Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bone Sickness (2004)

Mind passing the femur?

This starts out normally with a twenty-something woman in New England taking care of her husband who has some kind of debilitating bone ailment with no known medical basis. Through failed trial and error the wife gets desperate enough to seek out her husband's mullet sportin' friend who brews up his own concoction from body parts of the recently laid to rest in the nearby graveyard that he works at.

"Bone Sickness" gives its obvious cues and nods to Fulci's "City of the Living Dead" and "House by the Cemetery." This is the kind of account that only "makes sense" to those neck deep in the horror genre...and with a history of mental disorders to boot. If the audience really attempted to sit down and think about if point A matches up with point B, or if their anatomy teachers were lying to them, madness will probably take over. Can creepy crawlin' bugs really nest inside peoples' faces underneath easily ripped off skin and also come vomiting out of mouths, who knows? It can make for interesting visuals, but as more and more time goes by, the events taking place seem to get more and more diluted and a little more adventurous than the filmmakers can scurry to handle.

"Bone Sickness" is an excuse for carnage and catered towards surrealism. The atmosphere drips, slimes, smells and ultimately disgusts like any old school horror movie enthusiast would crave--myself included. This is about excess and exaggeration, though the pacing is something that needed tweaking as the flow--even with all its head slicings, neck gashes, gut munching and nudity going on--doesn't steadily captivate one's attention span or put one right there in the mix. Though it's still more effective than, say, "Das Komabrutale Duell."

The sound effects range from Italian horror style to stock haunted house. The special make-up effects can be effective, plenty and downright juicy; though due to budget limitations you might see the occasional recognizable food item as well as more "frozen" victims than you can count that just stand or lay there ready to be taken alive through premeditated gore traps. This is unconventional cinema on the low-budget end--shot on video, poor lighting, camera humming--though this isn't, for instance, like "Tetsuo," "Premutos," "Schramm," "Naked Blood," "House on Tombstone Hill" or "Bad Taste" where the production values were pitiful, but the out-there stories were translated with more refined and captivating creativity that could lock you in without looking back or questioning why this or that was done or if you should hit fast-forward to speed it up.

Rating: 4/10

From Black to Red recommends instead: "City of the Living Dead" : This has Hell's gates opening, zombies running amuck, gory violence, a moody score and an incredibly nightmarish atmosphere to get lost in.

Director: Brian Paulin (At Dawn They Sleep, Mummy Raider)
Stars: Darya Zabinski, Brian Paulin, Ruby Larocca, Rich George, Kevin Barbane
Link: IMDB

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