While transporting the legendary serial killer Bonejangles to an asylum, a group of police officers break down in a town cursed with demonic zombies. The only way they can survive the night and save the town is to release Bonejangles to help them fight the curse, with something much worse.
Bonejangles singular strength as a goofball horror-comedy is that it knows exactly what it is, and then turns the dial to eleven. This is not to say that the shitty jokes are validated, nor are we given enough yucks to ignore the gapping holes in the plot. Yet, there is a certain acceptance that washes over about halfway through the movie. One that knows the jokes will go on for too long, the storyline will make more senseless turns, and funny voices are considered the height of hilarity.
“…Bonejangles escapes, zombies run amok, and a topless witch keeps trying to bang everyone.”
The movie starts off SO PROMISING THOUGH. Two lazy security guard buddies Doug (Kelly Misek Jr.) and Randy (Jamie Scott Gordon ) are hiding out on the job and shooting the breeze when they are called into action. It seems the notorious killer Bonejangles is hiding out in a warehouse under their care and they are enlisted to help capture him. A brief cat and mouse game plays out and (Spoiler alert) they get the bad guy.
Okay, wait. Are they security guards or police officers? Never mind, forget it.
They are next asked to assist in transporting the sedated super-monster to a maximum-security facility that happens to be in Doug’s hometown. There’s a history and Doug hasn’t been back home 10 years. This is where the storyline should have stopped, but oh no. Like a drunken douchebag at a bar, the movie won’t shut up and develops an unnecessary subplot. It seems that a succubus witch named Rowena (Elissa Dowling) has cursed the exact town that our security guard police dudes are headed to, you know, Doug’s hometown, and once every year the town is overrun with zombies. Hi-jinks ensue, Bonejangles escapes, zombies run amok, and a topless witch keeps trying to bang everyone.
“…one of those horror comedies that cares not about coherence and instead pushes for gore and laughs at all costs.”
The movie isn’t good nor does it try to be. Bonejangles is one of those horror comedies that cares not about coherence and instead pushes for gore and laughs at all costs. For that to work the comedy needs to at least be funny. Unfortunately this tedious exercise in rapid-fire hilarity is bone dry.
About two-thirds of the way through the film more plots are introduced. The security guards end up in the annual safe place the townsfolk go to during the zombie attacks. Here we find out why pour Doug hasn’t returned home, we meet his love interest, and we see his path to redemption. Oh but then there is Bonejangles, the title character, oh and the zombies, oh and the witch, oh and the charming flashback cameos with Edgar Sr. (Reggie Bannister) as Bonejangles’ dad. Okay stop already.
Look, this movie is nearly critic proof because it clearly never sets out to be something of any merit. Fine. I get it. But you have wasted a viewers time if you don’t offer something more than proving you can make a bad film. Make me laugh! This only offers minor chuckles. Make me squirm! This movie’s gore effects are bland at best. Still, the mere fact that it is self-aware keeps it from being a total shit-show.
Bonejangles (2017) Directed by: Brett DeJager Written by: Keith Melcher Staring: Reggie Bannister, Elissa Dowling, Kelly Misek Jr., Keith Melcher
Bonejangles is VOD (**)
* Norm’s Rating System: Full Price (****), Matinee (***), VOD (**), Don’t Bother (*)