Punch (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

If I tell you that this is a movie an angry champion topless lesbian boxer, you'd form a certain concept of what it is like.

Let me add some more sensational details. A father and his 18 year old daughter seem to have an unhealthy bond, which is challenged by a new love in the dad's life. The daughter resents the woman so much that she punches her in the face. Unfortunately for the daughter, she has punched the sister of the angry lesbian boxing champion. Eventually, the two violent women set at one another.

The story arc is set. Have you formed your idea of a lurid grade-B orgy of tits and violence?

You're wrong. I actually liked the way this modestly-budgeted Canadian film moves in the opposite direction from exploitation films. In sensationalist films, people start out in everyday situations and become crazy as the movie progresses. In this film, everyone starts out a little crazy and one dimensional, but each character reveals more and more humanity as the story develops. In fact, it is a sensitive and well-written comedy/drama which is beautifully acted, and resembles no movie more than American Beauty.

One thing about the film is very uncomfortable. The director of the film, a former newspaper columnist named Guy Bennett, directed a spread-eagle nude scene which featured his own daughter, Sonja Bennett. This must not be comfortable under any circumstances, but in this case it is a mirror of a scene in the film, in which the daughter, jealous of her dad's lover, pretends to be concerned with a lump in her breast, and asks her doctor/father to look at it. He doesn't want to, but he gives in because she is acting scared and she's his little girl. In other words, it is a film about a father doing an inappropriate pseudo-sexual thing with his daughter, filmed by a father who in the very act of filming it did an inappropriate pseudo-sexual thing with his daughter. Oh, did I mention that Bennett also wrote the script? Do you think a lot of this film came out of his own life?

In the film, the father tells his girlfriend what had happened and she says "that's creepy."

I tend to have the same reaction to Bennett filming his daughter's spread shot. Bennett justifies it in the commentary by saying that he wasn't in the room and was watching in another room on a very low resolution monitor, He therefore misses the point that your average director wouldn't insert a spread-shot in any sensitive film about a troubled teen, let alone one which featured his own daughter opening her legs.

"That's creepy" ...

... even more so because he thinks being in the other room makes it OK. A little less creepy, yes, but not uncreepy. It reduced it from 100 on the creepiness scale down to about 90.

Of course, I took a good look, so who am I to talk?

Oh, well, Guy and Sonja Bennett have to work out their own issues. Their film came out fine, if an unusual blend of sensationalism and sensitivity. You have to love the fact that it was partially funded by Telefilm Canada. Normally when national film boards spend their taxpayers' money, they try for projects with an artistic pedigree and an intimate connection to their national heritage - Peter Greenaway's The Tempest and Tarkowsky's Andrei Rublev come to mind. Canada says to hell with that arty crap and funds a topless lesbian boxer movie. Canadians, you can feel that your taxes are being spent wisely, because this is, in fact, the Citizen Kane of topless lesbian boxer movies. In fact, it is pretty good for any kind of movie.


DVD info from Amazon

  • no widescreen, but the quality of the 4:3 transfer is good

  • full-length director's commentary



  • Sonja Bennett shows her breasts, her butt and an open-leg shot of her genitals.
  • Meredith McGeachie shows her breasts in several boxing scenes
  • Kathryn Kirkpatrick shows her breasts in two boxing scenes
  • various other topless boxers show their breasts

The Critics Vote

  • There were no major print reviews in The States. The IMDb has several Canadian reviews on file.

The People Vote ...


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

This one is a C by our system.

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