In a small frontier town, a sheriff and his small pose set out to rescue three civilians from a cannibalistic tribe of cave dwellers.
Bone Tomahawk is a 2015 period piece horror film directed by Steven Craig Zahler and stars Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Lili Simmons, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins. The film was given a limited release and received high praise for it’s blending of two genres.
After a few towns people are murdered and kidnapped by an ancient troglodyte tribe. Sheriff Hunt rounds up a group of men to seek out this tribe. One of the people taken by the tribe is Arthur O’Dwyer’s wife Samantha. Although he has a broken leg, Arthur presses on in order to save his wife. On their way to the tribes rumored cave, the group falls under attack and are taken by the tribe. Leaving Arthur stranded in the wilderness. As prisoners, the group are tortured and fed upon by these savage men. Arthur must muster all the strength he has in order to save his wife and friends.
This movie is flat out excellent! I’m a big fan of period piece horror films and I absolutely love the wild west. I grew up on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood so the terrain is very familiar to me. I’m just a sucker for that time period, it’s probably why I appreciate Back To The Future 3 so much! Oh come on, you know that movie deserves more credit! It was a perfect ending for such an awesome trilogy.
There’s something about this western time period that demands a certain style and tone that can’t be ignored. Even the sounds of this movie create this enriching atmosphere. Everything is made of wood so the sets are natural and have that aged feel to them. I love the sound of creaking wood in films, I can’t explain it but it’s a sound that pulls me deeper into the story. In general just doing a western means everything HAS to feel rough, gritty, and having a certain sense of an atmospheric void. That atmosphere is supported by the films lack of musical score. Which makes the horror of this film feel so real, so much more alive and brutal.
You might feel it has a certain Tarantino style to it. This may be because The Hateful Eight was released that same year and it has Kurt Russel in it as well. I guess I can see some of his style to it. Maybe some of the dialogue might correlate with Tarantino but the movie isn’t his style at all. Especially since there is no musical score, something Tarantino is known for. I do however see a George Romero touch to the film, which is what sets it apart from anything Tarantino would do. Just like Romero, the film has a certain realistic touch to it. Things like the dialogue, characters and story aren’t exaggerated. Which is a hard thing to believe when a guy is literally bisected alive in this movie. The tribe of cannibals aren’t magical nor are they all too special. They’re barbaric and ancient, but making you feel like they could have at one time existed. They kill for food and not pleasure and are wounded and killed just like you and me. I know some people might be offended by it’s depiction of native tribes but there in lies the fiction of the film.
The acting in this film is so spot on that you have to be a fool think otherwise. I love Patrick Wilson and Lili Simmons. Wilson’s character is our protagonist and his arch is an enjoyable journey. Kurt Russell was born to play the role as Sheriff Hunt, but then again; Kurt Russell can pretty much play anything. He’s Jack Burton damnit! Russell is one of my most favorite actors and I knew before seeing this movie that he was going to be great. The man breathes stone cold cowboy that shits glass every morning.
Bad To The Bone
Bone Tomahawk is a favorite film of mine and I honestly advise everyone to watch it. It’s a slow burn but never should you feel bored or annoyed with the pacing. It has some great viscous moments that will remain in your memory bank for a long time. The gore will make all you gore hounds happy. It’s not really scary just completely gross and stomach churning. There’s something about period piece films that appeal to me and I love the blend of both western and horror. This feels like a lost tale in a very old town with an unknown history. It’s a story that is often talked about by teenagers but never given the seal of truth. Maybe the guy that owns the local bar is distantly related to someone in the story. They don’t deny they had a run in with a neighboring tribe of natives but say some of the events are left out to indulge the white Christian women in town that deem those things are inappropriate. If you’re someone that is little run down on horror in the current time then this is a good breather. That’s why Bone Tomahawk is chosen as day thirty for Horror Movie Marathon 2018.