There are many films that come out with the lazy journalistic tagging of ‘Destined to become a cult classic’.
This is a total cop-out by the reviewer and usually just means that they can’t concisely describe the film in question, because it hasn’t been made to be genre-friendly, and so they think it might get slowly popular, outside of general cinema release.
Cult classics are indefinable though, and certainly cannot be defined before they’ve even been released. Also, whether something is a cult classic or not depends entirely on the subjective view of whoever’s talking about it. If a film is liked by some fanatical fans, does that make it a cult classic by default? Maybe. Maybe not.
Anyway, that’s what Bone Tomahawk – which is an out-and-out Western – has been called, and for one reason only. The reason is because something utterly horrendous happens in it. I won’t say any more than that, because I want you to watch it but, it involves this guy:
More importantly though, and the reason you should’ve already decided to watch it by now, it also involves the guy at the top of the page. Kurt Russell.
It may be that Kurt Russell is the most suited Western actor ever to have lived.
I know, I know, “Clint Eastwood! John Wayne!” etc. Clint was amazing, but I think Russell is more entertaining to watch. John Wayne defined a certain kind of film, but he doesn’t own the Western, not since people started making ‘real’ Westerns, where people walk, talk and act like real people. John Wayne’s characters don’t exist in the real world, and if a Western isn’t real, then it loses credibility.
Kurt Russell is the sheriff of a small town, with only a few men around, that is attacked at night by cannibal savages, known as Troglodytes. They are (like the pic above attests) awful, and no good will come from going after them, but they’ve kidnapped the pretty lady doctor, so there’s no choice.
The ensemble cast is brilliant. Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox are great, and Richard Jenkins’ channelling of Walter Brennan is almost worth watching on its own. It’s the dialogue and days of travelling and bonding that do it though. It’s easy to care about these people, their doubts and the intricacies of their own situations. You always know that shit is going to go down, if and when they find the Troglodytes, but the journey is as satisfying as the destination.
Watch this film, even if you may feel physically sick as a result of doing so. It’s great