August 21, 2016

Bone Tomahawk

S. Craig Zahler, 2015
Bone Tomahawk is going to appeal to viewers that aren't necessarily into the Western genre. It's a pleasant surprise, the great writing grabbing you right away and not letting loose until the end. The violence is going to surprise you. The gore is going to startle you. The performances are going to inspire you.

There are things that were done in this film to the human body that I didn't necessarily want to see at any point in my cinematic journeys, but regardless of seeing said cannibalistic atrocities - this film was an absolute thrill. These are the best films; the ones that sneak up on you. The ones that you weren't bombarded with marketing day in and day out. Everywhere you looked: billboards, television commercials. This is a pure indie shot on a $1.8M budget and somehow managing to cast Kurt Russell, David Arquette, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and an UNRECOGNIZABLE Richard Jenkins. Jenkins was really the exceptional performance in this film. It took about 20 minutes of screen-time to recognize him. There's not much to the story, really. A group of a men set out to rescue a local man's wife and a sheriff's deputy from a tribe of "savages". A template for a lot of standard Western fare, but boy is Tomahawk different.

Zahler does a fantastic job of getting you to despise the brutal tribe that attacked the small town of Bright Hope. You are begging for vengeance, praying for a positive outcome. And when you finally confront the unforgiving Troglodytes, they make the film almost feel like a Western Mad Max or something. There are so many movies that have been made that have these disturbing moments in them. Irreversible, Requiem for a Dream, Human Centipede, Funny Games. They take you so far that you don't want to revisit them again. There's nothing beneficial to go back to. But Bone Tomahawk is interesting, because some of the images shown are on par with some of those barbarous moments in the aforementioned movies. But Bone Tomahawk is a movie that I will almost certainly want to revisit at some point in the future.

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