Knockdown (The Bad Penny)


Rating: 3.8 Out of 10
Release Date: June 2016
Director: Mickaël Soyez
Writer: Mickaël Soyez
Cast: Casey T. Evans, Tom Arnold, Nick Faltas
Genres: Short/Thriller

OVERVIEW – Knockdown (The Bad Penny)

Knockdown (formerly Bangkok Bound) is not your typical boxing movie. There are no dramatic matches and minimal fighting scenes in this direct-to-DVD feature about an ex-professional boxer confronting his violent past in Bangkok.

Director Todd Bellanca’s neo-noir visuals are impressive, while lead actor Casey Evans can carry some of the more dramatic scenes with ease. Unfortunately, its nonlinear flashback structure and scattered plot make this film less than compelling.

Original Release Title: Bangkok Bound

Todd Bellanca, director of Knockdown The Bad Penny, understands how to create an unforgettable boxing movie without resorting to traditional boxing conventions. No big matches, and no comebacks: instead, this story centers on Jack Stemmons, an ex-American boxer seeking escape from his violent past by moving halfway around the world to Thailand.

Amid its exotic setting and encounters with an addictive prostitute and dangerous bookie, he becomes entranced by this cinematic experience. However, its core horror element remains hidden until just the right moment arrives – employing classic horror techniques to create an atmosphere of fear which keeps audiences on edge throughout.

No one appreciates being annoyed at an unwanted penny that keeps popping up in life despite your best efforts to avoid them, which is the theme behind Knockdown (formerly The Bad Penny), an unconventional comedy film which defies genre expectations to deliver one of the year’s finest comedies.

Todd Bellanca’s comedy of an ex-boxer confronting their violent past is an independent cinematic gem, taking us on an unexpected trip through Thailand with Jack Stemmons – an overweight bearded Jerry Garcia wannabe trying to find some redemption there.

At the core of this film lies its cast. An exceptional ensemble makes the most out of an uncomplicated plot and helps create an atmosphere both believable and terrifying. Additionally, director is skilled at suspense creation using classic horror techniques – clever camera angles and sound effects are used effectively throughout to keep audiences on edge until the very last scene!

Additionally, the film effectively uses themes of incomprehensibility and loss. Kat associates herself with myth and intangibility while Ray only believes in tangible things such as money and power. Lastly, there is the infamous Boatman of Bow Bridge who acts like an intermediary between bridge trolls and Charon; those who come into his path will eventually end up at hell.

Knockdown The Bad Penny is an entertaining filmmaking effort that will keep audiences engrossed for its entire 90 minute running time. Unfortunately, however, the only major criticism against it would be its low budget nature; unfortunately there are no special features (other than scene selection and trailer). Still it makes an enjoyable viewing experience and worth checking out if independent cinema is your thing!


Six years ago, Jack The Ripper Stemmons saw his career destroyed by a St Louis bookie. Seeking revenge but instead forced into hiding from his past, he eventually wound up half way around the world in Bangkok where he found himself entranced by its exotic yet dangerous underworld – eventually returning to fight clubs there while also becoming embroiled in its dangerous underworld. No matter how hard he tried to run from it all it caught up with him like Bad Penny!

Todd Bellanca has written and directed an unsettling tale in The Bad Penny (Knockdown). Without major fights or comebacks, its focus lies more with an amateur boxer trying to avoid his violent past and avoid being booked by bookies. While not a cinematic classic, its effective and gripping story features Casey T Evans as an engaging boxer while Tom Arnold shines as an engaging bookie.

Bad Penny is an example of low budget filmmaking done effectively. While its pace may be somewhat slow and lack shock value for some audiences, Bad Penny does keep your interest well enough and keeps you guessing until just the right moment arrives. Furthermore, classic horror techniques are utilized such as using angles to build tension and suspense while sound effects make your hairs stand up – an excellent combination that keeps viewers guessing!

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