July 30th, 2008

BONE (1972) *


Larry (Q:  The Winged Serpent) Cohen made his directing debut with this pointless, one-note and boring racially charged home invasion drama.  Yaphet (Alien) Kotto stars as “Bone”, a black man who invades the home of a seemingly wealthy, but hopelessly in debt couple (Andrew Duggan and Joyce Van Patten).  When Bone realizes they don’t have any real cash, he sends the hubby out to the bank to withdraw his savings while he stays at the house to keep an eye on his wife.  When Duggan is out, he starts to have second thoughts and begins a romance up with a kinky, scatterbrained, kleptomaniac freak show he meets in line at the bank.  Meanwhile Bone and the little woman fall in love and plot to murder Duggan for his life insurance money. 


All of this could’ve added up to a decent flick, but Cohen is so intent on tossing in a lot of inane “social commentary” that it severely gums up the works.  (Like the way Cohen intercuts Duggan’s oily used car commercials in between the action.)  There are also far too many irritating interludes (Like what the fuck was up with that inexplicable Match Game’s Brett Somers cameo?) that go NOWHERE and the pacing is more or less nonexistent.  All in all, it feels more like a bad play than an honest to goodness movie.  (It was mostly filmed at Cohen’s house.)


The “twist” ending is pretty interesting, but saying that it’s too little too late is a humongous understatement.  As provocative as the ending is, it doesn’t hold up well when you really think about it.  (It also doesn’t explain what the fuck Duggan was doing hanging around with that dumbass dame from the bank for half the movie.)


Duggan (who went on to star in a bunch of other Cohen movies) and Kotto are decent as the husband and intruder respectively, but Van Patten is annoying as all fuck.  Cohen made a much better impression behind the camera with the next year’s Black Caesar. 


Kotto gets the movie’s best line:  “I’m just a big black buck doing what’s expected of him!”


AKA:  A Bad Day in Beverly Hills.  AKA:  Beverly Hills Nightmare.  AKA:  Dial Rat.  AKA:  Dial Rat for Terror.  AKA:  Housewife.