I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!
“Kurt Russell Kurt-Russelled the shit out of that movie!”
I don’t remember when or where I heard the sentiment above. I don’t remember who uttered it. I don’t remember what movie it was in reference to. But damn, if it isn’t the perfect descriptor for a badass Kurt Russell movie.
In Bone Tomahawk, Kurt Russell Kurt-Russells the shit out of that movie.
And he’s not alone. Everyone in the smallish cast just knocks it out of the proverbial park, from Russell’s tough, dutiful Sheriff Hunt to Mathew Fox’s polite, roguish, but troubled Brooder. Richard Jenkins is also wonderful as the simple but wholly relatable deputy sidekick Chicory, while Patrick Wilson’s injured, loving husband Arthur O’Dwyer and Lili Simmons’ resilient and assured Mrs. O’Dwyer perfectly round out the ensemble. Plus, any film that opens with Sid Haig in it is going to draw my attention and approval.
Taking place in the old west, the film follows Hunt, Brooder, Chicory, and O’Dwyer as they travel across the countryside to rescue Mrs. O’Dwyer and another deputy after being abducted by a clan of cave-dwelling, cannibalistic humanoids called troglodytes. A real hybrid of a movie, Bone Tomahawk pulls from all manner of genre, touching on classic westerns, road films, horror, and cannibal sleaze, but manages to make them all work together in original an awesome fashion. It’s amazing to me that this is writer/director S. Craig Zahler’s first feature, his directorial debut. And it’s a stellar one at that. The pacing is confident. The story is fun and engaging and hits all of its beats with the utmost precision, the tonal shifts feeling organic and correct. After spending a good hour or more getting to know and like our protagonist foursome, the fear and trepidation we feel for our heroes’ welfare is all too real once the horror movie elements come into play nearing the story’s conclusion.
And that horror is real.
While Bone Tomahawk is not a splatterfest by any means, the film does include a particularly brutal and gory scene that made an old hand like myself cringe and shudder. It’s repulsive and looks fantastic and really defines the kind of dire straits our cast of characters find themselves in.
As a genre movie fan and a gorehound, this movie found its niche audience with people like me, but the performances therein are so good, it makes me want to recommend the film to any and everybody. Each character, flaws and all (like racism!), is so perfectly brought to life by the actor portraying the role, that the film almost transcends its genre movie narrative to become some kind of ensemble character study. Almost. At the end of the day, Bone Tomahawk is still a horror western cannibal movie. It’s just that it’s also a really fantastic movie.
Bone Tomahawk Bone-Tomahawked the shit out of that movie!
From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.