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Review: Bone Tomahawk


Bone Tomahawk has been on my mind for quite a while.

Pics of Kurt Russell in the most glorious beard/OTT tache I’d ever seen had started floating around.

Hateful Eight, we all thought. But no. A bonus.

Kurt was starring in another Western. And I’ve wanted that everyday since 1993. And more… It was billed as a “western horror”.

If that, the tache, and the title, didn’t have you intrigued then frankly you just hate films.

I stumbled upon a Twitter conversation about the film last night. In amongst the “banter”, I was teased that I’d missed it. That it wasn’t due a cinema release until Feb in the UK. Or that it was sat on iTunes if you had an American account.

Hang on a sec, I thought to myself.

*I* have an American account!

I faffed a few years back because Only God Forgives was shafted in UK cinemas – and then again, due to my Ti West obsession (Sacrament).

So here I was. Having US iTunes codes emailed to me so I could download it, in all its HD glory…

…and then Mrs T “made” me watch The Longest Ride. And damn if Scott Eastwood isn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.

Awakening the next day, shamed by the fact something “got in my eye” as Eastwood giddy upped like he was photoshopped, I got down to business.

Bone Tomahawk.

The opening scene had me. A throat slit in horrible close up, reminding me of what could happen next. Reminding me ever so slightly of Ravenous, and how people walked out of my screening of that at Warwick Uni. And also reminding me ever so slightly that The Revenant will soon exist and we can all finally justify why we insist on projecting films in 200″.

So throat cut. Foreboding atmosphere dialled to eleven. A gun shot. Blood. More throats. An arrow through the face… Then my seven year old walked in.

Unusually sensibly, I hit pause as I’m thinking this may not be suitable for him. Much as I want him to love Kurt. (It’s a bit embarrassing to think his intro to Kurt was during Fast & Furious Seven, but… Those shades, right?)

So we jump forward to seven hours later when I sit back down to watch it. Several coffees later at Ma and Pa’s and I’m buzzing. I’M READY.

So we start again. Well, *I* start again. Arsenal/Spurs relegated (hopefully) to the iPad. Uncharted packed away for another day.

It’s just me, Kurt and, Pat… Wait… Patrick Wilson? Patrick Wilson is in this too? Shit! This is my dialled up to eleven. Wait… Sean Young? Sid Haig? Fuck. Tarantino is going to love this more than he loves Hateful Eight!

I wish he was with me. I’d cuddle him and tell him not to worry about the cops bullying him. To remind him that if he can bounce back from The Dogs furore and people not getting Jackie Brown (idiots) – any things possible.

I’d ask him what his favourite Kurt film was. (Bet it’s Tango and Cash).

I’d ask him if thought Tombstone was as great as I do.

I’d ask him what he thought of Bone Tomahawk that for the last hour has pretended to be a western.

Except that’s harsh, because it actually is.

Campfires. Check.
Making people light matches so they can be identified? Check.
Guns misfiring and missing from five yards? Check.

It’s all there. Except, much like The Homesman that I watched last night, tonally it just doesn’t feel “right”. It sits off centre.

Until the cannibals turn up and I’m reminded of how amazing Apocalypto is. This, Ravenous and Mad Mel’s finest hour would make a cracking triple bill.

I won’t spoil anything but if you want the blood to flow, then it surely does.

If you want them to play Cowboys with a straight bat while it’s all happening. Then it surely does.

If you want fingers, feet, heads and… “Winkies” decapitated… Then it surely does. Do’s. Whatever. It hits the fan.

And when it does, I’m sat thinking of all the shit I’ve watched this year – whilst this little beauty sneaks under the radar like nothing I’ve ever seen.

And I’m sat remembering why I love Kurt in the first place.

2007-2015 has been a long time for me. Now I have him in one of the biggest franchises ever. A second Tarantino film in 10 years. And a western that shows you how to anatomically scalp someone whilst still alive. And then cut them in half vertically.

All tastefully done, mind. Green Inferno? Bring it on.

God bless US iTunes and Kurt Russell, eh?!


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