Blu-ray Review: Bones



Lately Travel Channel has become wall to wall haunted houses. Anytime of day you can flick onto the show and see a group of ghost hunters using strange devices contact the spirits that haunt the property. One of the things they talk about is how angry the spirits get when people move into the house they’re haunting. So imagine how furious they’d become if a disco opens up on their hallowed ground. Bones has a bunch of young hip entrepreneurs who do exactly that bad business plan. What that didn’t count is that the evil spirit inside the abandoned house would turn out to be rapper and commercial pitchman Snoop Dogg.

Back in 1979 Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg) was the sweetest pimp in the neighborhood. He really wasn’t much of a pimp since he merely ran the local numbers game. He didn’t hustle drug or put ladies on the street as his whores. Only woman he has by his side is his girlfriend Pearl (Foxy Brown‘s Pam Grier). He looked out for the people around him. He was a local legend for being so upstanding. But some people weren’t having it. Those people happened to be crooked cop Lupovich (Jeffrey‘s Michael T. Weiss) and local drug kingpin Eddie Mack (Everybody Hates Chris‘s Ricky Harris). They want Bones to start dealing a narcotic to the children that play on the sidewalk. When Bones refuses the cop and the dealer shoot him. But they aren’t done. They force Bones’ two associates and Pearl to stab his body. Instead of burying, Bones’ bones are left to rot in the basement and the Brownstone home locked up. The neighborhood changes, but Bones’ place remains on the block. In 2001, four kids buy the Brownstone with the desire to turn it into the hottest nightclub in the city. They have no idea how hot things get although they do seem to make friends with the dog that lives in the house that has red eyes. Little do they know that the hairy four legged beast contains the damned soul of Bones. He’s ready to get revenge on those who killed him and dumped him in the basement to rot. Even Pearl has to fear for her life since Jimmy isn’t as sweet of a pimp in his undead state.

Snoop Dogg is a rather nightmarish figure in the film. Over the last few decades, Snoop has been able to strike himself as a cartoonish character who can sell cars and other products. He comes off as a friendly guy who just likes to smoke a little weed and watch little kids play football. People forget that Snoop had to hire Johnnie Cochran to get acquitted from a murder charge. Anyone who saw his recent video giving a warning to Gayle King got to see the not so warm and fuzzy side of Snoop. So he’s a bit horrific on the screen when he’s getting a piece of those that put him down. He really doesn’t ham it up in the scenes although part of that might be because he was stoned for most of the production. Which works out perfect for undead kinda pimp.

Director Ernest Dickerson and his visual effects crew bring out the scares in the Brownstone. There’s some bloody moments that earn the film an R-rating. The weird piece of art with people trapped inside is still a glory to behold. He also brings out the scares for Pam Grier. This film links up well with her other major horror film: Scream Blacula Scream. During the flashback to 1979 scenes, Pam looks like she had just wrapped making Coffy. Her performance helps make Snoop Dogg look better on the screen. Grier makes Bones an enjoyable experience so you’re eager to see what’s going on in the Brownstone.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The Blu-ray transfer brings out the darkness of the haunted Brownstone. The audio DTS-HD MA 5.1 so you can be scared from all corners of the room. The original mix can be found on the DTS-HD MA 2.0. The movie is subtitled.

Audio Commentary with Snoop Dogg, director Ernest Dickerson and screenwriter Adam Simon in the same room. Snoop sounds like he’s smoked up.

Interview with Director Ernest Dickerson (20:21) has him talk about the one day he had to ask Snoop Dogg to not get high on the set. He speaks of his being thrilled to work with the eternal Pam Grier.

Interview with Screenwriter Adam Simon (17:18) has him talk about the inspiration to a haunted house in the inner city. He speaks of working on Brain Dead and Carnosaur. He went to Corman University.

Interview with Director of Photography Flavio Labiano (11:42) has him talk about how he likes horror movies since he gets to play with the light more to bring out the fear.

Interview with Special Effects Artist Tony Gardner (15:19) gets into the fun they had with the pimptastic scares. There’s video of the wall of bodies. He enjoyed working with Dickerson who was into visual effects on the set.

Digging Up Bones (23:48) appears to be the original making of featurette with Pam Grier and Snoop Dogg talking about scaring things up in the city. Snoop Dogg wanted to make a horror film and he didn’t want to be the good guy.

Urban Gothic – Bones and It’s Influences (18:57) has talk of how the film wanted to be a throwback to the classic horror films. Ernest Dickerson scores big points by talking up the genius of Mario Bava. A lot of the Bava films referenced have been upgraded on Blu-ray.

Deleted Scenes (24:35) includes a director’s commentary so Ernest Dickerson can tell you why he had to snip it. There’s an alternate opening that was shot Super 8mm anamorphic. There’s a flashback scene where Snoop Dogg and Pam Grier check out the melons at the market.

Dogg Names Snoop Music Videos (7:24) features the Bishop Magic Don Juan from Pimps Up, Hoes Down. True story, I almost ran over the Bishop in a parking lot, but I hit my breaks just in time because of his super bright lime pimp suit.

Theatrical Press Kit with Behind-The-Scenes Footage (10:45) has Snoop describe his Jimmy Bones character as just into the numbers scene and not into drugs or other things. They show off a few of the special effects with footage taken on the set.

Theatrical Trailer (2:08) lets us know that kids shouldn’t go to discos in houses that have the body of dead pimps in the basement.

Teaser Trailer (0:31) promises Bones will be the next franchise in horror like Freddie Kruger and Jason.

Scream Factory present Bones. Directed by: Ernest Dickerson. Screenplay by: Adam Simon &
Tim Metcalfe. Starring: Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier, Khalil Kain, Clifton Powell, Bianca Lawson & Michael T. Weiss. Rated: R. Running Time: 96 minutes. Released: March 31, 2020.

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