Friday, June 30, 2017

Now on Amazon Prime: Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Bone Tomahawk (2015) - Written and Directed by S. Craig Zahler; Starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox, Lili Simmons, David Arquette, Fred Melamed.

By Kenny Howell

Well, that was disturbing.

And unexpected.

I don't think I have ever seen a horror western, but that is exactly what Bone Tomahawk is. It's a nightmare. It is about a group of men trying to hunt down a cannibalistic troglodyte tribe that lives in the caves outside of their town, Bright Hope. Two outlaws desecrated their sacred grounds (damn you David Arquette), so they strike out at all men and women that are near their home, taking some as prisoners.

Kurt Russell (Deepwater Horizon) at his gruffy best plays Sheriff Hunt, who enlists the help of his deputy, played by the always excellent Richard Jenkins (Jack Reacher), and two other local men, Arthur (Patrick Wilson), whose wife Samantha (Lili Simmons) has been taken by the men, and Brooder (Matthew Fox), a gunslinger, to hunt down the tribe.

The setup is pretty basic for a western. Locals are captured and the local men must go rescue them. But Writer-Director S. Craig Zahler takes this somewhere very different in his film, into a horrible den of disgusting creatures that ruthlessness knows no bounds. They are cannibals after all, so that means that Bone Tomahawk gets graphically violent and gross, so much so that it bothered me, and that doesn't happen very often. One scene in particular which I keep seeing in my head. I think the reaction is partially because I didn't know that was going to happen going in, and also Zahler set this in a very realistic world, so when that happens, it seems all the more terrifying because the people seem more real, not like dumb teenagers being hacked to death by Jason or Freddy.

Bone Tomahawk probably needed to be trimmed, as its over two hour run time leaves some empty space in the middle as the men travel to the creatures. A lot of that could have been cut out, but what is left is an unique experience, and one that will sit with me for awhile.

Bone Tomahawk is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating: ***

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