Wednesday, February 24, 2016

bone tomahawk

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!
Essentially, late 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 (Matthew Fox).
It’s a 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 missed something?
I don’t think I should divulge any further details… except, perhaps, to say:
a)      that the film IS violent (or, as the Watershed’s blurb describes it: “violent, with a capital V!”),
b)      that it probably contains the most brutal death scene I’ve ever seen in the cinema,
c)       that 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
d)      that 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!

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