Blu-ray Review: BONE TOMAHAWK

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BONE TOMAHAWK was written and directed by S. Craig Zahler and stars Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili SimmonsDavid Arquette and Sid Haig.

This western-horror hybrid has an opening scene that sets everything up. There’s two dimwitted scoundrels, Purvis and Buddy (played perfectly by David Arquette and Sid Haig) who are finishing off a robbery where they accidentally stir up something deadly. What they do is trespass on and disrespect an ancient burial ground. This act ends up getting one of them slaughtered while the other one finds a way to escape. Purvis makes his way back to the small town and is drinking it up when Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell) arrives and has a few questions for the scoundrel which ends up leaving the simple thief shot in the leg and behind bars. We also meet Arthur (Patrick Wilson) and his lady friend Samantha (Lili Simmons) who is helping him nurse a crippling illness. Samantha gets asked to go to the jail and dress the gunshot wound that the new arrival has. Once she’s at the jail, the two are kidnapped by the same mysterious figures that we saw in the opening moments of the movie. These mysterious figures are extreme and they’re angry!

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The good sheriff and his aging and loyal to the bone deputy Chicory (played by an unrecognizable Richard Jenkins) end up joining forces with Brooder (Matthew Fox) who is an experience gunslinger, and the crippled Arthur who insists that he go along. They embark on a journey to track down and hopefully rescue their people but they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into. The journey is long, hot and tiring and a lot of personal stories and information is shared along the way but with each step, it’s Arthur who begins to struggle and fall behind. The rest of the group’s journey finally brings them to the cave where this indigenous, cannibalistic tribe calls home. This is also where this western shifts into full blown horror when the brave men come face to face with these monsters to not only try and save their friends but somehow survive the nightmare they’ve gotten themselves into. They have to outwit and outsmart these cannibals and ultimately do so but not without some sacrifice and bloodshed. The mission does get completed but some lives are sadly lost.

Okay, the story for Bone Tomahawk was fascinating and thought-provoking. The dialogue was smart and witty and even included a little dark humor at times. The movie itself was a slow burn at times but so intriguing. It’s a slow burn but in a very good way as we watch these characters and their situation develop. All of the acting was top notch. I enjoyed following all of these characters led by Kurt Russell’s powerful performance as this hardened hero. Patrick Wilson’s performance is also really strong as we watch his character struggle with his physical ailments. The cinematography was fantastic and a really important part of this movie. The scenery and location also looked just right. To finish off all of this impressive work are the special effects that included a surprising amount of blood and gore. The finale definitely has a shock factor to it that included plenty of the red stuff.

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images, and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear.

Bottom line is, Bone Tomahawk was a fantastic watch that ended up being this western-horror hybrid. The movie is a full blown western but these cannibals (and certain key scenes) offer up a terrifying horror element to this amazing movie. Everything about Bone Tomahawk is fantastic but it’s this amazing cast assembled that ends up being the heart and soul of this special movie.The fact that this is S. Craig Zahler’s directorial debut is also really impressive because he captured everything important to make this movie such an amazing watch. This Blu-ray releases on December 29th and is a must watch. Bone Tomahawk is an instant classic and one of my favorites of 2015.

Distributor: Image Entertainment

Run Time: 132 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff!

  • The Making of Bone Tomahawk featurette
  • Fantastic Fest Q&A
  • Poster Gallery
  • Deleted Scene
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