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Bone
Housewife / Beverly Hills Nightmare / Dial Rat / Bone: A Bad Day in Beverly Hills

USA 1972
produced by
Larry Cohen, Peter Sabiston (executive) for Jack H. Harris Enterprises, Larco
directed by Larry Cohen
starring Yaphet Kotto, Andrew Duggan, Joyce Van Patten, Jeannie Berlin, Casey King, Brett Somers, Dick Yarmy, James Lee, Rosanna Huffman, Ida Berlin
written by Larry Cohen, music by Gil Melle

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Flix.com

Bill (Andrew Duggan) and Bernadette (Joyce Van Patten) are a rich and white Beverly Hills couple that has been married for way too long and that is quarrelling all the time. Then Bone (Yaphet Koto), a poor black man, shows up by their swimming pool and helps removing a rat. But Bone isn't the nice poolboy Bill first thinks him to be but a criminal who wants to rob Bill and Bernadette blind. Thing is, Bill and Bernadette aren't really rich, as it now turns out, they have no cash at home, no money in the bank no nothing ... heck, they might be even poorer than Bone. Until Bone finds a savings account Bill tried to hide from Bernadette, and now Bone forces Bill to go to the bank and withdraw the money, other wise he'll rape and kill Bernadette.

At first, Bill is really worried about his wife, but when he's about to withdraw the money, he gets more worried about the cash and figures not paying would be a good way of getting rid of his wife - so he spends the afternoon with a half-crazy girl (Jeannie Berlin), ultimately bedding her.

In the meantime, Bone tries to rape Bernadette, who by that time is pretty drunk, but fails - so much so that she starts comforting him, and they start having sex, non-forced sex. Then though, Bernadette gets more and more upset about her two-timing husband, who left her in the clutches of the assailant, and she and Bone make up a plan to kill him, get the insurance money and lead a life in luxury.

But when Bernadette and Bone finally manage to corner Bill, she gets into such a frenzy and kills Bill so violently that Bone turns away in disgust - and vanishes into thin air, as if he was never there ...

 

Merely judging from the synopsis, Bone is your typical grindhouse feature, a cheap and sleazy thriller. But what writer/director Larry Cohen (whose debut film that was) has made out of his premise is quite remarkable, a mean satire on Beverly Hills lifestyles, on racial relations and racial stereotypes, and on a weird thing called money that you obviously don't need to be rich. But that doesn't make his film unnecessarily brain-heavy let alone preachy, on the contrary, the film is as light-footed and entertaining as it is intelligent, and despite its message (if you can call it that) it works perfectly well in a thriller context. A remarkable first feature.

Recommended.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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