In the 1890's frontier, a posse is formed to rescue captives from a band of sub-verbal, cannibalistic Indians.
Directed by S. Craig Zahler
Starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, and Richard Jenkins
Initial Review by Lane Davis
In my last review of “Room,” I argued that “Room” was a film that might have been better conceptualized as a small screen format story. In contrast, “Bone Tomahawk” is a movie I’m sure would have been even better if I had seen it as a cinema experience. I would have loved to have seen and experienced the big screen blood and guts with an unsuspecting audience. And the big landscapes and sharply contrasting colors and lights/darks would have been awesome at 15 feet high.
A theater experience probably would have even changed the experience of the pace of the film. A complaint I heard from some was that this movie got a little slow in parts. Maybe, but this is an experience type of film that rewards those who sit patiently and wait with its heroes as they drudge across a sometimes bleak Western landscape. The slow build of anticipation is what makes the final twenty minutes of this film so worth it.
And the pace of the film makes room for some surprisingly good performances. Kurt Russell plays up the Western archetype and I hereby nominate Richard Jenkins for a Best Supporting Actor Mediocrity for his affecting sidekick performance. The “flea circus” scene delivers some unexpected emotional pulp—hilarious, heartbreaking, absurd; it’s like an encapsulation of how this film, like its protagonists, wanders and yet ultimately delivers.
There are two genres that I think reach their maximum potential on the big screen—horror and westerns, and Zahler does a fantastic job of brining out the potential of both in this debut.