Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

First allow me to say that I started this weekend of Straight to DVD movie watching observing Mickey Rourke play a Native American in the movie ‘Killshot’ and then, purely by chance, threw in this movie ‘The Bone Eater’ which had Bruce Boxleitner… allow that sink in for a minute… Bruce Freaking Boxleitner being passed off as part Native American in this SciFi original crap fest. The wise old Indian dude kept calling my man Scarecrow ‘Running Wolf’ and I’m thinking why does this dude insist on calling him that. Stop already! I don’t think pretty actress Jennifer Lee Wiggins, who plays like some kind of Native American princess in this flick, has too much Indian blood in her either but at least she has dark hair and dark eyes so if you slap a turquoise necklace around her neck she can at least get by, but Bruce Boxleitner? This is the biggest affront to the Native American population since the Trail of Tears.

Our movie starts with some construction workers burning the midnight oil when they uncover something… something evil! The ground shakes and then the bones they have uncovered materialize to form a mutanized version of one of those skeleton creatures from ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ who promptly dissolves our hapless construction workers, including a Black Guy played by one Timothy Starks who we only mention because ‘Bone Eater’ has gotten the dead Black Guy out of the way with a quickness.

To the surprise of absolutely no one on the planet earth this construction sight is being built on top an ancient Indian burial ground. And also to no one’s surprise the proprietor of this project is a megalomaniacal asshole going by the name of Mr. Krantz (Jim Storm). You see Mr. Krantz is building some kind of swanky resort in the middle of nowhere, meaning that he could’ve built this anywhere except on a place where dead Indians are buried, and the local Indian tribe is protesting mightily on this issue which is pissing Krantz off. He thinks that Sheriff Evans (Boxleitner) should arrest

these troublemakers – his people – but Evans wants proof that there’s some chicanery going on. Besides, Evans has his own issues such as the arrival of his over developed teenage daughter Kelly (Clara Bryant) who seems to only exist to torture her poor dad by showing the world what an awesome pair of boobies that God – we assume - has blessed her with.

We also have the wise old Indian dude (Michael Horse) who tells of the legend of the Bone Eater, there’s his hot granddaughter Kaya (Wiggins) who really serves little purpose in this movie except to look fetching in a buckskin skirt, and lets not overlook the Angry Native American Black Hawk (Adoni Maropis) who hates the White Man and the film also includes a cameo collection of 1970’s TV stars that will make you weep. Regardless, the Bone Eater is killing everybody in sight so it can reassemble completely and kill everybody on earth, I think, unless Running Wolf can reconnect with his ‘roots’ and stop the apocalyptic threat known as the Bone Eater!

I mentioned they emptied the old folks home and gave some damn near legendary TV stars a gig or two in this one as we have 'Buck Rogers’ Gil Gerard, Hill Street Blues’ Veronica Hamel, Star Trek’s Walter Keonig, The Greatest American Super Hero’s William Katt and of course Boxleitner who headlined Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Outstanding! But that’s all besides the point. As bad as this movie sounds it is not without its charms. But there are issues such as the way past tired use as an Indian Burial Ground as a plot device. Come on director Jim Wynorski… you mean we couldn’t dream up ANYTHING better than that? There was the Bone Eater itself which was one of the most ridiculously funny monsters ever and moved like a puppet on strings even though it was computer generated. I’m no expert but I think the technique is called ‘motion capture’ and the effects dudes might have wanted to employ that technique for their creature. I did dig the smoky sand horse effect though. There was the almost meaningless inclusion of the female characters in this flick who didn’t any of the stuff that female characters usually do in movies like this such as become damsels in distress or become somebody’s object of attraction or get naked and while both Ms. Bryant and Ms. Wiggins are real easy to look at they just didn’t do jack in this movie that affected how it turned out one way or the other. Except I guess when the character of Kelly used her cell phone that one time. And then there was Running Wolf in war paint and a buckskin jacket which had to be one of the funniest cinematic sights ever. Boxleitner as a Vice President, Air Force Officer, CEO or any other role that calls for a distinguished looking silver haired blue-eyed white male… hell yes. But as a Native American Warrior Brave… well, let’s just say that Kevin Costner texted us to say he thought he looked silly. And the showdown between our blue eyed ancient warrior brave and the Bone Eater was about as anti-climactic as they come.

But as bad as all that was, and it was bad, the movie is hard to turn away from because it is oddly watchable. Wynorski paces this crap reasonably well, the production values are relatively high, aside from Skeletor over there, and Gil Gerard is in it. Yes, that’s not a lot to recommend in a movie and I certainly wouldn’t advise you to rent this just see Gil Gerard once again, but that’s all I got. Sure ‘The Bone Eater’ is awful, unimaginative and silly but The Scarecrow in war paint is almost worth the price of an illegal torrent download… which we certainly hope you’re not doing because that’s against the law.

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