‘Bone Tomahawk’ takes place in western ranks with force

Parker Otto

“Bone Tomahawk” took the Egyptian Theatre by storm with its combination of the western and horror genres. Top that off with great performances and beautiful cinematography, “Bone Tomahawk” is an exceptional addition to the Richard Jenkins film series. “Bone Tomahawk” was the latest film screened Tuesday at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second Street.

The movie takes place in the Old West, where three townsfolk are abducted by savage cannibals. A posse consisting of the town sheriff, his deputy, a gunslinger and a cowboy, played by Kurt Russell, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox and Patrick Wilson, is made to rescue the hostages.

The four leads all give incredible performances, and each man is unique. Kurt Russell serves as the leader and the voice of reason among the men; Richard Jenkins is a timid man who becomes more seasoned after participating in the search; Matthew Fox is impulsive and prefers to shoot first and ask questions later; and Patrick Wilson is the husband of one of the abducted who is hell-bent on getting his wife back.

Patrick Wilson gives the best performance of the film. His motivation is easy to understand, and he’s identifiable. His right leg is broken, and most of the time he’s crawling on the ground or using a crutch. Despite his obstacles, he manages to be the hero of the film against all odds. One of the most intelligent moves he makes is when he finds a way to communicate with the cannibals.

Much of the film’s running time is dedicated to the interactions between the posse. There’s never a dull moment between these men, and their conversations increase the audience’s understanding of them.

The cinematography is an essential part of the film, especially given that it’s a western. Many of the shots are wide shots that show the actors as merely small parts of the landscape. It makes them seem like they are truly alone in uncharted territory only relying on their wits and each other. According to IMDb, filming took place in the deserts of California, and they are well-used.

When the men find the hostages and the cannibals are seen for the first time, we see what they do to their victims, scalping included. According to staff member Alex Nerad during his introduction speech, “Richard Jenkins considers this to be one of his absolute favorites, but he warns you that this film contains graphic violence and disturbing imagery.”

Jenkins certainly did not lie, and the last thirty minutes of the movie frighten and suspend. The film is beautiful and arguably one of the most original westerns of recent years. If any western deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as “The Searchers” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” it’s “Bone Tomahawk.”