Trailer Terrors: The Boneyard (1991)

The Boneyard is a film that shares much in common with Syngenor in the fact that it has a great concept, but ultimately fails from an undecided mix of poor direction or underfunded production. The film rushes to open without the slightest bit of exposition or reason to care about any of the characters, made all the more relevant by a stark unevenness between the sound design and dialogue (or lack thereof, rather). In many parts its as though the score continues to drone on when really there should have been some audible reaction from the actors themselves; a gasp or a scream.

The pacing is just as inconsistent with the actors bouncing back and forth between impassioned and believable to ludicrously absurd and though it's certainly not the worst I've ever seen it definitely sabotages the storyline. The only exception(s) to this that I saw was any scene that included wild-haired Phyllis Diller who, as Mrs. Poopenplatz (yes, Poop-en-platz), steals the spotlight with an offbeat enthusiasm worthy of Night of the Demons. Likewise, the visual effects are pretty stunning and while certain elements of the film that were schlock (such as a 7 foot poodle monster), the zombies children themselves came off as chillingly haunting as anything I've ever seen which makes sense given director James Cummins background in special effects design.

"Tell large Marge... er, Mrs. Poopenplatz sent ya!"
I guess I should mention the plot (there is one), which is interesting if not altogether confusing. The story follows a disillusioned psychic (Deborah Rose), a Columbo-knockoff detective named Jersey (Ed Nelson), and an assortment of equally mis-cast nobodies on the run from a prepubescent trio of zombies who have turned the local coroner's building into their personal feeding ground on Thanksgiving. It's an honest debut effort by Cummins and though it wasn't his last, he has 2 additional directorial credits, The Boneyard is surely one of his more well known contributions to the horror genre. Overall, this one is best left buried.


  1. J. Astro said...:

    Biggest surprises for me in THE BONEYARD:

    The creepy Asian demon kids were actually sort of... unsettling.

    Oh, and Phyllis Diller was actually amusing, for once, in it. Normally I can't stand her. But she was great in this.

    BTW, man - I've moved - The Cheap Bin blog is no more, but I'm rockin' and rollin' HERE:

    instead, at "Screen Grab! with J. Astro", so feel free to update your blog roll and join me over there. :)

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    I guess it makes sense that the demons kids were so effective given the director's background in fx, just wish the rest of the film held up as well.

    A new site, huh? I'm digging the design! You've also got me hankering to see "Slap Shot" again. Been at least a year since I last saw it and winter time seems about right. Thanks Astro!

  1. I was just sitting there sipping my drink when all of a sudden these cannibalistic, decomposing toddlers are revealed on screen. My mouth formed an 'O' and my muscles tightened. Up until that point in the film I was almost asleep. You can imagine how I felt post cannibalistic children, right?

    I give it 3 graveyard rubbings out of 5.


    Those damn children man. ECK!

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails