The Bone Snatcher (2003)
A modestly-effective little monster picture, which admirably makes
use of African locales playing themselves rather than (as in many other
quickies) trying to pass the Namib off as Arizona. A motley bunch on
a routine trip to a diamond-mining outpost come across the eaten-to-the-bone
corpses of three prospectors who have unearthed something from an anthill.
The monster (Brian Claxton Payne) is imaginatively conceived and depicted
– a horde of flesh-eating ants which use borrowed bones to form
a skeleton so they can move about as one creature on the directions
of their glowing brain queen ('the Sandmother') but also can break apart
and do the traditional swarm-and-devour bug business. The spiky group
of monster-fighters – an American computer scientist who specialises
in designing extreme survival techniques (Scott Bairstow), a couple
of overstretched security guards (Rachel Shelley, Warrick Grier), a
tough female driver (Adrienne Pearce) – are credible characters
who work against each other as often as they co-operate and have to
manage their survival with the few resources at hand. It has some of
the feel of Dust Devil or Razorback in
its use of a desert locale, and a conventional outcome doesn't detract
from the overall superior quality. Directed by Jason Wulfsohn.
First published in this form here.
All text on this page © Kim Newman