Bones (2001) from Tuna

Bones stars Snoop Dogg in a combination blaxploitation, supernatural, revenge, horror, love story. Dogg was a numbers man in the hood in the 70's. When Lotto was about to invade his turf, some of his associates tried to convince him to switch from gambling to drugs. When he refused, they killed him.


see the main commentary

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Commentary by director Ernest Dickeron, Snoop Dogg and screenwriter Adam Simon

  • Theatrical trailer(s)

  • "Digging Up Bones" - production documentary

  • "Urban Gothic: Bones and Its Influences" - documentary

  • Deleted scenes

  • Music video - "A Dogg Named Snoop" (2 version - standard and live)

  • Widescreen anamorphic format, 1.85:1 -beautiful transfer

Cut to the present. Some young suburban blacks, whose father was one of the murderers, buy Dogg's old crib in what is now a fully-deteriorated neighborhood to open a dance club featuring their band. One of them runs into a lovely Bianca Lawson, who turns out to be the daughter of Dogg and a psychic (Pam Grier), and the two of them form the love interest for the film.

All of the illicit activity on its premises arouses the ire of the house, which has a habit of bleeding, frightening the residents, and other gory stuff, then arouses Dogg's spirit, who seeks revenge against his killers. Erin Wright, as Snowflake, girlfriend to the new crime kingpin in the hood, shows breasts and buns in his club. Pam Grier shows cleavage in the murder scene, and Lawson shows pokies, and lots of leg and bun in a dream sequence.

The film suffers from identity crisis, not knowing what it is really trying to be, and most of the characters lack development, but it is visually incredible. Much of the film is shot in subdued light, but is clear, sharp, and aesthetic even in the darkest scenes. There is some use of 8m to provide grainy flashback scenes, but, other than that, is masterfully lit and photographed.

Scoop's comments:

A horror film with very cool iconography, excellent aesthetics, lots of DVD features, and a suitably spooky, charismatic performance by the Dogg. It also has its flaws: a muddled plot, lack of characterization, additional muddled sub-plots, and kind of a completely predictable structure.

On balance, I enjoyed it. It was kind of like the black, urban version of Friday the 13th, except that the the contemporary ghastly Dogg looked like he adapted some of Clint Eastwood's old wardrobe from the Spaghetti Westerns. while the living flashback 1979 Dogg looked like he had been rummaging through Huggy Bear's closet.

Good genre flick.

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDB readers say 4.5 of 10
  • with their dollars ... it did a respectable $7 million in limited distribution.


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Take away the nudity and the production value, and I would feel differently, but will have to give it a C+, as is crosses so many genres. (Scoop agrees with the C+)

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