In this modern day where anyone can make a film and get it to the public quite easily thanks to the interwebs, I have learned to curb my enthusiasm by lowering expectations when I can. As a writer that reviews mostly horror I have found very little in the way of what I would term a “scary film”. Then comes Bonejangles the story of a masked killer who had an interesting upbringing that leads him to do his damage. The film was written by Keith Melcher and directed by Brett DeJager who is directing a segment of a film due out later this year that I am very interested in titled 10/31. Be on the lookout for this film as it includes two other segments directed by some really swell people we all should be familiar with, Justin Seaman the writer and director of The Barn and Zane Hershberger the cinematographer for The Barn. I will also put a plug in here for Rocky Gray who I have been a huge fan of as a guitarist of one of my all time favorite bands, Living Sacrifice; he also did some work on The Barn including the score and is working on the 10/31 film as well among other things.
Back to the task at hand, Bonejangles, what have you done to me? I have to say, I was unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised. No, it is not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination. No it is definitely not scary. What is it you ask? It is hilarious. I am not sure if that is what the intention was when it was being mad but it had me laughing out loud quite a bit and I would actually rank it as one of the best comedies I have seen in awhile.
Bonejangles had a bunch of different storylines that seemed to be all over the place but did tie in nicely among the mishmash of awesome hilarity it provided. Among these interweaving story lines we get bullies, rekindled love, witchcraft, and my favorite character Juan (Lawrence Wayne Curry) an over the top portrayal of a gay police officer that makes Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds look like the manliest man you will ever meet. He was seriously my favorite part of the film and had me hysterical during his scenes.
The hero of the story was the quintessential bumbling cop Doug who is afraid of his own shadow. He was played admirably by Kelly Misek Jr. Doug grew up being picked on and in the end, had to muster the courage to beat the big bad and get the girl. A surprise actor in this film that some of you may know from the Phantasm films was Reggie Bannister playing the role of Edgar Sr, Bonjangles’ father. It was good to see Reggie and wish there was a little more of him. Edgar warned Bo about women and keeping his winky to himself as that would be his downfall. The damsel in distress, Sally was played by Julia Cavanaugh and I actually enjoyed she and Doug’s reunion; who doesn’t like a happy ending? Bojangles himself was an imposing figure who had some interesting kills that shed a lot of blood.
There were things that didn’t quite gel for me including the whole backstory with the witch who brought a curse down on the town played by Elissa Dowling. The curse allowed the town’s dead to leave the grave as zombies for one day each year and wreak havoc. In the category of less would have been more was the character Tobe played creepily by Allen Regimbal. I’m not quite sure what his role was supposed to be but he definitely gave comic relief in a skeevy kind of way. The use of CGI blood was kind of rough and obvious but by no means did it affect my opinion of the film. In the end, it took Bonejangles and the curse to basically cancel each other out.
Bonejangles is not a blockbuster, it’s not going to be the talk of the town but I really don’t think it cares if it is. It appears to me it is a film from a crew that did not take itself to seriously and just rolled with their ideas and said, hey; let’s film this! That’s an attitude I could be down with as long as it is not insulting to the viewer. If you are going in expecting a scary film you will be disappointed. This is a comedy with horror elements and for me, it worked and is worth most of its 78 minutes of run time. Not perfect but yes I would watch it again.
Bonejangles (2.5 / 5) on the Thug Meter