Watching a Western or a Horror Film Tonight? Why Not Both?
The other night I was in the mood for both a horror film as well as a western. I ended up finding a decent combo with Bone Tomahawk. Definitely more of a western than a horror film, but the savage tribe of cannibals they are chasing to save the life of a kidnapped doctor and deputy make for a well rounded horror icon. Specifically their eerie scream that comes from some strange bone in their throat hinting at evolutionary adaptation. Their crazy sharp bone tomahawks are also something to fear, although the way they cut through flesh like butter seems a little unrealistic at times and I began to question the reality of the film. For those that love horror for the bloody massacres, the end will surly satisfy you with a pretty gruesome scene that I’m a bit surprised they didn’t cut away from more. This film definitely satisfies both the horror and western fans.
What’s even more interesting about the horror western combo is the cast. The film starts out with horror icons Sid Haig and David Arquette as thieves casually murdering a group of sleeping cowboys to steal their goods. They flee to find themselves face to face with the tribe of cannibals, which is how things get started. The film then switches to a small town where Kurt Russell as the sheriff, a modern western icon, and towns people such as Patrick Wilson, another frequent horror actor, find their small town life interrupted by these monstrous savages. With a cast like this and others such as Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, and Lili Simmons we are quick to realize that the filmmakers are trying to paint a picture of this western horror film combo.
The film itself is slow, but paced well for a western. Something to be expected, but probably not what horror fans are used to. With that said, inciting incidences are not far and few between making the film enjoyable to watch as the characters deal with more than one conflict in the gritty life of the old west. What adds an extra element to the story is that Patrick Wilson’s character has a broken leg from an incident that occurs prior to the film. Driven by a man needing to save his wife, the doctor, he stumbles around the desert fighting off looters and Indians while in incredible pain the whole film. If the old west wasn’t hard enough to survive in, try doing it with one working leg while in constant pain. Seems similar to another character I wrote in a western script of my own.