Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell) leads a small posse into a desolate region to rescue some people who have been abducted by a cannibalistic clan of troglodytes.
I like horror westerns, such as DEAD BIRDS, RAVENOUS and THE BURROWERS, and this one is a really good example of the sub-genre.
First of all, this film stars Kurt Russell, who is always worth watching, and it has good characterisations, with Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins and Matthew Fox shining in their roles. Fox’s character, for instance, could’ve come across as quite unlikeable, but much of what he does and says is practical and is actually the right thing to do.
A large chunk of the running time focuses on the leads trekking across the desert, and I think these scenes work well, driving home how dangerous and arduous such an undertaking like that would actually be.
With Sid (SPIDER BABY) Haig in a cameo role, well-written dialogue throughout and Kurt Russell sporting a truly awesome moustache, this film also boasts some very disturbing, monstrous antagonists…
The cave-dwelling tribe of cannibals featured in this movie are a truly nasty group of cinematic bad guys: they are covered in dry mud, have weird throat pipes that produce an eerie wail and they are utterly pitiless. The violent action at the end of this movie is jaw-droppingly savage, especially the scene where they scalp and upend a character, then start hacking him between the legs, bisecting him! This is something you don’t easily forget!
BONE TOMAHAWK was S. Craig Zahler’s directorial debut and he’s gone on to write and direct two other gritty, violent movies I like a lot: BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 and DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE.
Here’s Mauricio Ruiz’s concept design for the look of the troglodytes…