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By John Chard January 29, 2017
It's sure to be a bone of contention...
Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk stars Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins and Lili Simmons. Music is by Zahler and Jeff Herriott and cinematography by Benji Bakshi.
Ah, yes, the horror western hybrid, a most difficult thing to get right at the best of times, even harder to entice newcomers to the sub-genre splice if they don't particularly like horror or westerns! This is a tough sell, a pic of startling originality, but of homage worthiness as well, that it kind of feels like a film made for a secret society of film fans. A society perhaps like the Troglodyte tribe who dominate the horror aspect of this particular tale.
Plot is set in the wild west, where after a set of circumstances leads to the kidnapping of three people from the local jail - by members of the Troglodyte tribe, four men set off on a rescue mission...
How splendid to find a narrative that isn't afraid to nod towards one of the most revered westerns of all time, yet be its own entity at the same time. Bone Tomahawk will polarise opinions, no question about it, the whole middle section involves a travelogue pumped by characterisations and a need to set the stage for what will occur in the final third. However, to even think that the four horsemen of the apocalypse bulk of this movie is mere slow time cinema is unfair, for dark comedy is at work - a racist horse? Surely not?
So the screenplay not only sparkles with wit, but it also pulses with drama, drama that comes from human stubbornness. Be it men who know that no matter what will happen, they will maybe die in honour due to mistakes or mismanagement, or just a matter of redemption, this mission on the surface seems pure folly, but in reality there is more at work here. And thus comes the horror, characters have been well formed, we know them and are interested in what will happen to them. Like or dislike is irrelevant, we bloody know them, so as the film hits its raging "B" movie straps, shouting at the screen or wincing in harmony becomes a requisite. As is squirming...
Intricately paced, beautifully photographed and splendidly performed by a top cast who aren't interested in top billing or walk of fame recognition, Bone Tomahawk is a grade "A" culter. Zahler could be someone to keep an eye on. 9/10
By Reno January 29, 2017
> Meet the most savage people of the American native.
This was one of the three western films I've watched back to back recently. The other two were 'The Salvation' and 'The Homesman'. They all were totally different from each other and I enjoyed them a lot. I did not know what this title means, but I learnt it before going for it which means some kind of axe used by the American Indians. So I have waited for that moment to know why the film's called that and then, omg, I was very shocked, totally uncomfortable to watch that part. I felt like it was a western version of 'The Hills Have Eyes'.
This was a road movie. A group of peoples' journey to rescue those who were abducted by some mountain tribes. The rescue was the third act and the rest of the film was about how they make into that remote place. Obviously a slow pace, makes you sit whatever position you want, but after the 90 minutes you will be more focused than before as the narration gets tense. The best part of the film in any western the audience were looking for finally arrives. It was a simple, but very strong and disturbing.
The cast was the plus point, everyone did their part best. Even the music and the locations were very nice and appropriate. One of the rare western films I've seen, with a mix of horror-terror. This is the cheapest film and shot within a month of time, but a fine production and completely unexpected film. Possible for a sequel, but I think that's not a good idea unless it retains the same crew. If you're okay with a slow narration, then you will enjoy it. Compared to the opening, when it ends, you will feel satisfied. It is not a greatest western of all time, but still worth a watch.