Director: S. Craig Zahler
Writer: S. Craig Zahler
Cast: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, David Arquette, Sid Haig, Evan Jonigkeit, Sean Young
RUNTIME: 132 Minutes
RATING: Not Rated (1 sex scene, graphic violence*, gore, nudity)
IN THEATERS, VOD and iTunes: October 23, 2015
The sleepy town of Bright Hope is suddenly rocked when a group of cannibal savages slaughter some townsfolk and kidnap town back-up doctor Mrs. O’Dwyer (Lili Simmons, Banshee) and Deputy Nick (Evan Jonigkeit, X-Men: Days of Future Past). Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell, Tombstone) his elderly deputy Chicory (Richard Jenkins, The Cabin in the Woods), white-hat gunslinger John Brooder (Matthew Fox, Lost), and crippled Mr. O’Dwyer (Patrick Wilson, Insidious) go off on their horses to rescue the captives. They must face off with the pack of “troglodytes” – inbred cave dwellers that are not actually affiliated with any Native American tribe who lust for human blood.
The Good: *Graphic violence…holy shit. You haven’t seen this type of violence in a western since Django Unchained, and Bone Tomahawk ups the ante. It’s got some violence you have never seen before or could even imagine. It’s some downright medieval torture type shit. The poor kidnapped deputy gets hacked in the taint until the Troglodytes pull him apart after scalping the poor bastard, and his guts spill out. The practical make-up effects are excellent. The characters are likable and it’s a tragedy when some of them don’t make it. Kurt Russell’s character gets f—ed up, but is a total badass. The flask in the wound is just so random, but still cool. There’s a lot of great one-liners that you’ll be repeating long after.
The Bad: It’s pretty slow up until the final act. If they could’ve kept the same pace throughout, it would’ve left most westerns in the dust. The O’Dwyer stop to kiss as they escape. Really? You can’t wait until you’re out of harm’s way? Mrs O’Dwyer has her husband wipe the gore off his mouth before he kisses her. Bitch, he just saved your life. You lick his face clean. It felt very PC that they had the Native American character whom has assimilated into society to stress the fact that these savages are in no way affiliated with any Native American Tribe. Does it make it any more or less offensive to kinda-sorta still infer that they might be?
Regardless of the slow beginning, I did enjoy the film. I thought it was pretty cool that they had the cripple save the day, and what’s more heroic than an underdog?
Total Rating: A-
Reviewed by: JM Willis