Phase9 Movies 2000-12

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Year: 2003
USA: Zeitgeist Films
Cast: Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart, Tara Birtwhistle, Louis Negin, Mike Bell, David Stuart Evans, Henry Mogatas, Victor Cowie, Herdis Maddin, Marion Martin, Aurum McBride, Bernard Lesk, Stan Lesk, Moses, Richard Orlandini, Ted Wynne, Mark Yuill
Director: Guy Maddin
Country: Canada
USA: 64 mins
USA Release Date: 13 August 2004 (Limited Release - New York)


Guy Maddin (Darcy Fehr), a hockey player with the Winnipeg Maroons, cravenly dumps his pregnant girlfriend Veronica (Amy Stewart) right in the middle of an abortion in order to be with someone new, someone met just minutes earlier, a fiery domineering girl named Meta (Melissa Dionisio).

An instant before losing consciousness on the operating table, Veronica sees ardent Meta dragging away Guy, the father of her unborn child. Guy ravishes Meta upon a pile of hockey gloves in the Maroons' dressing room as Veronica dies crawling across the ice trying to find him, leaving a trail of blood frozen there.

Guy discovers his new girlfriend Meta is pathologically obsessed with her dead father Chas (Henry Mogatas), a man whose death she is sworn to avenge - she is convinced her mother Liliom (Tara Birtwhistle) and step father Shaky (David Stuart Evans) have murdered him. Guy finds that Meta is engaged in a project to turn him into something more like the dead father. Meta feels she has completed the conversion of her lover into Chas when she bullies abortionist Dr Fusi (Louis Negin) into transplanting the strangely preserved blue hands of Chas onto her lover. Fusi fools Meta and Guy by pretending to perform a hand transplant - he merely dyes Guy's hands blue.

Now that Meta believes her lover has her father's hands, she forbids him to play hockey, forcing him to take up the dead man's former profession of hairdresser. Next Meta commands the pliant Guy to strangle her mother Liliom and vile Shaky too so that Chas' hands may have their revenge. Unfortunately his hands seemingly have a will of their own...

Filmed in tinted black & white, COWARDS BEND THE KNEE is silent with English intertitles.

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