Monday, November 9, 2009

Bone Sickness (2004)

The problem with many of today's zombie movies is that they feel so lifeless. With a few exceptions, so many zombie flicks-especially those of the Direct To DVD market-have a you've seen it done before and better feeling to them. They have unlikable, stupid characters who act as if they've never seen a zombie movie, annoying music, terrible acting, generic direction, and the same apocalyptic bullshit that guys like George Romero and Danny Boyle did better. "Bone Sickness" does have an intriguing idea behind it, but like so many other zombie movies of the day, falls victim to all of the listed problems.

The movie deals with a woman named Kristen (Darya Zabinski) whose husband Alex (Rich George) is suffering froma rare degenerative bone disease. With nobody else to turn to, she goes to her friend Thomas (Brian Paulin, who wrote, directed, edited, and scored the movie, and has hair that serves as a crime against humanity) who has an alternative form of medicine made from the flesh and bones of corpses. Unfortunately, it has it's side effects-such as Alex vomiting and shitting blood and Earthworms, and the dead coming out of the grave to consume the flesh of living.

While the zombie aspect is nothing new, the whole aspect of Alex's bone sickness and the alternative medicine plot are actually quite original. Also, unlike so many Straight To DVD Zombie movies, this doesn't get to the blood and gore right away. Unfortunately, that means we get a lot of really bad acting and characterization in the way of action. Not once do you feel for Alex, and that's because other than "He's got a disease that's killing him", we don't get anything in the way of character for him. The Gore FX are hit and miss. Sometimes they work, while other times they are less than convincing. This is especially true for the zombies-while it's nice to see a zombie flick that actually tries to make the zombies look like rotting corpses, it doesn't help that their make up is of the Paper Mache variety. The movie also is heavily influenced by the likes of Lucio Fulci's "Zombi 2", yet it lacks any of the atmosphere or feel of that film.

The biggest problem with the movie is that once the shit hits the fan, there's no explanation as to why it's happening. Why are Earthworms exiting Alex's body? Why are the dead coming back to life? What's with the scorpions? What's with the goblins? Why are so many characters dressed like punks and goth kids? Is Alex becoming a zombie? Why does it have an apocalyptic conclusion? Why are there so many songs about rainbows? No reason is given. It's basically director Paulin throwing everything he can into the mix, hoping it will stick, and none of it does.

It's a shame that such an interesting idea ends up becoming yet another bad Direct To DVD zombie movie-albeit one of the gorier ones. Chalk up another one I guess.

Rating: 1.5/10

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