Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bone Tomahawk

           If you like westerns and you're looking for something different, this is the film for you. Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler, on the surface it's a simple story of a rescue but Mr. Zahler takes that simple premise and throws convention out the window. Without any "A" feature credits to his name, Mr. Zahler has assembled a high caliber cast including Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Lili Simmons, Richard Jenkins, and Matthew Fox and gives them a script that is destined to become a midnight cult classic.

           Mr. Russell is the sheriff of "Bright Hope", a town that harbors a terrifying danger just a few days ride away. David Arquette and horror film veteran Sid Haig set things in motion when they trespass across some kind of ancient ceremonial plot in the mountains. Mr. Arquette finds himself wounded in Mr. Russell's jail being attended to by Ms. Simmons. When they, along with a deputy disappear, Mr. Russell forms a four man posse to search for them. Mr. Wilson is Arthur O'Dywer, Ms. Simmons's  husband who, despite a bad leg wound is determined to find his wife. Richard Jenkins is "Chickory", the grizzled old deputy and Mr. Fox is a dandy ( his clothes match the color of his horse) who is also a skilled gunfighter. The four men ride off with no idea what they are about to encounter.

            The characters are familiar yet original and don't fit together in any way that makes sense. The dialog is very original and filled both with unexpected humor and deep thought. What the men find in the mountains turn the story incredibly violent and gory during the last part of the film. Be warned that one scene, in particular, is like nothing you've ever seen and quite gut retching.

             Everything about this film is unusual (even the song played over the credits deserves a close listen) but somehow it all works and is quite entertaining (except maybe that particular scene) in it's own weird way.

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