Bone Tomahawk

Bone Tomahawk
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May the Lord have mercy and grant you a swift death
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6.7/10 by 416 users
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During a shootout in a saloon, Sheriff Hunt injures a suspicious stranger. One of the villagers takes care of him in prison. One day they both disappear – only the spear of a cannibal tribe is found. Hunt and a few of his men go in search of the prisoner and his nurse.

Title:Bone Tomahawk
Release Date:October 23, 2015
Genres:Horror, Western, Adventure, Drama
Production Co.:Caliber Media Company, The Fyzz Facility, Realbuilder Productions
Production Countries:United States of America
Director:S. Craig Zahler, Barbara Abelar
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:poison, prisoner, murder, rifle, gore, decapitation, redemption, extreme violence, violence, cannibal, captive, capture, indians, cannibalism, cave dwellers
Alternative Titles:
  • גרזן העצמות - [IL]

Bone Tomahawk Reviews

  • An almost classic Western with a fantastic cast, great dialog and gruesome horror elements
    by gogoschka-1 on 24 October 2015

    167 out of 199 people found the following review useful:

    This film is a rather special genre-mix of classic Western themes and gory, insane B-movie horror elements. Films like the quite watchable The Burrowers (2008) and Dead Birds (2004) have mixed those ingredients before with some success, but while those two were undoubtedly B-movies, Bone Tomahawk never feels like your typical straight to VOD genre film.

    What really stands out right from the start is the writing: the precise dialog and never less than interesting characters are what really makes this film a winner in my book. The premise might not be very original - it's Western to the bone (pun intended) and very much in the tradition of great classics like The Searchers - but despite its dark themes, there is so much understated humour in Bone Tomahawk that I felt at times reminded of some of the characters in Jim Jarmusch's films. And Richard Jenkins' character, back-up deputy Chicory, is down-right hilarious. The acclaimed (and Oscar-nominated) actor clearly has a blast with his part, and the same can absolutely be said for the rest of the cast. This is a film that is willing to spend a very considerable part of its running time just building atmosphere and exploring the different characters, and the action/horror moments are actually few and far between. According to some recent interviews with the producers, the excellently written characters are also what drew A-list actors Kurt Russell and Patrick Wilson to the film, despite its micro-budget, and if Russell hadn't been so committed to playing the part of Sheriff Franklin Hunt, the film wouldn't have been made.

    In spite of its tiny budget, this is a quality film that really should have had a wide theatrical release; everything from the A-list cast to the excellent cinematography, sound and production design practically scream for the big screen. A word to the wise, though; after some initial mayhem, the film moves along at a very considerate pace (and at over two hours it's a rather long film), so for those who seek entertainment heavy on action with non-stop shoot-outs, gory thrills and scares, look elsewhere: this is probably not the film for you (and perhaps also not the film that was promised in the trailers). But if you like old-school Westerns with great characters (played by great character actors), great atmosphere and deadpan humour, and you ALSO don't mind (very!) gory thrills, scares and some bloody shoot-outs along the way, I believe you will enjoy this film very much. I know I did: 7.5 stars out of 10.

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  • A fresh, original blend of genres that results in a new cult classic!
    by hammit on 2 November 2015

    153 out of 201 people found the following review useful:

    This film is a great example of what Hollywood is sorely lacking these days: Originality! Like other reviewers have mentioned, this is slow burning western/horror flick that keeps building the suspense until the finale. It's not an edge-of-your-seat thriller that is loaded with action, but it has enough to keep your interest. It has more of a typical western feel to it in terms of character development. The dialogue is spot on for this genre. The acting is superb and plot is genuine. I think that it speaks volumes about the script given the fact that the actors signed on for minimum pay (that means they WANTED to be in this film for the script and plot). The gore is definitely there for the horror fans, although I would say that if you are seeking a lot of gore, you may be disappointed. It does have some that is pretty graphic. I definitely would not let children or even some teenagers watch this, its an adult movie. If you are a fan of westerns, I think you'll like it a lot. If you are a Kurt Russell fan, you will not be disappointed (this was his first western since Tombstone). Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox make an excellent supporting cast and demonstrate their acting skills well. This is a new cult classic!

  • Something Very Special
    by Sir_Film_Fan on 12 November 2015

    136 out of 176 people found the following review useful:

    Just finished this and can't believe there's no buzz... I just HAD to enter a review as its easily one of the best movies of the year. Take a dash of your favourite exploitation film and mix it with your favourite old school western and you almost have Bone Tomahawk. A movie that has a simple premise of love and revenge. It starts out with 4 very different characters traversing the old west frontier on a rescue mission to save a fellas wife who was kidnapped by savages. Hilarious one liners delivered with subtle perfection by our 4 heroes who you will grow to love throughout this adventure. Richard Jenkins character Chicory is especially endearing and it even features horror legend Sid Haig, what a treat!

