S. CRAIG ZAHLER’S BONE TOMAHAWK — A REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Bone Tomahawk is a gruesome western-horror hybrid that has ice-water running through its cinematic veins. Terse, blunt, and very, very cruel, the film was written and directed by S. Craig Zahler (who also contributed to the creepy musical score), and clearly shows a filmmaker in total command of his story and craft. The phenomenal ensemble cast includes Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox, David Arquette, Michael Pare, Fred Melamed, James Tolkan, and Sid Haig, with everyone strutting their gruff and macho stuff. Cinematographer Benji Baski’s strong visual sense is a huge plus, the costumes by Chantal Filson are appropriately grubby and lived-in, and the desolate production design by Freddy Waff aids in the overall sense of menace that the script affords. The film pivots in the third act into truly nightmarish territory, which might lose some viewers, but for those with strong stomachs and an affinity for down and dirty narratives, this will be a shock to the system, and a reminder that unpretentious and thoroughly ass-kicking genre filmmaking still exists just outside the margins of the Hollywood studio system.

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