We all have egos, right? There’s no use in pretending that we don’t. Personal and professional relationships can be thought of as a constant battle between our egos and our desire for successful interactions. In other words, not being a dick is learned behavior. I thought of this at the end of Bone Dry, a neo-noir flick released in 2008. That’s because right after the final shot of the film, the credits begin, and they read, “A Brett A. Hart Vision.” Oh, please.
Mr. Hart did indeed direct Bone Dry. He also wrote it, sharing the credit with Jeff O’Brien. Hart’s IMDb page is kind of thin, with Bone Dry being his first credit. That’s odd for a filmmaker. It’s not uncommon for filmmakers have to put in some grunt work in the business before they get an opportunity to make their very own shitty movie, but Hart seems to have jumped right in the deep end.
Bone Dry tells the story of one man’s revenge against another. Luke Goss plays Eddie, a well-dressed Englishman who gives off some gangster vibes. Goss got the part because, and I’m only guessing, Jason Statham wasn’t in the budget.
Eddie is traveling in the Mojave when he is waylaid by the mysterious Jimmy (Lance Henriksen), and stranded in the desert. Jimmy left Eddie with a radio and a compass, and from a location nearby, tells Eddie that he has to start walking north through the desert, or Jimmy is going to pay an unfriendly visit to Eddie’s wife and kid.
Jimmy is the polar opposite of Eddie. Whereas Eddie is polished and urbane, Jimmy dresses like a cattle rustler and drives one of the meanest-looking trucks I’ve ever seen. The truck is so cool, in fact, that it’s on the movie’s poster.
It’s not let on until late in the film why Jimmy has put Eddie in this predicament, but the whys don’t matter all that much to this film. In that, it’s paint-by-numbers. Jimmy is pissed off at Eddie enough to stalk him through the desert and threaten his family. That points to Eddie being responsible for something bad happening in Jimmy’s past. We’ve all seen enough films at this point to know where this trope leads. It’s the journey that concerns us viewers.
Jimmy forces Eddie to walk under the blazing desert sun, occasionally putting Eddie through some torture he must overcome. Eddie’s biggest enemy during his trek is exposure. He has no hat and no water. After a couple days of that, Eddie should have been beet red and delirious, but then we wouldn’t have been treated to the cactus scene, which is one of the more extreme sequences one can come across outside of a horror flick. It’s a nasty bit of filmmaking, and somewhat out of place. It’s also the highlight of the picture — the one and only original idea Hart had.
This flick may have been released in 2008, but it was filmed years earlier. It’s rarely a good sign when a film gathers dust on a shelf for so long before release, and this film proves that maxim true.
According to the internet, so it must be true, this film had a budget of 5 million bucks. For this life of me, I can’t see where the money was spent. This is a spare film. There are not very many people in it. The location work, while seeming expansive because of the desert backdrop, could have been filmed within a single square mile, and it looks like it was shot on a consumer-quality digital camera.
There are some good aspects to this film. Henriksen is as dependable as ever, and despite the shot I gave Goss above about being a low-rent Statham, he gives a decent performance. The whole film is just too rote, and too thin, to be of much interest. The idea that this flick could be someone’s vision betrays that vision as being rather myopic. This is a straight-to-video shitty movie. Its mediocre moments overwhelm whatever good there is, and no ‘vision’ should have this much material cribbed from a hundred years’ worth of crime and revenge films. Alien: Resurrection is better than Bone Dry.