Bone Tomahawk (2015)
October 23, 2015 11:31 PM - Subscribe

Four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers.
posted by brundlefly (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's rather like an old dime novel. I liked it way more than 'Slow West' (which is a movie length setup for a bad visual pun.) Bone Tomahawk is almost an exercise in politeness among the characters, and I'm definitely going to watch what the writer/director does in the future. The dialog is just superb throughout. Yes there's a bit of 'monster at the end of this book' going on when the movie, after 90 delicious minutes, settles down to it's b-movie promise.
posted by Catblack at 6:52 AM on October 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

I liked just about everything about this movie save for the visual style, or lack thereof. It's not that I wanted flashiness, but it felt like little thought had been put into it.
posted by brundlefly at 1:01 PM on October 24, 2015

I thought the film was superb. It's a constant exercise in raising the stakes -- by making us care about the characters, by demonstrating their competence and relentlessness, and then by putting them up against a group that is easily able to best them. The fact that, at the end of the film, the cavalry is a guy with a broken, possibly gangrenous leg has got to be about the most impossible circumstance I have ever seen -- and yet the film has taken enough pains to demonstrate his intelligence and relentlessness that hope seems just barely possible.

My girlfriend also liked the movie, although she was upset at the death of the deputy. I already knew it was a mash up between The Searchers and Cannibal Holicaust, so I was actually relived the film was as relatively restrained as it was, and I thought the scene served a useful function -- it really established what the stakes were, what will happen to our heroes if they can't resolve their circumstance.

Weirdly, this is the second cannibal western with David Arqette as a minor character (Ravenous is the other), and I think both are great. That just seems to be his genre.
posted by maxsparber at 2:15 AM on October 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ravenous is one of my very favorite movies.
posted by brundlefly at 3:12 PM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

One of the streaming services (Amazon, I think) had this so I watched it the other day. I'd seen some positive reviews and a mention or two here.

Maybe I'm just the wrong audience, but for me it was pretty much a dud. I liked the deputy character (and I agree with the review just above, he could easily be the basis for another movie). The character of Mrs O'Dwyer started out great, but then she just disappeared as a personality, like the writers forgot about her entirely after the start. There was one or two gross-out scenes, but nothing where tension was built up or there was any great doubt how a scene might end.

I also agree with the review that visually it was stilted. Compared to better done westerns, it is really lacking visually (and in the connection of the soundtrack to the visuals as well). Generously, I'd give it a B-, but that is a stretch.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:12 AM on January 12, 2016

I'm with Dip Flash. This barely rose above 'alright' for me. I love Westerns and I love directors who pull pulp sensibilities into the present. As a movie, though, this had a lot of flaws. I loved the script, but it seemed like the actors weren't quite practiced at getting out those often unnaturalistic lines. The ending, as others noted, was also a let down, and the cinematography was nothing special.

Would love to watch the Sheriff and Chicory Show though!

Also, to its credit, my companion did NOT want to watch it, not being into Westerns or grizzly movies at all. In fact, he started to sign up for an HBOGO free trial during the beginning scenes just so we could find something else to watch! He never completed the application though, getting thoroughly wrapped up in Bone Tomahawk.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:36 AM on January 13, 2016

I would have liked to have seen the marriage of this story and the cinematography from The Revenant. I enjoyed this as a smart, creepy, genre-bending thriller, a kind of creepier Predator in the 19th C. American West.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:44 PM on May 8, 2016

I came into this preconceiving another "modern western." Ha! Nice surprise.

As a "horror" movie, it falls into parody-adjacent fare, like modern ironic teen horror movies. This is what Cowboys and Aliens might have aspired to.

Love the detail at the end where the old guy/deputy picks up a hand-fitting rock after escaping from captivity. ... then throws it away without needing to use it. So meta.

This will never be a universally enjoyed film, nor will it be a cult hit, but it'll be one of those films that will be trotted out as a "gotcha - bet you've never seen it, but would probably like... it's got a really good Kurt Russell in it, too."

Russell - feels like he's taken a haitus, but have a bunch of new projects all coming online lately/near future. Wonder if it was his choice, or not?
posted by porpoise at 11:46 PM on June 10, 2017

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