Wishbone (2006) – By Joshua Samford

 When you see the title "Wishbone", with it’s eery writing style, you’re only given a few ideas as to just what the film Wishbone could possibly be about… could it be a movie about a giant turkey bone, raised from a vat of toxic waste somewhere in the midwest – only to turn on its masters and begin attacking humans? Not exactly. A movie about a turkey bone that grants evil wishes, well, close enough for government work. The title pretty much sets the whole film up, and despite being fairly formulaic – I still had a pretty good time with Wishbone. There are films you can either be harsh and aggressive with, or passive and giddy – I tend to swerve on the side of being a nice guy and I do my best to have a good time with any film out there. To get the negatives out of the way first, Wishbone does indeed follow a pretty formulaic set of events and at times it can forget some basic logic when it comes to character motivation from one scene to the next, and those two pretty simple things right there make a pretty strong case against Wishbone believe it or not. Sometimes just when you are starting to really get into the film, something the characters do or say comes from out of left field and distracts you. I won’t really go into the little things, like one pair of characters leading the charge to a next scene, but finding the troops they were rallying already ahead of them and waiting for them to show up – because describing random scenes just eats up too much time, but when you are watching, it just becomes one of those things that reminds you that this is an independent film. Now, those are my biggest complaints about Wishbone, and I feel they’re pretty honest – but overall; I have to say it was a film worth watching and I did have a good time with it, which is more than you can say about a lot of flicks out there.

The basic plot for Wishbone seems like something that would have come from out of the Twilight Zone or an old Tales From the Darkside show. An older lady finds an "trinket" she likes at an old antique shop that is closing down, this certain "trinket" is none other than a "Wishbone". A statue looking product that grants wishes, as the antiques dealer informs us, but will also curse someone else with death in order for the wish to be granted. The older lady pays no mind to the warning of course and haggles the Wishbone down to a bargain and gives it to her niece as a present. The niece doesn’t exactly fall in love with the hideous thing, but she puts it up in her bedroom, but soon allows it to be brought out at a party. Unaware of the curse, her friends all begin making wishes with it, and before you know it, people start disappearing. All due to a being in a dark robe who looks a bit like the Reaper. The young niece has no one to turn to but her closest friend, due to her boyfriend not wanting to go play detective when he has a lot of work to catch up on (especially since he just got his new job due to the Wishbone). Around and around we go as the mystery slowly begins to unravel, but who will be left to fight the monstrous being in the black cape – and what will be left of them?

One of the things that really surprised me from Wishbone, was the performances from the cast. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of ‘non-actors’ in the film and it shows. There is a good bit of stilted dialogue, but from the principal cast – the leading lady (the niece who received the Wishbone, sorry, don’t have the name since the net is pretty scarce with information as far as the cast goes) and her on-screen lover, played by a gentleman Joe Palumbo, are both very witty and interesting choices for their roles. Both were believable as a couple, had tons of chemistry and delivered great performances for what they were called for. I found myself especially impressed with Palumbo, who appears to really be a charismatic and talented performer. While searching for information on the net I found a short film featuring him on a Myspace account, and he delivered once again. I don’t usually expect to see guys who make the craft seem easy in small little indie films like this, but Palumbo does that. Hope the filmmakers are able to team up again, I think they have all the promise in the world, and I’m speaking for everyone involved. Wishbone, even though I did find myself a bit frustrated now and then, feels like a warm up match for something bigger and better. I would recommend the film for Giallo fans out there, because even though it does deal in the supernatural, it certainly has that detective feel that a lot of these films had. Not to mention a musical score that literally at times sounds like it could have been lifted right out of one. There is a lot of promise to a film like Wishbone, and I see bright things in the future ahead for many of the filmmakers involved.

Everyone, make sure to check out Archon Films for the latest information on this film and others. Congratulations for all involved, it is a great film.