    However a little warning as what starts out as a western revenge adventure turns into some visceral horror towards the end which may jar some viewers.

    This movie has all of the trappings of a classic and it's really too bad there's not more people talking about it at this point. If you are a genre fan there is no way you will not love this movie. Really something special that I foresee earning cult status, one of those movies we will look back on and wonder how did the public and critics miss this?

    Watch this immediately!

  • Very well-made, very intriguing western/horror film.
    by Red_Identity on 29 November 2015

    86 out of 113 people found the following review useful:

    I expected some sort of comedy-horror/western hybrid, but what I mostly got was a serious western with noticeable horror touches thrown in (until its third act, where the horror becomes even more prominent). I was surprised at how seriously the film took itself, which I now think is a strength. It could have been so easy to just make it yet another goofy horror/comedy, but what we got instead is a very restrained, very well-made, sort of classic adventure story. The directing is on point and there's a great control over the tone of the film. The decision to have so much of the film silent and without any noticeable score was a great decision. The cast is aces and the three real supporting players (Fox, Russell, Jenkins) all get their time to shine without anything being forced.

  • Nice Surprise
    by WinterbornTM on 14 November 2015

    67 out of 90 people found the following review useful:

    Bone Tomahawk is a 2015 western-horror written and directed by S. Craig Zahler and starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins.

    The story follows four men, the town's sheriff (Russell), a cowboy (Wilson), the back-up deputy (Jenkins) and a gunslinger (Fox) who go on an expedition to retrieve a group of captives from some cannibalistic cave-dwellers. The four actors really shine in this movie, giving very good performances, especially Matthew Fox as John Brooder. It's good to see Fox in such a good role, considering he hasn't done that much since the Lost years.

    The movie gives us a very good look at the Old West. As the four men make their journey, we learn more and more about them and their motivations. Sheriff Franklin Hunt is a man who wants nothing more than the safety of his town and is willing to do anything to protect it. Arthur O'Dwyer is a cowboy who has a serious leg injury but still goes into this expedition, because for him the stakes are personal. Chicory is a simple-minded old deputy but with amazing loyalty for the sheriff. John Brooder is a well-dressed well- mannered gentleman who joins the ride because he is a trigger-happy gunslinger with a personal vendetta against the natives.

    The script is very well-written, giving us full tri-dimensional characters. Also the dialogue and the mannerisms feel very authentic, transporting you back to the Old West. As I said in the beginning, this movie is a horror-western, and that really shows in the third act. There are some brutal, gore-scenes that will not be easy to digest (no pun intended) for those faint of heart. One slight negative about this movie is the pacing. Sometimes it feels a little too slow, but not enough so that it will ruin your enjoyment.

    Bone Tomahawk is a very good movie, with an interesting premise and a nice twist on the western genre. It's a movie that could have gone wrong in so many ways, but surprisingly, it doesn't. Sporting some great characters and an intriguing storyline, Bone Tomahawk deserves an 8 out of 10!

  • A Strong Western with the Brutality of a Horror Film
    by MattBirk on 12 November 2015

    48 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

    Bone Tomahawk is about a small group of cowboys who set out in search of a group of cannibals who have kidnapped some of their townspeople, including the wife of one of the rough riders. It may sound similar to a lot of other westerns in the sense that it's a rescue story, which is somewhat true in the beginning. The first half of the movie is a great character drama as it follows the group of four for a few day and nights as they travel to their destination. This is where some people might have a problem with the film and the pacing might become an issue. During this time, we get expanded knowledge about the men involved and I found it rather entertaining because the route to their destination is just as dangerous as the destination itself. Yes, the movie could have been trimmed down by about 10-12 minutes, but it wasn't too slow that I lost interest (like many others I have read did).

    It is during this time where acting comes into play and, for the most part, it's all on point, especially Kurt Russell! To no surprise, he is the highlight of the movie and is no one to be trifled with. He gives a very gritty and convincing performance worthy of his filmography. As well as the three other gentlemen that ride along with him, they all hit their marks (even my boy Matthew Fox from LOST).

    The only real problem outside of the pacing is Lili Simmons' awkwardly dull performance (mostly during her captivity). Normally I wouldn't point out such a small characters performance but it was seriously lacking. It could be because her character was poorly written for the type of situation she was in. For example, why was she so relaxed and showing barely any emotion in such a frightening situation? Yes she could have broken down mentally but that doesn't let her off the hook. Also her line delivery was highly questionable and her overall performance felt like dead weight.

    But it is the final 45 minutes of the movie that will leave everyone talking. Bone Tomahawk explodes into the horror genre with its cannibalistic violence (is this the return of cannibalistic horror movies?). The action is swift, and I mean very swift, it really comes out of nowhere. And this was what I loved most about the movie, you know they are getting closer and closer to unprecedented evil but you aren't quite sure when or where they will strike. It's this trepidation that makes the final third of the movie so thrilling. They're clearly unprepared for the gauntlet that is waiting for them. I won't spoil anything but the movie really doesn't shy away from violence once they get to where they are going. Bone Tomahawk transcends from a slow moving western into a carnage fueled frenzy.

