Friday, September 11, 2015

Zombie Stew: The Bone Yard

Welcome one and all to another helping of Zombie Stew. Day 4 and I am not certain I can truly reference this as a zombie film when the film insinuates the creatures are ghouls but hell Romero tried to call his zombies ghouls as well. What do you get when you pair two mildly capable cops an overweight psychic and a few coroners? No, you do not make a flesh golem Voltron capable of seeing the dead and dispensing the law. You get the comedy/horror dealing with decent practical effects a monstrous dog beast and Phyllis Diller as you have never seen her before. This is The Boneyard.

A door?  Damn.  How do these things work again?

Our writer/director James Cummins (The Boneyard, Dark:30 and Harbinger)cut his teeth in film doing creature design and sculpting for mostly sci-fi and horror films and followed the call of writing and directing.

With the police stumped after a series of unprecedented homicides, Detective Callum (Ed Nelson of A Bucket of Blood, Peyton Place, Police Academy 3: Back in Training, Who Am I? And Runaway Jury) and doofus Detective Mullin (James Eustermann of Spaced Invaders, The Boneyard, Cast a Deadly Spell, Woody Burns...a Life and Words Unspoken) seek any assistance to figuring out this grusome series of murders even coaxing a portly, retired psychic Alley Oates (Deborah Rose of Fugitive Lovers, American Drive-In, Troop Beverly Hills, Ski Patrol and The Boneyard) to help find this mass murderer. Their first clue is no exposition reports on the radio about homicidal loonies escaping an asylum and stealing an ax or machete. Tough luck fellas, time to do some real legwork.

NBC's Fall Listing: My Three CHUDS.

With a taped interrogation of mortician Chen (Robert Yun Ju Ahn of The Boneyard) our dutiful detective and flailing physic attempting to decipher what the bloody hell is going on, more deaths are occurring and bodies are be shipped in to the coroner's office. Enter our wacky medical examiners Miss Poopinplatz and yes that is her actual character name and Mr. Shepard.

Poopinplatz (Phyllis Diller of The Red Skelton Hour, Love, American Style, The Sunshine Boys, Uncle Croc's Block, The Nutcracker Prince, Blossom, Animaniacs, Robot Chicken and Everything's Jake) is a crotchety older woman without her iconic wig and only has love for her darling poodle Floofsoms and... yeah that is actually about it. Her colleague Shepard a.k.a. Mr. Roper (Norman Fell of The End, Getting There, Three's Company, Dan August: The Jealousy Factor, Dan August: Once Is Never Enough, Dan August: Murder, My Friend, The Ropers and Beach House) with a pony tail???

Callum arrives with Oates and bumbling rookie Mullin in time for the craziness ensuing as the bodies re-animate and start attacking the living. The ghouls in question are actually possessed bodies by demons known as Kyonshi...really close to Kashi isn't it? Given how some of those cereals are WAY TOO fiber based I would rather the demons named Kashi to give me more incentive to bodily dismember them. So the fiber demons are tearing ass around the morgue attacking both the staff, cops and psychic (of which she did see that coming) and let's be fair, the practical effects for the ghouls is actually really good. Will our dwindling party survive the onslaught of undead kids, men and women alike? Will this shake them to the core and they will have to stop over-acting like Jeremy Irons in Dungeons and Dragons? And what of my spinach puffs in the oven as I write this?

Bit of trivia on the movie now.

Special effects were handled by Jim Henson alumni Tim Hawkins (The Jim Henson Hour, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze, The Boneyard and Muppets from Space) dealing with animatronic creature costumes and zombie effects.

Shot in a standard 35mm Spherical the film, lightning and general crew is professional in spite of the absurdity that is seen on screen. Our film was shot in five weeks with plenty of time left over to add an additional see of a wedding scene between Gordon and Dana that should have been the end of the flick but the scene was never added to the finished product.

Producers Richard F. Brophy (House, The Boneyard, Speak of the Devil, Dark:30 and Harbinger) and Phil Smoot (Alien Outlaw, Home of Angels, Above Suspicion, Night Class, Tara, The Gravedancers and Warbirds) talked about getting both Alice Cooper for not only the music but playing a part along with character actor veteran Clu Gulager for key roles but they declined.

Yeah the rock icon that starred in Monster Dog and Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare and the fellow that starred in Return of the Living Dead and all three of his son's Feast movies turned down The Bone Yard.