by Eric D. Snider
Released: October 24, 2001
The great rapper/thespian Snoop Doggy Dogg has apparently grown up. In "Bones," as with the other two films he has appeared in this year, he is credited as Snoop Dogg. That silly "doggy dogg" thing must have undermined his great dramatic skills and made people take him less seriously as an artist.
I'm kidding, of course. Snoop Dogg cannot act. He has no range or depth. He is only menacing, and even then, only vaguely so. He helps confirm my theory that no film has ever been improved by the presence of a rapper.
Mr. Dogg is the lead, more or less, in "Bones." He plays Jimmy Bones, a drug-dealer who was killed in 1979 but now, in whatever year this is (they keep saying "20 years ago," so maybe it's 1999), he seems to have been reawakened.
There's a creepy old ghetto house that some teens want to turn into a dance club, despite all the rumors about the place and despite finding a jawbone on the floor. Also, there's a mean dog (or, perhaps, "dogg") whom they take on as a pet, despite warnings from the neighbors. Also, the kids' dad urges them to stay away from that evil place, as does a local psychic (Pam Grier). All in all, it's obvious most of these kids won't live to see the closing credits, nor should they.
There's also a corrupt, foul-mouthed cop played by Michael T. Weiss in a fat suit that makes him look like Jiminy Glick. Pam Grier the psychic has to say this line as a warning to the kids: "Some holes can't be filled, and some hunger can't be satisfied!" We are expected to believe that killing a drug dealer in 1979 would rip open the fabric between Earth and hell.
At one point, a killer carries around the severed heads of two of his victims. One of the heads complains, and the killer says, "I'm just using it to carry your soul, sucker."
Yes, it's all about as stupid as it sounds, and possibly more so. (Oh, yeah: The dog vomits a huge tidal wave of maggots at one point.) Director Ernest R. Dickerson has some style, but quick cuts and flashing images do not a scary movie make.
The only thing that makes this different from any other slasher film is that most of the cast is African-American. To completely reverse the stereotype, they should have had a WHITE guy get killed in the first scene. But believe me, even humor as rudimentary as that is beyond this self-serious, wannabe-scary, crass, vile mess.
Rated R, frequent harsh profanity, some sexuality,
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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