Tuesday, December 29, 2009

No meat at all on 'Skeleton Man'

Skeleton Man (2004)
Starring: Michael Rooker
Director: Johnny Martin
Rating: One of Ten Stars

Michael Rooker leads a team of military specialists into the forests of the Northwest to hunt a killer who has already taken out some of best the US military has to offer, not to mention some civilians. Unfortunately, the adversary is awakened spirit of a homicidal maniac who is bent on killing everything and anything he comes across.

"Skeleton Man" is an excessively muddled, tepid slasher flick where elements seem to be tossed in at random and nothing really gets resolved or explained. It's another one of those films where it seems like no one bothered to check the script for coherence or internal logic before, during, or after shooting. (Why is Skeleton Man killing and why is his spirit roaming? I counted three possibilites, but none seem to connect with anything in particular that was otherwise presented.)

It does manage to conjure up some mildly creepy moments, but those are mostly cancelled out by something nonsensical or just plain bad following immediately there after. The air of cheapness that surrounds the creature--with a cape that seems to change design at random, a hodge-podge of weaponry (some of which seems like it came off the rack at the local Sears store, despite the supposedly centuries-old nature of Skeleton Man), and a badly done skull mask--probably does as much to kill this film as anything else.

And the ending? Probably the worst I've seen, period. Like I said, nothing gets resolved, nothing gets tied up, and there's no reason to assume Skeleton Man's rampage of death is over other than the star of the film declares it to be. (In fact, theere is every reason to believe the opposite, based on what little information the film provides about the Skeleton Man entity.)

Trivia: The German edition of the DVD was actually marketed as a crappy movie, with a tagline on the cover that translates to "Here lives the spirit of Ed Wood."

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