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Starring Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier,
Screenplay by Tim Metcalf, Adam Simon
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson

IN SHORT: Same old same old revenge story. [Rated R for violence, gore, language, sexuality and drugs. 93 minutes]

Ah, for the good old days when it was perfectly OK to call the local ghetto pimp or dealer exactly what he was. If Bones had been made in 1979, one of the settings in the movie, Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg) may well have listed one of those occupations on his rap sheet. Bones dresses and struts like a pimp, yet his only activity seems to be running the local numbers racket. Don't use your imagination, as we did. The studio's press notes call this character "brandable" which means they're already thinking sequels. We're guessing that Bones, therefore, is just a showoff with "old" money. Probably oil or gold or something like that. Yeah, right.

Bones is not a heroic character yet, as things do tend to get twisted in the ghetto, he's the man with power. Bones is the man with money and money buys the respect and love of the community he lives in, with generous donations like turkeys to the needy at Thanksgiving and things like that. Despite his obvious flaws, Bones refuses to deal in when unsavory types want to start marketing crack in his 'hood. For that, he is killed. Even worse, he has to look on as his girlfriend (Pam Grier) and bodyguard (Ronald Selmour) are forced to participate in the attack.

Twenty and change years later, what had been a thriving neighborhood looks like the South Bronx did at its peak of depression. On the leveled block where only the ruins of Bones' house stand, a group of kidlets (Khalil Kain, Merwin Mondesir, Katharine Isabelle and Sean Amsing) have come with an idea to rejuvenate the community. They'll take the house and turn it into a nightclub -- one of their fathers owns the property so they expect no problem on that end. What they don't know is that dad (Clifton Powell) was involved in the events of 1979 and that the house itself is infested by Evil.

You would think after all this time, that if a buncha kidlets ran into a nasty looking dog with neon bright blood red eyes they would know that evil was afoot. Nope. Then again, were it not for a plethora of dumb kids in the Hollywood Universe, we wouldn't have fright flicks. It's too bad that all the energy in Bones went into its production design. For those of us who've seen more than a scary movie or two, or read anything by H.P. Lovecraft, the interiors of the house almost scream "Gates of Hell". None of that visual flair is reflected in the script, which is the standard dead guy wants revenge kind of story. There's little tension, few scares and only average gore.

Simply, if you've seen one, you've seen it all. If you're young enough to be a raving fan of Snoop's rap career, you may not have seen enough of these to be as bored as we were. The Dogg shows as many emotional styles as he does hairdos (that would be two). We'll point the finger at director Dickerson as Snoop got more out of his bit role in Training Day earlier this summer than he does as the headliner here. There, he was pushed by working with A-level names. Here, nothing.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Nine Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Bones, he would have paid . . .


teen kidlets and Snoop fans only.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Ernest Dickerson
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