Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Give credit where it's due, folks: this movie says right upfront that it's horrible. And it's by this criteria--and this criteria alone--that the movie succeeds. Directed by Ted Nicolau (who gave us the SUBSPECIES series), this 2000 effort was part of producer Charles Band's attempt to appeal to "urban" horror audiences, which basically consisted of throwing African-American actors into the same watered-down "monsters and puppets" scenarios of previous flicks.

The horrible titular doctor is a powerful and influential hip-hop mogul, though with a loose enough schedule to hold open auditions for aspiring artists. He signs a hopeful new group called the Urban Protectors to a lucrative record deal, failing to mention he's planning to turn their music into an evil anthem to turn listeners into a zombie army. (Hey, I just watch 'em, people.)

Despite its zombie plotline, THE HORRIBLE DR. BONES is a warmed-over showbiz melodrama with a minor supernatural twist, padded out with numerous musical numbers and interminable conversations. (A condensed version of the film appears in the anthology flick URBAN EVIL, though even streamlined it's boring and dry.) The actors are decent--and Sarah Scott makes a pleasing hip-hop singer--but the story is nonsensical, the horror too soft-pedaled and silly to be effective.

Still, as horrible as Dr. Bones is, it's better than I WANT TO WORK FOR DIDDY.

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