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Bones

Director:Ernest Dickerson
Writers:Adam Simon and Tim Metcalfe
New Line Cinema; R; 93 minutes
Release:10/01
Cast:Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier, Khalil Kain

The suburbs are often accused of having no history or culture of their own, merely offering an endless sprawl of polite houses and strip malls. Urban neighborhoods, on the other hand, often have too much history: decades of immigration waves, economic shifts, gentrification, and deterioration. This is important for Bones, because every good Gothic story needs a place overflowing with troubled history.

The action revolves around a spooky old building that enterprising black brothers (Khalil Kain, Merwin Mondesir) and their biracial stepsister (Katherine Isabelle) decide to purchase and turn into a nightclub. Bad idea. They should have paid attention to the maggots and the hound of hell that guards the place. Before long, even legendary playa Jimmy Bones (Snoopy Dogg) is frequenting the club. This doesn't mean it's successful, though: Bones was murdered and buried there 30 years earlier. Seventies icon Pam Grier stars as Jimmy's former girlfriend, endowed with psychic powers.

Bones is great, campy fun. Snoop Dogg is famous for his rapping abilities—a smooth, sexy drawl that intimates menace. So who better to play the consummately creepy Jimmy Bones, ghetto superghost with a killer wardrobe and a serious hunger for revenge? Bones reaches back to the legacy of Melvin Van Peebles, who kickstarted what later became known as the fiercely independent, politically confrontational blaxploitation genre. Bones offers good scares, and glancingly smart social commentary.


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