Written and directed by S. Craig Zahler and starring Kurt Russell, Bone Tomahawk fits nicely into the western genre mashed together with plenty of horror.
The movie was shot in just 21 days on a low budget of $1.8 million. Despite the obvious limitations of time and money, S. Craig Zahler has delivered a truly scary movie.
Horror fans will enjoy the uncompromising gore, western fans will appreciate the tight dialogue and atmospheric Old West scenery.
What Is Bone Tomahawk About?
Bone Tomahawk is set in the 1890s and the premise centres around two drifters, Purvis, played by David Arquette and Buddy, played by Sid Haig, who are making a living robbing and killing travellers.
Spooked by the sound of approaching horses, they hide in the hills and encounter a Native American burial site. An arrow kills Buddy, and Purvis escapes heading to a small town ironically called Bright Hope.
Murder ensues and Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell) must now lead a ragtag posse of cowboys to rescue townsfolk from the clutches of a deranged tribe of Troglodytes who they believe are responsible for the murders.
These cave dwellers have developed a taste for human flesh and in one particularly disturbing scene, they fillet a cowboy like a chicken breast. And that's not even the worst of what's on offer from the Troglodytes!
As the movie reaches its crescendo, it's Sheriff Hunt and the townsfolk of Bright Hope versus the inbred cannibals. So who will win out? Watch Bone Tomahawk to find out.
Bone Tomahawk Official Trailer
Is Bone Tomahawk Worth Watching?
The majority of Bone Tomahawk is a slow burning story that feels like a traditional western. But come the third act when it gets going, it gets very gory, very quickly.
This is not a film for the fainthearted. The final 45 minutes of the movie is a heart-thumping mixture of horror and tension.
Bone Tomahawk does a great job with this peculiar genre blend to create a superb western horror that has a really high positive rating on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.
With gripping performances from Kurt Russell and the rest of the cast, solid production design, and a plot packed with great characters, this is a trip to the wild west you won't forget in a hurry.
So if you can stomach the gore and guts, you'll find a unique movie which has all the hallmarks of a future cult classic.
What Is The Meaning Of Bone Tomahawk?
According to the Urban Dictionary, the phrase ‘Bone Tomahawk' means “A disgusting and very f**ked up act of violence“.
It represents the theme of the movie insofar as it highlights the causal violence that was rampant on the plains. Especially between European settlers and the Native tribes through the generations at the time.
This is also echoed by Ms O’Dwyer in the movie when she says:
“This is why frontier life is so difficult. Not because of the Indians or the elements, but because of the idiots.”
Bone Tomahawk Cast
Kurt Russell as Sheriff Franklin Hunt
Patrick Wilson as Arthur O'Dwyer, the town's doctor
Matthew Fox (New Amsterdam) as John Brooder, the local gunslinger
Richard Jenkins as Deputy Chicory
Lili Simmons as Samantha O'Dwyer, the doctor's daughter
Evan Jonigkeit as Deputy Nick
David Arquette as Purvis
Kathryn Morris as Lorna Hunt
Sid Haig as Buddy
Sean Young as Mrs. Porter
Fred Melamed as Clarence
Maestro Harrell as Gizzard
Jamison Newlander as The Mayor