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Movie Review

Start with disturbing hip-hop. Add drugs, some nudity, tons of foul language and violence. Mix in elements of gore, horror and a haunted house-soon-to-be-nightclub. Snoop Dogg has repeatedly ridden to the top of the pop charts claiming he’s an evil, vengeful, enemy-murdering gangsta. So what’s new? Only that on the big screen, it’s the ghost of Snoop (aka Jimmy Bones), exacting revenge. Don’t call this entertainment. Just like gangsta rap, it’s anything but.

It’s 1979. Bones is being pressured into introducing crack cocaine into his neighborhood. He refuses. (Don’t be impressed, he’s just not keen on destroying his own living space. "If you’re going to sell it, don’t sell it around here.") A bit miffed at his refusal, dirty cop Lupavich and Eddy Mac (the area’s dope-trade leader), shoot him, then—along with Bones’ so-called-friends—stab him to death. Little is left to the imagination.

Fast-forward to the present. Unaware of its history, four twentysomethings (including three children of Bones’ best friend) purchase the abandoned gothic, skull-looking edifice where Bones was murdered. Not only does the structure house his remains, it houses his ghost who has taken up residence in a dog. The foursome turn the place into a nightclub. But Bones is busy trying to come back to life. As the dog feasts (primarily on the blood of murdered victims), sinew begins to return to the skeleton of Jimmy Bones. I should note here that he also appears to gain strength from listening to gangsta rap. Soon, Bones is free to wreak revenge upon his enemies.

positive elements: Bones is so rotten it’s difficult to assign positivity to any onscreen action. But in the horrific climax, psychic reader Pearl ignites herself to save her daughter Tia. How’s that for self-sacrifice?

spiritual content: With a picture of Jesus prominently displayed, Pearl conducts a séance. She’s also shown reading tarot cards and palms. Sadly, her occupation is legitimized. Tia explains that her mother believes there’s an invisible city of undead just a fabric tear away from the real world. Bones, after killing one of his victims, sings "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

sexual content: Eddy Mac straddles his topless girlfriend. She’s wearing just a thong, but that doesn’t stop the cameras from panning her from several angles once she stands. Tia paints a nude for art class. Bones appears as a sexy woman to seduce a man, only to morph back into a dog and gruesomely kill him and eat his entrails. Bones fondles Tia under the sheets (this is especially disturbing because while she may think it’s someone else, it’s really the spirit of her father who is touching her.

violent content: Vicious and nauseating. Blood spews everywhere. Throats get slashed. Heads are decapitated. After she’s killed, what’s left of Eddy Mac’s girlfriend is seen hanging over the side of a barrel. Other bodies are shown soaking in blood. Bones kills Eddy Mac’s bodyguard with a punch that sends blood gushing from his neck. Pieces of a broken mirror fly supernaturally through the air, landing in Eddy’s back. After hanging him on a hook, Bones knifes Lupavich in the chest. Gruesome undead bodies struggle to become alive again. The dog spews forth a stream of maggots which some club-goers unknowingly eat. There’s more, but there’s no need to recount it.

crude or profane language: Nearly 100 f-words and s-words. The Messiah’s name gets brutally abused. Especially disturbing is how the Lord’s name is combined with vulgarities.

drug and alcohol content: One main character smokes pot. Peripheral characters smoke crack. Bones is forced to smoke crack. Eddy Mac and his girlfriend have plans to do cocaine before being slain.

other negative elements: Not surprisingly, gangsta rap lyrics featuring vulgar themes are given a lot of attention. The only policeman in the movie is crooked. Bones’ best friend chews out his son for using a profanity, but in a later scene goes on a tirade, using the f-word repeatedly.

conclusion: It’s hard for me to believe that anyone would actually want to go see this movie. But some will. The same crowd that enjoys and defends gangsta rap will pay (dearly) to see Snoop Dogg bigger than life up on the big screen. Make sure none of them are in your family.

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Snoop Dogg as Jimmy Bones; Pam Grier as Pearl; Michael T. Weiss as Officer Lupavich; Bianca Lawson as Tia


Ernest Dickerson ( )


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