Skip to main content

Knuckle review

Fierce and fiery doc about bare-knuckle boxing champ Big Joe Joyce

“I left him with a face like a butcher’s block,” says bare-knuckle-boxing grandad Big Joe Joyce at the start of Ian Palmer’s horrifying documentary.

He’s talking about the savage, Snatch-like fights in which travellers ‘settle’ clannish quarrels, although it’s clear this violence only begets more of the same.

Hanging up his camera when he gets too close to the fire, Palmer shows real integrity and gets incredible access, but there’s only so long you can watch people beating the hell out of each other before wanting to throw in the towel yourself.

More info

Available platformsMovie
Less

Matt Glasby is a freelance film and TV journalist. You can find his work on Total Film - in print and online - as well as at publications like the Radio Times, Channel 4, DVD REview, Flicks, GQ, Hotdog, Little White Lies, and SFX, among others. He is also the author of several novels, including The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in Film and Britpop Cinema: From Trainspotting To This Is England.