it. No pun intended.

matt omahoney on set
O’Mahoney (left) on the set of Bloody Knuckles

VIFF: What was the biggest challenge you faced while making the film?
O’Mahoney: Biggest challenge was trying to accomplish all of the ridiculous gags I had written with the tiny budget we had! But a solid, dedicated crew can really make the impossible possible.

VIFF: What’s the main message you want people to take away from your film?
O’Mahoney: Salman Rushdie once said “Without the freedom to offend, freedom of expression ceases to exist”. I’d like people to understand and embrace that concept again.

VIFF: Who is the filmmaker that inspires you the most?
O’Mahoney: I’ve always been an admirer of George A. Romero. He made exciting, super-bloody horror films that were also personal and of substance. I think that’s a magic combination.

VIFF: What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers in BC?
O’Mahoney: Trust your gut. Work with people who understand and share your vision. And never give up. But don’t sell a kidney. Go to Telefilm first.

Check out the trailer for Bloody Knuckles:

VIFF Passes and Ticket Packages are now available online. Full program schedule (including individual ticket sales) are available here.

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