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Festivals Film Reviews Raindance Film Festival 2024

Review: From My Cold Dead Hands. Hilarious, but tragic truth

  • Release year: 2024
  • Director: Javier Horcajada Fontecha.
  • Producers: Roberto Butragueño.
  • Screenplay by: Javier Horcajada Fontecha.
  • Editor: Javier Horcajada Fontecha.

Synopsis: compilation of YouTube videos showing Americans and their relationship with weapons.

Shotgun Commentary: hilarious approach to a very serious issue. It is everything you need to know about guns and why they shouldn’t be in civilian hands.

Cinderella in the shooting range. Source: From My Cold Dead Hands (Javier Horcajada, 2024). Courtesy of: Raindance Film Festival.

Review

From My Cold Dead Hands is hands down the craziest feature of the year so far. It is hilarious and educational at the same time. The combination of YouTube videos from different American authors showcasing their relationship with weapons exposes the great dangers of US weapon policies in the most amusing way possible.

It speaks on its own

Javier Horcajada doesn’t even bother with a voiceover or captions because he just doesn’t need to. The only editing you will find in the movie is the shortening of the videos to avoid boring parts, and the order in which they are shown.

Merely with these actions, the message is crystal clear. Horcajada further summarised it during his Q&A at Raindance Film Festival: “Americans like to talk about gun ownership in terms of good people owning guns and bad people owning guns, but they often forget about stupid people owning guns”.

Stupid people who own guns are arguably the most dangerous category of gun owners. Firstly, because they are a big majority. And secondly, because they don’t intent to hurt a person in particular, which means that they can potentially hurt anyone.

Two kids showing the stock of a gun shop. Source: From My Cold Dead Hands
(Javier Horcajada, 2024).

Further explanation is needed on the first reason because the issue with them being a big majority doesn’t come from the stereotypical idea that all Americans are dumb. Sadly, the reality is much worse. The problem sprouts from a complete lack of proper education and training regarding weapons. Instead, they are commercialised as toys that will make you “feel like a man”. People are not trained on how to use them, security measures, nor maintenance, which leads to many deaths by stupidity.

Excuse my low self-esteem

The main reason why people want to own guns, at least according to From My Cold Dead Hands, is protection. Yet, why would anyone need a machine gun to protect their home? The sheer amount of people who kid themselves excusing the purchase of huge, incredibly destructive guns as protection for their homes is surprisingly high.

Not only they are not necessary, but there is this culture of toxic masculinity in which “my d*ck is bigger than yours” has been translated as “my gun is bigger than yours”. It happens with cars, and it happens with guns. The bigger the size, the bigger the complex. Thus, weapon culture is intertwined with toxic masculinity culture.

A man brainwashing his daughter. Source: From My Cold Dead Hands
(Javier Horcajada, 2024).

Following up on the relationship between patriarchy and weapons, there was a woman in between crazy videos that brought up a very interesting point. She said that all women should be armed to change the statistic from 1 out of 4 women have been sexually assaulted, to 1 out of 4 perpetrators have been shot dead. As a woman, one can’t argue with her logic. Especially if one is realistic and honest about the current state of society.

However, it is interesting how the topic of education doesn’t even come up in that conversation. Yet again, it is women that have to change to accommodate to men’s issues. Not the men that need education so those events don’t happen altogether.

Freedom on the mouth

It is always the double standard that makes the topic of guns so hard to address (political and economical powers aside, of course). The main one being what I like to call “the freedom card”. Whenever someone tries to bring up the subject of gun control, there is always an angry mob ready to yell their lungs out about freedom and how taking away their guns is an affront to it.

In the film, there is one woman in particular that fully delves into the irony of American society with a big sign that reads “gun rights are women’s rights”. The fact that this is being said in a country where most states have declared abortion illegal is baffling to say the least.

Pro-guns protest. Source: From My Cold Dead Hands (Javier Horcajada, 2024).

These are but a few of the topics shown throughout the movie. Nevertheless, there are many others, such as creating weapon-themed merchandise or using religion as an excuse to kill people (Contradictory? Kinda). These different themes provide a full picture of what gun culture is in America. As well as why so many people worship it despite its obvious flaws, like children getting shot dead almost weekly.

All in all, In My Cold Dead Hands is everything anyone needs to know in order to understand why guns shouldn’t just be offered to anyone, and why they cause more harm than good. It is a very humorous take on a very serious issue. A perspective that is important to have in a world with so much sorrow. This film will make you think and, maybe most importantly, laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Advice to take from this movie:

  • Gun ownership should be severely regulated.
  • The fear of death due to not owning a gun could be very easily eradicated if Americans realised that there are more countries in the world, and they don’t need weapons to thrive.
  • When an issue is so obvious that the commentary is done with just a collage of random examples, you know it’s critical.
Old man shooting at fake heads. Source: From My Cold Dead Hands
(Javier Horcajada, 2024).

What’s your take? Have you watched From My Cold Dead Hands? What do you think of the ending? Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or leave a message in my contact page! For more reviews and cinema-related articles, check out the rest of my blog! 😀

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