Just look at that poster for a moment. I shouldn't have to tell you why this film makes me go, "Ugh." This Halloween, unleash the Dogg? Ugh. But you know what? No. I'm not going to just sit here and harp on this being a bad movie. That's too easy. There is, in fact, a small glimmer of hope within Bones. The hope that, against all odds, this might eventually turn into something resembling a quality horror film.
As the poster might suggest, Snoop Dogg is the main draw here. Nobody's going to see this film because of the story, or because they're expecting a quality horror flick, or because Pam Grier is in it (OK, a few might). Most everyone who willingly sits down to watch Bones does so out of some desire to watch the vengeful ghost of Snoop Dogg murder people.
And, for the most part, that's what they get. But only barely.
Bones tells the story of four urban twenty-somethings looking to reinvigorate their father's old neighborhood by opening a dance club. The building they purchase was once owned by 70s pseudo-pimp Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg), who was murdered under especially dubious circumstances some twenty-five years prior. Those that remember the murder (including Pam Grier) hang around the area, making sure that nobody uncovers what truly happened that day.
As the kids uncover Bones' bones and continue to disrespect his pad, Bones begins his ghastly killing spree. With every kill, more of Bones' body reconstitutes itself, a la The Mummy, which ultimately leads him to rising from the dead to seek out those who had wronged him all those years ago. Along the way, the film reveals its mystery to us through increasingly longer flashbacks, despite the fact that we've already guessed what's going on twenty minutes ago. By film's end, what started as an odd, backwards murder mystery ends in what can best be described as one big ripoff of Nightmare on Elm Street.
Which is disappointing, because every time the film actually hits a decent groove, it derails itself with either a terrible joke or too much plot at once. Now, believe it or not, Snoop Dogg is one of the few things that this film actually has going for it. He's not in the film all that much, but he works as the imposing, vengeful demon. The gore isn't too bad either. The blood is that deep red, waxy looking goop that tends to only be found in Italian giallo films.
Other than that, the film is racist without being particularly funny, gory without being really scary, and just the worst kind of derivative. Bones plays like a perverted blend of Candyman and A Nightmare on Elm Street, with shades of "Hamlet" tossed in for (not so) good measure.
I guess I'd give this film two stars out of five (**). Ugh.