  • A rare, but effective blend of genre's.
    by Neo X on 29 December 2015

    45 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

    My Rating: 7.5/10

    A rock-solid western in the beginning, Bone Tomahawk transforms midway to become one of the most gruesome horror movies this year. It's not an unlikely combination. There have been a few titles in the past that falls under the western-horror category, but not many of them delivered so well.

    Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler, the movie has a smart and tight screenplay. Zahler's story is unflinching and he never dilutes the intensity of what is shown on-screen. He succeeds in maintaining an air of unpredictability throughout the whole feature, and yes Zahler's name is definitely something to look out for in the future.

    The story is set in the American old west, maybe during the end of 1800's. Four men are on a mission to rescue a few kidnapped people from a tribe of inbred man-eating savages. The quartet includes The Sheriff of the town Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell), an injured Cowboy Arthur O' Dwyer (Patrick Wilson) whose wife Samantha O' Dwyer (Lili Simmons) is one among the captives, an armed gentleman John Brooder (Matthew Fox) and the Backup Deputy Chicory (Richard Jenkins).

    The casting is okay but not great. The veteran actors Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins give their best. Russell gives a fine performance as the Sheriff, making the whole premise believable. Jenkins' character Chicory might be the most likable of all and his role feels so natural and belonged in the whole plot. Patrick Wilson does a commendable effort, and so does Mathew Fox. The only character that appears to be misplaced is the town doctor Samantha O' Dwyer played by Lili Simmons. Her performance doesn't seem to blend in the 1800's period.

    The cannibals were nightmarishly original. And their savagery is not just spoken of; rather it is shown in detail. The camera doesn't shift around much when it comes to the bloody violence. The eerie atmosphere together with the unpredictably quick turnarounds makes the feature quite effective. A major plus of this movie is that it sticks to being as realistic as possible. Be it the dialogues, the situations, the acting or even the gut-wrenching violence and gore, Bone Tomahawk is realism to the bone.

    Recommended watch, if you can sit through a good old, slow paced, formal talked western in the former half and all the bloody gore in the later half, but ultimately the movie pays off.

  • Western meets Cannibal, a brilliant classic in modern times
    by shaun7000 on 29 January 2016

    37 out of 50 people found the following review useful:

    In 2015 where we are used to seeing none stop CGI, thin plot, endless action we have the opposite, a real movie gem. It's a classically crafted western that ended up as a brutal cannibal masterpiece.

    At first it does make the audience feel that theirs not much happening compared to general modern cinema but what we do have is quality acting, cinematography and script building up to the shocking and unpredictable end

    I can't recommend this enough, unlike most films of today it's not made for profit it's made for quality film making, something which I fear today is few and far between

    Go watch it

  • So far one of the best horror movies this year
    by Jawaid Khan on 4 November 2015

    59 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

    My title says it all. No other words best to describe this movie other than to say that this is the best horror/western movie this year and i would venture to say that this movie probably has taken the cup for being the best this year. If you are a fan of horror or western movies then you should definitely check it out. Kurt Russel, Patrick Williams give strong performances. All the four main characters describe one simple notion throughout the movie. Russell--A town sheriff who would do anything to fulfill his duty as a town sheriff and bring the criminals to justice. Williams--A loving husband who would do anything to bring his love back even in the face of immense odds.

    There are some scenes in this movie which will definitely shock you being so gory and violent and this is coming from me being a long time horror movie fan who is not easily shocked. To give you an idea how certain scenes will be imprinted in your mind for some time is like when you watched the movie Sinister and there were some scenes that you could not forget for a while.

    Finally do not take my word for it or someone else's and give this movie a try and then decide for yourself. You ll not be disappointed.


  • The Hills have Eyes meets Wyatt Earp !
    by Kin Wing on 28 January 2016

    22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

    I watched this film very tired the other night and found myself sitting up alert immediately !

    Pleasantly surprised I found it an entertaining macabre mystery thriller horror with outstanding performances by a quality ensemble of veteran actors working with good dialogue from a competent script.

    Normally expect relative unknowns to do this type of film and end up with a B-Movie type of re-working of 'Hills with Eyes', but instead of the atomic bomb test in-bread cannibalistic mutants we are dealing with North American cannibalistic Indian savage troglodytes,

    That somehow have avoided being massacred by the U.S Union Calvary Army and take revenge on some trespassers on their Indian burial ground and follow one back to a small town, end up killing and kidnapping some locals including a young woman whose husband, town sheriff, deputy and local gun slinger go in hot pursuit.

    There is some elements from Ravenous 2001, Japanese horror film 'The Audition' with hints of blinding and limb amputations. A quality low budget movie with top notch acting from a first time director who wrote the script.

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