Bones is one of the funniest films of the year. Wait, this is not a comedy. Okay, this makes Bones a sad example of a horror movie gone wrong. Everything about it self-admittedly hearkens back to the blaxploitation era of films, and in doing so, erases much of the progress African Americans have made since then breaking down malicious stereotypes. But this is a movie from Snoop Dogg, so he undoubtedly doesn't care. Snoop is branching out from rap, into acting, performing in movies like Training Day and Baby Boy, and even doing some adult stuff for Hustler (music only). He plays a pimp here, with his usual sneer and laid back attitude. But this time things are different. He's a benevolent pimp, who refuses to sell the hard stuff. In the seventies, he was macking it up with the ladies and became a local legend. It's the present now, and Jimmy Bones (Snoop) is still fondly remembered. Of course he is, they even have a song about him.

Patrick (Khalil Khan, Intimate Betrayal, The Velocity of Gary) and his brother Bill (Merwin Mondesir, Steal This Movie, Seventeen Again) are looking for an old house they can buy and turn into a club. As luck would have it, they find an old, dilapidated house in their father's old neighborhood. Their father Jeremiah (Clifton Powell, The Brothers, Next Friday) vehemently objects to their buying the house. Patrick and Bill don't realize this, but the house belonged to Bones. Jeremiah has a connection to Bones, but the movie doesn't reveal it until near the end, and nobody cares anyway. Patrick meets Cynthia (Bianca Lawson, Save the Last Dance, Big Man on Campus), the daughter of Pearl (Pam Grier, Snow Day, 3 A.M.), another old associate of Bones. See, the house is haunted. Patrick and Bill discover a body in the basement, and they believe it is Bones' body. Of course, Bones comes back to life, with the goal of avenging his wrongful murder.

A number of people wronged Bones, and he is coming to get them. This does not bode well for anybody; after all, this is a horror movie. It's a bad one, thanks to a confusing script by Adam Simon (The American Nightmare, Carnosaur) and Tim Metcalfe (The Day Lincoln Was Shot, Killer: A Journal of Murder). They combine unexpectedly laugh-out loud dialogue with plenty of grotesque imagery, as well as a strange fascination for maggots. More maggots does not mean the movie is better. Bones just gets worse as it keeps going. Director Ernest R. Dickerson (Ambushed, Blind Faith) does have an eye for horror, but it's the gore aspect of it. There is nothing scary in Bones, just gross. Blood and violence parade across the screen in a mindless fashion, and nobody is the wiser.

Snoop can be effective as an actor, but only when he takes a dramatic role. His attempts at comedy are funny in that they are really bad, as is his job here. Every word he says causes chuckles ("I got a super-natural high"). He is a parody of himself. The scenes that take place in the past also look like something out of a show making fun of the seventies as opposed to a flashback within the film. Khan, Mondesir, Lawson, and all the other actors serve as nothing more than dumb fodder for the dead pimp. They make dumb decisions that only hasten their demise. This brings to mind an important question: if black people always seem to die first in horror movies (case in point LL. Cool J.), how is anybody supposed to survive here?

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 36 minutes, Rated R for violence/gore, language, sexuality and drugs.

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