MAY 4, 2010
After Komodo Vs. Cobra, there weren’t too many things lower on my mental laundry list of movies to watch than another Sci-Fi Original directed by Jim Wynorski (Bob Robertson on the film itself - the guy has more aliases than most Italian directors), but since I’m between rentals, I had to dip into my screener pile for something to watch, and Bone Eater was the first one I came across that looked entertaining. And it didn’t mention Wynorski, so they sort of tricked me twice (the alias being the other).
Well it’s certainly better than KvC, by virtue of having (slightly) better effects, less porn acting, and a few ringers like William Katt popping up in small roles, which is always good for making me go “Whoa, nice!” and distracting me away from whatever dull scene they were slumming through. And the score was quite rousing; kudos to Chuck Cirino (who has seemingly composed all of Wynorski's films) for being the rare composer of a DTV/Sci-Fi film that I would actually enjoy listening to on a 30 second menu loop (if my screener had a menu, that is).
I also liked the surprisingly high body count. I swear, the creature (a ghost/skeleton thing that resembles a villainous Bionicle) kills thirty people in this movie, and while the death scenes are almost all the same (he swipes or throws a bone at them and they turn to dust, clothes and all), I never really got tired of seeing folks get disintegrated over and over. I just wish that when a major character got killed that they were given a slightly more memorable demise; one protagonist gets killed so unceremoniously, there isn’t even a cutaway to someone else yelling NOOOOOOOOO! or anything like that And two other fairly big characters just go careening over a cliff (as they are being chased by the ghost skeleton riding a ghost horse - this movie’s kind of awesome, now that I think about it), without the aid of an explosion or a quick shot of their corpses to confirm that they were dead. I kept thinking that they’d come back, but nope, it seems they were dead. RIP, I guess.
It just gets really repetitive, because in between the scenes of the ghost dusting people (many of whom are introduced seconds before their deaths) are scenes of hero Bruce Boxleitner trying to figure out what’s going on, and listening to a bunch of mumbo jumbo from the local Native Americans (who refer to their language as “Indian” at one point), and being overly protective of his daughter, who keeps reminding us that she’s 17, perhaps because she believes if she says it enough it will become true (the actress is about 24). Some of this stuff seems borrowed from Twilight, but even if it was the most original aspect of the movie, it would still be tiresome after about 2 (of the 5 or 6) scenes.
And some of the low budget stuff hurt the movie in a more than usual way, such as when an important flashback scene that’s supposed to be 30 years ago features characters with modern clothes and hair. I momentarily thought it was just another random “hey let’s go kill some people” sequence until the girl telling the tale started narrating again. And since it was filmed at the Sable Ranch, go-to spot for all low budget horror movies shooting in Southern California, I began having undesired flashbacks to Lake Dead. I mean, I know that these things can’t afford to build sets or go off and find new locations, and that they just go with what they know will work, but can’t they at least dress it up a bit or something? Or in Sable’s case, simply shoot the back of the goddamn thing? I recognize that long front porch more readily than I recognize my own apartment building. I guess it could be worse though; it could be the Linda Vista (if they ever make a horror movie about a ranch hand who has to go to a weird hospital, it might very well be the death of me).
One fun thing about screeners that I don’t often mention is the ridiculous “selling points” that they often list on the back. For real movies, they will mention the box office or how many screens it was on, but for DTV junk like this, they have to be more creative. So what is, in Lionsgate’s mind, a “Key Marketing Point” for Bone Eater? “From the Producer Of Poison Ivy II!” Hell yes! I actually had no interest in this title, but if it’s from the producer of a sequel to a movie no one remembers, then surely it must be worth my time! Order me a dozen!
What say you?