Movie Review: ‘Bonejangles’ Is A Bungled Attempt At Horror Comedy.

Edgar Friendly Jr. aka Bonejangles is ion the loose and a small tow police force has dispatched all units in an attempt to bring him in. After a brief fracas and the expenditure of nearly all of the towns police force, a few surviving officers manage to subdue the murderous juggernaut. Now these few remaining police officers must transport Bonejangles to a drop-off point where another contingent of police will meet them to pick up and transport the captive killer on the second leg of the journey to an asylum.

The meeting point for this joint prisoner transport effort just happens to be in a sleepy little rural town called Argento – a town that one of the officers knows very well. In fact this officer’s ex-girlfriend is due to be married to the town’s rather rednecky hero, right around the time of Bonejangles’ handoff. And while this may make his return awkward enough things are about to get completely out of hand as a local legend is about to resurface.  A witch named Rowena will again return to wreak havoc on the town that put her to death by burning many moons ago. She will be aided by a walking dead horde that she commands.

If the town of Argento is to survive the horrific onslaught they face, Boinejangles’ temporary custodians may need to unleash him as a means of defense against the evil forces..

Well I’ve put this one off as long as I could, even give it the benefit a second watch. But eventually I was going to have to do it… (sighs heavily) so here we go.

Bonejangles was directed by Brett Dejager from a script penned by Keith Melcher, who also played the title character. The story is a jumble of different elements that just don’t work well together. You have the stereotypical juggernaut, masked, boogeyman killer, then there’s a weak incarnation of Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers added into the mix, a vengeful witch who returns to visit the sins of the fathers upon their descendants, a horde of demonic (dare I say?) “zombies”, and Bonejangles’ daddy, who seems like  the male equivalent of Margaret White from Carrie. They also swiped the name of Denis Leary’s character in Demolition Man, Edgar Friendly, to use as the moniker of Bonejangles and his daddy. So if you thought you’d heard it before, that may be why. Hell they’ve even thrown in an overly exaggerated and stereotyped black, homosexual character. It’s basically the logical result of taking Larry B. Scott’s character of Lamar Latrell from Revenge of the Nerds, and transplanting him into this movie in the role of a police officer.  Granted, I understand that this character is intended to be campy and flamboyant for comedic value, but I can also see how some of the movie’s audience could find the characterization offensive.

The performances in general were very weak, and could be likened to those one could expect from the cast of a high school play. It’s as if a bunch of college friends decided to dust off the old camcorder and make a horror comedy.The cast didn’t create any kind of connection, and gave no reason for the viewer to like them much less care about them in the end. It’s hard to believe that characters could be less than one dimensional, but these might well have been. That is, with the exception of Reggie Bannister, whose presence, sadly, was so fleeting that it was of no real benefit to the movie overall. I’ve always been a fan of Reggie, given his involvement with the Phantasm franchise and the horror genre in general, and here he also gives a good, albeit it entirely too short, contribution to this movie.

The appearance of the movie definitely showed its low budget. Now, this isn’t to say a low budget is an indication of a films worth, since I have seen some bare bones, micro budget productions that I have truly enjoyed. But the images were flat and it was not particularly well shot or edited. The practical effects were OK, but as far as creating the look 0f the title character of Bonejangles, I was really hoping for something more than what we got. Being a hilking killer takes more than just wearing a mask and wielding some sort of weapon. I mean, there’s a reason that a fella like Kane Hodder is a fucking legend in the genre.

As you can clearly surmise, my Little Monsters, I wasn’t a fan of this jumbled story which features a brutal (but sexually repressed?) killer, who’s impervious to anything except electric shocks and sexual contact by means of his “wee-winkie” (um…OK), who is not only the villain but also ends up acting as a savior(?). The humor wasn’t funny, the horror wasn’t scary, the climax of the film (no pun intended) was ridiculously disappointing, and Reggie Bannister’s less than a minute of screen time could do nothing to pull it out of the fire. At least they didn’t add insult to injury by adding an unfunny outtake sequence to the ending credits. This one is already available on VOD…IF you really want to take the chance. 3 / 10


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