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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Derivative but highly atmospheric horror
**spoilers**

OK, so the serious horror/sci-fi buff will recognise numerous hat-tips or rip-offs during the Bone Snatcher (Them, Alien, The Thing, Blair Witch, Forbidden Planet, Tremors and many more spring to mind), but it still pulls the right strings and certainly is a well-made, entertaining and memorable movie.

A sandy desolation is not an...
Published on November 27, 2005 by Cartimand

versus
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story With Potential, But Falls A Little Short
I've seen plenty of movies like this one. It has a neat story line in it, but for the obvious reasons that hinder B-movies, it falls short of its potential. "The Bone Snatcher" starts off well enough, with three miners being attacked and stripped of their flesh by some "thing." A group seeks out the three missing individuals and come upon two of their skeletal remains...
Published on October 14, 2004 by Ken Fontenot


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story With Potential, But Falls A Little Short, October 14, 2004
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
I've seen plenty of movies like this one. It has a neat story line in it, but for the obvious reasons that hinder B-movies, it falls short of its potential. "The Bone Snatcher" starts off well enough, with three miners being attacked and stripped of their flesh by some "thing." A group seeks out the three missing individuals and come upon two of their skeletal remains. The third member of the party is accused of murder by one of the search party members. Tracking his footprints, they find his remains as well. They decide to hunt down the real murderer, which leads to a classic B-movie scenario of the team members being picked off one-by-one as the group slowly comes to realize what they are chasing. Though this is considered a horror film, there isn't much to horrify you in this picture.

The actual "Bone Snatcher" creature looks pretty good considering there probably wasn't much of a budget for the flick. Most of the acting is done in a very stiff fashion, though a couple of the characters, especially Magda, do manage to connect with the audience. Scott Bairstow is mediocre, especially considering that he is the "star" of the show. His acting isn't very convincing to me. In fact, he looks like he doesn't even want to be there. Rachel Shelley is a beautiful lady, and I hope that her career moves beyond this type of "B" fare. Her character is pretty interesting, but it's pulled off in a confused sort of way. The rest of the cast is cluttered with stock "B" characters placed on the screen for the sole purpose of being the next victim.

The story moves along at a snails pace, and the action is thin and spread far apart. The best scene involves the "snatcher" and a team member in a sleeping bag. The CGI is along the same lines as those in "The Mummy Returns." That's pretty good considering the funds available for this flick.

So why did I give it three stars? First of all, it's an above-average B-movie with a really good story, even though it drops off as the movie trudges along. Secondly, the creature effects are done very well despite a low budget. Finally, the scenery is shot very well, making the best of the desert surroundings. Overall, this movie is worthy of two to three viewings, and then it will collect dust on the shelf. If you like standard Sci-Fi channel fare, then this movie will suffice. Recommended to hardcore sci-fi fans who relish in B-movie schlock and know what to expect from such films.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Derivative but highly atmospheric horror, November 27, 2005
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
**spoilers**

OK, so the serious horror/sci-fi buff will recognise numerous hat-tips or rip-offs during the Bone Snatcher (Them, Alien, The Thing, Blair Witch, Forbidden Planet, Tremors and many more spring to mind), but it still pulls the right strings and certainly is a well-made, entertaining and memorable movie.

A sandy desolation is not an overused scenario for this genre and I found it made for a delightfully evocative and creepy backdrop to this hefty dollop of grand guignol gore.

The entity, being constructed from human remains is cadaverously grotesque when it finally makes an appearance, and its method of infecting the humans (especially the unfortunate Titus and the poor guy in the sleeping bag) is suitably nasty.

The pace of the move is spot on; an opening shock gives way to a measured section devoted to scene-setting and characterisation, before the real gore-fest begins.

Reasonable acting (although some of the testosterone-fuelled posturing came over as a bit OTT) and the very non-Hollywood accents made for a refreshing change too!

Not bad at all!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected., December 8, 2004
By 
John Kolecki "-J. Ko" (Philadelphia, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. My expectation for watching this was to suffer through bad acting and bad storyline just to get to "the monster". By setting the story in the desert, the production value was spent on the CGI monster and better actors than I thought would appear in a movie like this. To be sure, this is a "B movie", but it performs as well as some of hollywood's mainstream offerings. The cast are all Australian/British and unlike Mad Max or Crocodile Dundee do not have super "over-the-top" personalities. The other movies tend to make you focus on the accents and mannerisms in an attempt to add some value to their storyline. The plot is pretty straightforward: Specualtors in the desert uncover something nasty and get killed. Some reseachers happen upon them and then the fun begins... There are only one or two "cliche" moments in this movie, (the awkward boy-girl kiss) & ("i can't kill the monster, I'm a scientist and I must STUDY it" *hoofa*) which is why I have to ding it a star, otherwise I'd have given this movie 4 stars, by simply over-achieving on a low budget. I recommend it for renting or if you have 5 bucks burning a hole in your pocket at the DVD discount rack.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Call it the Bone Snatcher or the Sandmother, the results are still uninspiring, October 8, 2005
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)   
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
Dr. Zack Straker (Scott Bairstow, "Party of Five") shows up from Canada to do some research at a mining camp in South Africa, but that becomes pretty irrelevant when a group of geologists searching for a diamond mine in the desert of Nambia disappear. So Straker heads out to do search and rescue with the rest of the film's potential victims, Karl (Warrick Grier), Mikki (Rachel Shelley), Titus (Patrick Shai), Kurt (Andre Weidermen), and Magda (Adrienne Pearce). They find the corpses of the three missing men and are stunned to discover the bodies have been reduced to virtual skeletons in just six hours. Since we caught the title of the movie, we know that the culprit is "The Bone Snatcher." Of course, this would make more sense if the creature took the bones and left the flesh, but do you want to sit through a film called "The Flesh Snatcher"?

