I went along to the Watershed this afternoon (and our friend Sarah was there too) to see S Craig Zahler’s film entitled “Bone Tomahawk”. To be honest, I’d only made up my mind to see it this morning – it wasn’t one of those films that I’d earmarked as a “must-see” movie. I just fancied another trip to the cinema.
On the face of it, it all seemed like a typical Western
movie – you know the plot: a tribe of American Indians is terrorizing a frontier town. But this is no
ordinary tribe of Indians. Certainly not.
These are cannibalistic cave-dwellers called Troglodytes!
one night, the Indians kidnap the local doctor (Samantha O’Dwyer – played by
Lili Simmons), an imprisoned outlaw and the on-duty jail guard and take them
off to their cave in the distant hill country. The town sheriff (Franklin Hunt –
played by the excellent Kurt Russell) puts together a somewhat pathetic posse,
consisting of himself, his ageing deputy (Richard Jenkins), the doctor’s husband
Arthur (played by Patrick Wilson) and a rather sinister, conceited gun-fighter
slow-burning, powerful film (at times, I felt that it was almost too slow) which
keeps its focus and tension to the end. I’m still trying to come to terms with
one particular moment of suspended
disbelief (well, it was for me anyway), when Arthur (the other three had gone
on ahead due to his badly-injured leg) takes an age to perform the minor
surgery of removing a bone ornament from a cannibal’s throat whilst muttering
aloud to himself: “Is that jewellery?”… and then proceeds just to “know” that,
if he blows the aforementioned piece of jewellery, it will make an eerie sound
that will be readily identified by the Troglodytes (and act as a lure or decoy). But, hey, perhaps I’d just closed my eyes at the wrong time and
I don’t think I
should divulge any further details… except, perhaps, to say:
the film IS violent (or, as the Watershed’s blurb describes it: “violent, with
a capital V!”),
it probably contains the most brutal death scene I’ve ever seen in the cinema,
I’m going to be practising my own, ghastly, primeval roar to terrify potential
burglars, inconsiderate car drivers and the like (you’ll know what I mean if
you see the film), and
I feel somewhat silly in not realising that the film title referred to a weapon…
and not to someone’s name or piece of china!
I’ve just read
a review by The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw (who rated it a four-star film) and
he reckons that “cult status could beckon” for this film… and I think he could
well be proved right.
I certainly think this is a film you should see…
BUT I strongly advise not to watch it immediately following a large meal!
3 weeks ago