Brett A. Hart’s 2007 thriller Bone Dry is an exceptionally tense desert-based chase film in the tradition of Duel, The Hitcher and Breakdown. It’s a punchy directorial debut from Hart, a mystery/thriller which manages to deliver thrills and visuals in equal measure.
Luke Goss stars as Eddie, a businessman returning home from a trip, who for no apparent reason is chased and tormented by the mysterious Jimmy (Lance Henriksen). This low budget film is a great exercise in tension and it features several sequences which are better than many films with ten times the budget. Hart’s pic looks fantastic, with orange-hued digital photography highlighting its beautiful and barren desert wasteland. There’s a touch of Tony Scott going on here – and I love it.
Bone Dry is effectively a two-hander between Henriksen and Goss, and they both acquit themselves well by delivering great performances. Henriksen in particular is the stand-out, offering-up gritty gravitas as the mystery man with a grudge. Luke Goss manages to evoke a lot of audience sympathy and you’ll be rooting for him as he is hunted down and put through his paces by Henriksen. How many films can truly capture your attention with most of its running time featuring just two men on screen? Hart shows how you deliver a gut punch of a low budget film. You embrace the elements and use good actors to make sure that you don’t need $100 million to make something entertaining.
A well made and taut thriller, Brett A. Hart makes some great creative choices here. The highlight of Bone Dry must surely be when Goss is stripped naked and tied to a giant cactus tree beneath the baking midday sun. He must find a way to escape, and we watch as he torturously tries to climb to the top of his prickly prison. This is old-school exploitation cinema at its finest and you can tell that Hart and co-writer Jeff O’Brien have a passion and knowledge of classic genre movies. Everyone is working at the top of their game here and praise must go to John Darbonne and Kevin G. Ellis’ cinematography and Scott Glasgow’s score
An expertly crafted and well acted B-movie, Bone Dry ticks all the boxes in what you want in a film like this. Brett A. Hart’s thriller will surely become a cult favourite in years to come – and that’s something which it rightfully deserves.