New Horror Releases: Bonejangles (2017) - Reviewed

Regrettably, a slick premise alone cannot carry a film above mediocrity. Brett Dejager's blood drenched horror comedy Bonejangles is a basement level romp that fails to balance either genre and worse, it fails to deliver the goods. Featuring an above average cast, hilarious kill sequences, and barely adequate makeup effects, the film never takes off and languishes in its ridiculous presentation for its quick runtime.

Legendary, unstoppable killer Bonejangles is captured by the police and is being transported to an asylum for safekeeping. The police pass through the haunted town of Argento, where one night a year (of course it’s this night) the dead walk the Earth, setting up the ultimate showdown between Evil and Evil. Except the showdown is a letdown. Keith Melcher’s script is juvenile at best, using every possible crass hallmark in an attempt to endear the madcap cast. The leads, particularly Jamie Scott Gordon do the best with what they having, turning their bumbling police officers into personas worth cheering for, but the ground continually drops out from under them whenever they get a chance to breathe with the material. Even scenes with the titular killer fall short, splicing memory sequences with horror icon Reggie Bannister to provide ever more exposition. Everything is told to the viewer, rather than shown, so that by the time the blood starts to run, it feels as if there's no more mystery left to explore. 

As an avid lover of practical effects, I was initially charmed by the silly kill sequences and over the top blood, but the nostalgia runs out quick as the same gimmick is repeated over and over, made bearable by quick fire editing and some interesting lighting choices. Ben Gersch's makeup effects, specifically with respect to Bonejangles are good from a distance, but every close up diminishes the mystique, trapping an already struggling endeavor in a pit of dime store panache. The end result is not pretty, but there are a few genuine laughs and a couple of interesting ideas that make it passable. The concept of two baddies battling it out is intriguing, but like in other films such as Freddy VS. Jason, viewers are quickly reminded that such ideas are better left for our nightmares rather than the screen. There is also a subplot involving a homosexual police officer that is done in extremely poor taste, to the point that it is devoid of any comedy. 


Coming soon to digital on demand, Bonejangles is trash, but for the most part it knows it’s trash and that alone makes it a decent way to pass time on a quiet Friday night. Come for the outrageous kills and leave with the understanding that there are worse films out there...maybe. A neat concept is thoroughly wasted to produce a throwaway effort that barely qualifies as a guilty pleasure. Proceed with caution.

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-Kyle Jonathan