It was only a matter of time that some of Snoop Dogg's favorite things (the 1970s, hip-hop, movies) would turn into something like Bones, right? Well, maybe we wouldn't have expected the Doggfather to think "yeah, a horror film that's also part homage to the blaxploitation films of the '70s where Pam Grier is my love interest," but in 2001, that's what we got, for good or ill.
If you didn't catch it in the theater (or haven't caught it on a random night on BET), Bones tells the story of Jimmy Bones, a number runner who is out for revenge (if the opening montage with Snoop recreating James Brown's "The Big Payback" didn't clue you in, the rest of the film will hammer that point home). The entire film is based around this brownstone in the ghetto, a neighborhood that flourished during Bones' heyday (well, it at least wasn't turned into a drug-filled dump), and Bones is itching to get back at the people who took his life and messed up his hood.
Oh, and there's something about a dog who gives Snoop power the more he eats.
The film is pure 2001 horror movie schlock, from the effects (which range from walls turning into thousands of tiny body parts, reaching out at a guy who's jamming in his bed) to Snoop moving in old-ass still pictures to pool tables that spill blood when cut open with a knife. It has a pretty decent cast—aside from Snoop and Grier, heads like Khalil Khan, Clifton Powell, and Bianca Lawson help lend some credibility to this film—but the most surprising thing about this film, for me, is that it was directed by Ernest Dickerson, who directed Juice and episodes of The Wire and The Walking Dead, but cut his teeth as a cinematographer with Spike Lee. It's interesting to note that under his belt are films like Demon Knight (a Tales from the Crypt movie) and the DMX-starring Never Die Alone.
I guess that says all you need to say about that.
Is Bones a total mess? Not really (even though it only pulled in $8.3 million at the box office on a $16 million budget); if you're into supernatural stories that take place entirely in the hood and feature tracks from Snoop, Cypress Hill, and the usual Doggystyle Records players, you're in for a treat. Or, you're in for something that will keep your attention while you're finishing off the rest of that medical marijuana.