The independent film scene is full of treasures that many film fans have overlooked. With so many indie filmmakers getting their films out there, and so few spaces in multiplexes, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. It is also tough when the movie was sold to a distributor who never fulfilled their promises of promotion and the movie was buried, only to find the light of day in bargain bins. It is tragic when that movie is very, very good.
Bone Dry is one of those movies.
Director Brett A. Hart worked to make his name in the advertising business, helping to build a major advertising agency in Oklahoma that eventually earned Hart an Emmy Award for a tornado video he made. Part of the deal for building this agency into a success was that money would be set aside for Hart to make his feature length debut film. That movie was Bone Dry.
What is most interesting about this movie is that the cast are all recognizable actors, especially for an indie film by a relative unknown filmmaker. It stars Luke Goss (the vampire hybrid Nomad in Blade II and the Prince in Hellboy 2) as a man named Eddie who is abducted and knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, he is in the middle of the Mojave Desert with a compass and a walkie-talkie. His abductor Jimmy (Aliens’ Lance Henriksen) tells him to walk north or he will die. He then fires a shot that hits right next to Eddie to show he is serious.
The movie then falls into a mystery, where Eddie does what he is told while trying to figure out who is behind this and what they have against him. By the time Eddie finishes his journey, he has been tortured with possible poisoned water and one instance where he is tied, naked, to a cactus to find his own way out. At the end of the journey, he finally learns what this is all about.
Along the way, we get a number of fun cameos. Bookending the film are scenes in a diner with Dee Wallace (Cujo, E.T.) and at one point on his journey, he runs across some drug dealers, one of which is played by Tiny Lister (The Dark Knight). However, despite the cameos, this is the Luke Goss-Lance Henriksen show and both men bring their A-games.
The film is shot beautifully, with some beautiful shots of the Nevada desert, including Death Valley itself. The scenery and scorching hot desert is almost as much a character as the two leads and Brett Hart really brings it to life in this film.
Sadly, the distributor dropped the ball on the film’s release and it has gone almost unnoticed since its release in 2007. It is available on DVD and is well worth the look if you happen to see it on the shelf.