Actually, the South African title for this film, which also had backing from the UK and Canada, was "Sandmother," which actually fits the plot better than "The Bone Snatcher." I did not know that diamond mines were found in the desert, but the Nambia Desert is the home of some infamous diamond mines discovered in 1908. But the titular creature of this 2003 is found beneath the beneath the sands and not in mine caves, although is she were expecting the relationship between the monster here and the sand to be similar to that between the shark and the water in "Jaws," you will be sadly mistaken. This is one of those horror movies where the mysterious monster shows up, people die, and the star of the movie explains the unexplainable before they kill the monster and he kisses the girl right before the fadeout.

The cinematography is pretty good for this film, which has an unusual problem in that it spends half the time trying to create a sense of horror in blinding bright light on the hot sands of a desert, which, you have to admit, stacks the odds against you. But there are night sequences where things get more conventional. Director Jason Wulfsohn does a more than competent job as long as you are not paying attention to the uninspiring acting by the cast playing out their stereotypical roles and the less than stellar CGI special effects. This DVD has the trailer for the film but nothing else in terms of special features, which makes sense because this film is nothing special. I never really got into it, not even to get some pleasure from taking it apart, although I did entertain rewriting the lyrics to the Monkees' song "Star Collector" to do the plot, but it was just not worth the effort. However, if you know the song and like the idea, go ahead and knock yourself out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A grade A, "B" movie., March 12, 2005
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
When I sat down to watch this, I expected my normal 1-2 star B movie. I was pleasantly surprised. This South African production is rather thrilling. Though at times the pace seems to slow down. And only a couple of plot line inconsistencies. Considering that this is a low budget B movie, the monster was done well.

Zack Straker, played by Scott Bairstow, is an engineer assigned to a remote mining camp in the South African desert. On his way to camp, they find two bodies stripped of all their flesh. Our band of characters start looking for the person or persons they think did these murders. All the while finding more stripped bodies on the trail they follow. All stripped of their flesh. It will have you on the edge.

Eventually they find out they are not tracking a man. Our scientist wants to study it, while the rest wisely want to kill it. I would not go out of my way to see this movie. But it does deliver good low cost thrills you expect form this type of low budget movie. Exactly what we look for in low cost horror films. So, if you are a "B" movie fan, see it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars LONG LIVE THE QUEEN?, May 10, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
Beautifully filmed in the African Desert; superior CGI effects; and realistic background music are the high points of this otherwise tedious and confusing picture. Three employees of a diamond mine factory are viewed in the prologue; they rip a hole in one of the sand dunes and out pops something that kills all three, mercilessly scraping all the flesh from their bodies. Enter an American scientist (played lifelessly by Scott Bairstow) who journeys to the site for some reason or other? Rachel Shelley is there as the initially cold and unfeeling Mickie McGee; Warrick Grier is the usual jock stud; and Adrienne Pearce does nicely as the truck driver Magda. BONE SNATCHER has some truly unnerving scenes and the ant effects are original and frightening. However, the plot is so muddled and irresolute that when it's all over, it's what did I just watch? Didn't Bairstow kill the queen? So what's that in the taxi? Nice try but not as fulfilling as it should have been.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CHeck this one out!, December 25, 2003
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
Kept me guessing, at least once the movie gets going. Some interesting character set up in the first 20 minutes or so and from then on a mix of mood, style, action and suspense with careful and very effective use of CG effects at different key points in the film. I've never seen a film set in the Namibian desert before and actually I hope I do again because this thing was gorgeous. Once or twice the writing felt a little tired but overall I've got no complaints. In fact I'd reccomend this film to anyone who likes to be scared for a couple of hours and wants to see some serious style as well. Plus some great music from a couple of Brit composers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Under your skin, January 23, 2011
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
Bone Snatcher, thankfully, is nothing like Bone Eater or Skeleton Man. Bone Snatcher is essentially The Thing meets Pitch Black in the Nambi Desert. Clive (Sean Higgs), Paul (Langley Kirkwood) and Harvey (Jan Ellis) begin the film as diamond prospectors who encounter the Esikulu AKA The Bone Snatcher. They'll be back later in the film with considerably less flesh on their bones.

The movie shifts to Vancouver, where systems analyst Dr. Zack Straker (Scott Bairstow), tasked with doing field work in the desert. Since Eland Mining owns the rights to the area, Straker tags along with a security team looking for the three prospectors. There's hot chick Mikki (Rachel Shelly), Karl (Warrick Grier), Titus (Patrick Shai), Kurt (Andre Weiman) and tough gal Magda (Adrienne Pierce).

