This is one of those rare instances where I’ve seen a sequel *before* I’ve seen the original, but in the case of this splatter-filled horror comedy, I think it’s fine. I’ll eventually get around to watching Stephen Lange’s first feature: Junkbucket—and based on its sequel: Junk Bonds: The Return of Junk Bunket, I’m sure I’ll like it just as much!
Writer and Director Lange uses his horror knowledge to drop some great tributes to classic splatter flicks, making this 2013 film feel like something that could have been made in the 70s or 80s … and I mean that in the most flattering way possible.
The story for Junk Bonds closely resembles 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only instead of Leatherface, the Big Bad is Junkbucket: a man who’s got his own “junk” sewn to his face instead of a regular nose, wears his victim’s faces stretched over a bucket, and whose weapon of choice is a phallic axe/club combo.
Junkbucket spent the first film terrorizing and murdering Cassie Daling & friends in a remote cabin, and a traumatized Cassie is back in the sequel, along with a cast (some new, some old) of victims. In the sequel, ol’ Buckethead’s equally unhinged family has come together to give him a birthday present which involves a van full of strippers and a plot to make Cassie a permeant part of the family.
The most surprising thing about this film is that even though it’s a horror parody—and it involves more fake penises than I’ve ever seen on screen before—it’s fucking terrifying. Sure, it’s humorous, but I can’t explain to you how legitimately uncomfortable I was while watching Junkbucket force his penile nose into Cassie’s ear canal. I can’t even. YOU GUYS. It was awful AND AWESOME at the same time.
And though I know a large part of the cast IRL, I was still completely INTO what was happening on screen: screaming along with the characters trying to escape the Buckets, cringing at all the gore, and rooting for Cassie to get out alive. And let’s talk about that gore for a second—WHOA. Junk Bonds has a lot of really boss F/X! I was especially partial to the scene involving Shelby Bucket’s first kill (in a super rad tribute to Near Dark), but it was all amazing.
Junk Bonds is the 2014 winner of the Best Picture award at Crypticon and the Audience Award at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival. It’s currently touring the film festival circuit, and with any luck should be picked up for wider release soon. This local indie horror film is definitely worth your time, and I recommend seeing it as soon as you can.
And if you’d like to check out the first film, you can pick up a DVD of Junkbucket for a mere $12 (that includes shipping!).