June 17, 2017

Movie Review: Bonejangles

What do you get when you combine a subpar slasher and a subpar zombie movie? Bonejangles, of course. Toss in a healthy dose of horror themed comedy and a not quite efficient level of exposition and you end up with a movie that is actually somewhat entertaining. It is funny, almost in spite of how mediocre the pieces are on their own, the movie still manages to entertain enough to be worthwhile. To take that a step further, I feel you could have had a good film if you picked one side and expanded that into a feature. With that said I do like the idea of combining the disparate elements, if not the execution.

The film was directed by Brett DeJager and was his followup to the post-apocalyptic feature The Legend of Cooley Moon. He does a nice job keeping the story going, trying to cover the story’s inadequacies by keeping the pace moving. Screenplay duties were handled by Keith Melcher, it was his first, and to this point only, feature length screenplay. It does have a lot of good ideas in and references to other franchises and such. The problem is the in the effort of mashing the two things together (slasher and zombies) the elements failed to be developed as much as they should. It actually reminds me a lot of The Dead Hate the Living, and your enjoyment of that, or lack thereof will dictate if you like this or not.

As Bonejangles opens, we catch up with a couple of cops who are not very good at their job and no it (Kelly Misek Jr., Jamie Scott Gordon). They are called to join the rest of the force at this old facility where they have the killer called Bonejangles cornered. They give some quick exposition about the viciousness of Bonejangles and how nothing seems to kill him (proceeding to run through a very Jason Voorhees-like list of things they have tried). After a short stalk and slash sequence, Bonejangles is captured.

The next step has the no good cops transport the killer to the town of Argento (get it?). The thing is, this town is cursed and is plagued with zombies under the control of ancient succubus. It also happens to be the town one of our cops is originally from. Plus it is his old flame’s wedding day to some self involved dolt. So, all of these elements come together in comedic fashion and zombies start running about and Bonejangles starts killing people.

The middle bogs down a little as they try to explain the curse and succubus and how they all tie together. The problem is that it leads to so much talking rather than showing anything. We also get a little about Bonejangles past, including flashbacks of his father (played by Phantasm star Reggie Bannister). None of it works all that well, I would have liked a full feature of Bonejangles (perhaps a Bonejangles 2?).

For a low budget horror/comedy, it is quite fun. It is over the top, there is a little bit of blood, some gratuitous nudity, some on the nose references to other, better, films, and in the end it does its job. It is definitely middle of the road, but there is enough there to keep me interested and make me want to know more. If you like cheesy horror/comedies, this one to check out.

Bonejangles debuts on VOD on July 18, 2017.

Mildly Recommended.

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