In between long shots of the desert, the truckload of victims' truck breaks down. And you know what that means...cue the shooting and the screaming! The remaining survivors must figure out the creature's biology (hint: it involves chemical scents) and then track the queen to its lair so that it can never threaten humanity again. Unless of course the obligatory ending leaves it open for a sequel, in which case it may well threaten humanity again.

Bone Snatcher reveals its hand early with a monster that looks like a guy loping around in a rubber suit...until you realize that's intentional. On the surface Bone Snatcher doesn't look like much, but it gets under your skin. Once the true nature of the thing is revealed it becomes clear that shooting at the thing isn't going to do much. The CGI effects are competent enough to convey that this thing only mimics the shape of a man...

Bone Snatcher's not going to win any awards in the acting department, but what it lacks in charm it makes up for with creativity. Unforgiving terrain, plenty of testosterone, and an interesting beast make for a fun monster movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So, so bad., December 10, 2009
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
The Bone Snatcher (Jason Wulfsohn, 2003)

It's kind of scary that I watch enough movies in a given week that I can come up with a solid "best movie I saw this week" and "worst movie I saw this week" (with at least three in the middle, usually six or seven) more weeks than not. This has actually been a kind of light week for me; I've only seen five so far since Saturday night (it's Tuesday afternoon as I write this). I must say, however, that I can't imagine I'm going to see anything stupider for the rest of the week than The Bone Snatcher, a no-budget laugher from South Africa that begs to be a Sci-Fi Channel Original Movie (whether it was or not I've no idea, I actually rented this). I'm not sure whether I ever codified it, but I'm doing so now. I have a new rule: when a film uses CGI blood splatter, if it looks like black fireflies, that movie is guaranteed to suck. (If you've seen a few of the aforementioned Sci-Fi Channel etc., then you know what I'm talking about. The same effect is also used to depict insect swarms.)

In any case, plot: three prospectors in the desert find something that seems as if it might be an abandoned diamond mine. One of them breaks open a bubble in the ground, exposing the tunnel to the light, and is summarily dispatched by, well, something. Fast-forward to the arrival of Zack Straker (Tuck Everlasting's Scott Bairstow) at the prospectors' base camp with some newfangled earth-analysis equipment. Since a team is getting ready to go out and look for the missing guys, he joins them. Long story short, the whole bunch find themselves stalked by whatever killed the guy in the opening scene. Karl (Shark Attack 2's Warrick Grier), the loudmouth of the group, is convinced it's some sort of wild animal, while Titus (Red Scorpion's Patrick Shai) thinks it's a local boogeyman. The team has to discover what it really is, while keeping themselves from ending up like the prospectors.

Terrible acting, a completely unconvincing (and underdeveloped) romantic subplot, a whole lot of stereotypical characters, and black-firefly blood spatter, what could possibly go wrong? On the other hand, what could possibly go right? This one hurt my head to watch. I suggest you avoid this miraculous migraine-inducer and watch something marginally less stupid, like maybe Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. *
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original and Noteworthy "B" Horror Flick, May 30, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Bone Snatcher (DVD)
Three people are out in the middle of the Namib Desert in Africa performing geologic surveys in hopes of discovering the next big diamond mine. When something unusual shows up in their readings, they decide to check it out. When the three never return to their home base to check in, others set out searching for them. Though the three missing individuals have only been out of contact for about 6 hours, the remains that are found seem picked almost dry. The search party sets out to find the one who killed their friends, and they realize all too soon that they are not up against any ordinary, human killer. Slowly but surely the search party gets picked off. Will the few remaining survivors find out how to destroy this flesh-eating, bone-borrowing fiend?
What appears to be some supernatural force at work out in the lonely, hot desert is actually rather explainable. As the plot thickens, we discover that there is a scientific explanation as to what is going on under the desert sun, and it involves bugs (ants). The queen has been disturbed and now roams the desert in search of a new resting-place for her and her offspring. These are similar to the scarabs in "The Mummy" with a bit of a twist.
All in all, "The Bone Snatcher" is a fairly original, lower-budget "B" horror film. This movie is quite well done. The script was well thought-out, the story line is very cohesive, and all actors involved pulled it off rather well. Some of the characters were a little underdeveloped, but nonetheless it doesn't feel as though any huge plot elements were missing. In addition, it should be noted that some of the plot elements seem very cliche (the truck breaking down in the middle of nowhere, the radio being out), but that is what cheesy B horror flicks are all about. What, after all, would horror be without creating that sense of utter isolation?
Furthermore, the effects were great. Particularly the CGI creature effects. At no point in time did the film appear cheaply executed.
This movie won't make you jump, and won't get you utterly scared stiff, but it is great for some evening entertainment. Though not a great film, this is certainly a good film, and is very much worth watching if you can appreciate decent horror movies.
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The Bone Snatcher
The Bone Snatcher by Jason Wulfsohn (DVD - 2003)
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