Children turned into zombies wreak havoc in a coroner’s building with just a burned-out psychic, an experienced cop and two coroners to stop the madness.
One of the obscure lost gems of the nineties was a film by the title of “The Boneyard” which stood out for the fact that it included the rare inclusion of actress Phyllis Diller in a horror film starring role. I have first heard about the film when it was being considered for a DVD releases many years back, but still at the time had not had a chance to experience it. It was later released on DVD featuring a picture of an angry Poodle (Miss Poopinplatz’s pet in the film), but on the most part is still off the radar.
The film has its share of memorable qualities, however I wouldn’t place it among the best of the nineties releases.
Alley Oates (Deborah Rose) is a psychologist with a special gift. One that haunts her daily while also providing insight to the investigators on her team. Ed Nelson plays Jersey Callum, an investigator who Alley used to work for. Alley has gone into retirement despite her essential work that solved many of the cases. Jersey, and his team are assigned to a case regarding 3 deceased children, a case that he needs Alley on.
Alley holds a special insight that she is able to funnel from clues, and objects classifying her as a form of clairvoyant or myopic. This ability provides a greater insight than Jersey is able to produce in his line of work, thus making her a vital element to his investigations.
Upon pulling herself out of retirement to aid Jersey on a case, the 2 of them are led to a place they now call “The Boneyard”, basically a morgue that houses recently deceased victims for autopsy or investigation. The case surround the deaths of 3 young children which appears to be surrounded buy the addition of a mysterious claim that ghouls are living in the basement of an Asian man. The morgue is begin considered for destruction to move the operation to a new facility. though in the meantime its staffed by one feisty and obnoxious Miss Poopinplatz played by actress Phyllis Diller who runs the night shift with an iron fist. Poopinplatz ‘s discontent with her job and its particular negative aspects makes for a rather shrewd and impolite experience for those who have to visit the “Boneyard”.
Now as you can already guess from the stills and cover art, this aspect of ghouls becomes the prime focal point here as the 3 “presumed dead” children are brought in for study. These children (which are pretty nasty looking to begin with) are in fact ghouls who feast on human flesh.
The morgue becomes the prime location thorough the rest of the film as the team turns their attention from investigation into survival mode. FX and story are pretty typical of the rush of ninety films that originated from that period, the only real visual candy being the infected Poopinplatz turning into a giant ghoul that would position well into any Iron Maiden concert show.
The players consist of Alley, Jersey, his assistant, some of the night crew and a young girl Dana (Denise Young) who was admitted as a suicide victim (though presumed to be dead). The group here also consists of actor Norman Fell who gives a great performance as one of the morgue’s onsite doctors.
“The Boneyard” tends to come off as somewhat comedic with ghouls appearing and attacking adding in the intention of turning other victims into ghouls. The biggest surprise here being the gigantic “ghoul” poodle that appears in the 3rd act. Again, this shouldn’t be a spoiler as the famed ghoul poodle cover art is pretty well known on this release. If you happen to run across it, or even manage to obtain a digital version, “The Boneyard” is still worth a watch to say you did. Horror fans will still appreciate the gore, monsters, and nineties violence that the film brings with it.