Kurt Russell, Western, cannibals. Sold!
Caliber Media Company’s new Western-Horror, “Bone Tomahawk,” was released in October and I just had a chance to view this brutal western rescue. The story is about Sheriff Hunt (Russell) who leads a small posse on a rescue mission to retrieve three people abducted from a small frontier town. But instead of facing banditos, a gang of cowboys or a normal tribe of Natives, Sherriff Hunt is up against a clan of cave dwelling Natives who are described as “inbreds who rape and eat their own mothers.” The local expert on Natives, a “civilized” Indian called The Professor, refuses to go on this rescue mission but points the posse in the right direction.
The movie opens up with Buddy (Sid Haig) and Purvis (David Arquette) as they loot corpses from a camp of people they just killed. This camp happens to be near the cave of these cave dwelling Natives. They flee as a group of horse approach and end up a little too close to the Troglodytes’ (that’s a term The Professor, played by Zahn McClarnon, refers to them by) and Buddy is gutted as Purvis flees.
Purvis ends up in Sheriff Hunt’s town and is taken into custody for not cooperating with him upon questioning of why he is there. The Troglodytes come to town at night take him, a nurse and a deputy from the jail as well as stable horses putting the rest of the movie into motion.
The first forty minutes is slow going as we learn about the posse of Sheriff Hunt, Arthur (Patrick Wilson), Chicory (Richard Jenkins) and Brooder (Matthew Fox). Arthur is the cowboy husband of the missing nurse, Samantha (Lili Simmons) who has suffered a broken leg after a fall off of their roof. His handicap plays a pivitol role in their quest to find those abducted. Chicory is the old backup deputy who dispenses much of the comedic relief with his naivety and morals. But the star character is Brooder, the smart, nononsense, crackshot gunslinger who boasts of the Indians he despises and has killed. He also has a thing for Samantha and this creates some tension between he and her husband, Arthur.
I had higher hopes for the cinematography as they make way for the cave, but the story itself and the interactions between the posse do just fine. The movie is a slow burner with moments of gunfire occurring during the trek before they finally get to the cave. Once at the cave, the story really picks up and so does the horror aspect when we are introduced to just how primitive and savage these cave dwelling Natives are.
I’ll leave it at that, but horror fans should really enjoy the brutal, depravity of these “The Hills Have Eyes” inbred Natives. Andy said it kind of reminded him of the John Wayne classic, “The Searchers” and I’d be inclined to agree with him. It’s like “The Hills Have Eyes” meets “The Searchers.”
Overall, I recommend this for anyone who likes Russell, a violent Western and Horror fans in general. As I said, the movie is a tad slow, but the dialogue and situations on the way to the finale make up for that and the Troglodytes are just plain sick.