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Askew Review 15

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(Blue Underground) 1972. Drama/Black Comedy. 95 minutes. Rated R, brief nudity, language, some violence. The lives of a seemingly well off couple, Bill and Bernadette (Andrew Duggin, Joyce Van Patten) is suddenly thrown into a frenzy after a Large Black Man (Yaphet Kotto) invades their plush Beverly Hills home. Demanding money, the Large Black Man orders Bill to the bank to make a large withdrawal of “bread” and to be back by “3:30 o’clock” or he’d “bang the hell out of her and cut her throat with your own gold letter opener.” Of course, the Large Black Man was referring to Bernadette. When Bill decides not to return with the money, Bernadette and the Large Black Man get to know each other and ultimately decide to team up and hunt for Bill. 
Bone is by far one of the most insane movies I’ve ever watched. First of all, the viewer is never really certain as to what exactly is going on here. Is the story a fantasy of one of the characters, if so then whose, or is the story really happening? While the scenes of invasion, mental torture, violence, and rape are all very unsettling, Bone is loaded with subtle actions and not so subtle one liners that are down right hilarious. I honestly just had to role with the movie and the emotions it invoked. Before you get all racial on my arse, I referred to Yaphet Kotto’s (you’ll recognize him from many movies) character as the Large Black Man because Bone is all about perceived racism and race plays an important, if not dominating, role in the storyline. Besides, Yaphet is a Large Black Man and stating a fact isn’t racist, you ill witted buffoon! Since I touched on Yaphet, he does an excellent acting job, as do the rest of the cast.  As much as I loved the movie, the commentary by director Larry Cohen is priceless. Larry offers a lot of interesting information about Bone, and even talks crap about a few of the cast members. Prodding Larry along during the commentary is Blue-Underground owner Bill Lustig (who also directed Maniac Cop, which was written by Cohen). If I ever see Larry Cohen in person, he can count on me giving him a big ol’ smooch on the cheek for clueing me in on Brett Somers (woman who was always on the hit 70’s game show The Match Game) claim to “fame,” besides being a professional guest star on crappy tv shows. Oh, I suppose I should divulge that Brett Somers has a bit part in Bone, which is why Cohen speaks of her. Along with the commentary, other extras include selected scenes from the aborted first shoot, trailers, radio spots, and an introduction by one Jack H. Harris. There’s also a hidden feature, so click around chumly. Since I had never heard of this movie till I got the DVD, I can honestly write that Bone was one hell of a pleasant surprise! Furthermore, Bone made the eight beers I drank while watching it taste so much better. Now there’s a tag line! – Denis Sheehan



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