Bone Tomahawk is well done for a straight to video feature. The talented cast is good in their B-movie roles.
Cinematography provides a few nice tracking shots. The production design, albeit generic, provides enough set pieces to stage a convincing western flick. The costumes distinguish characters from each other. The practical effects are actually well done.
Everything else is generic B-movie fodder.
The stereotypical cast of characters is composed of noble sheriff Franklin Hunt, the designated redeemable jerk John Brooder, the loyal comic-relief Chicory, and the handicapped hero Arthur O’Dwyer. They’re all thrown into a tedious cliched plot.
The story has a slow build-up padded with unnecessary scenes, illogical moments to throw in narrative hurdles, and implausible scenarios to showcase the travails of a crippled cowboy. In one scene, Arthur is able to find the lair of cannibals who kidnapped his wife after limping across the American southwest aided by a trail of four unremarkable rocks left by his companions.
The movie quickly establishes that these savages are a different faction of Native Americans who are rejected by their own kind. They are actually troglodytes who employ the usual cannibal tricks of the trade – scalping, and dismemberment. Their strength and skills are useless against a crippled dude crawling on the ground armed with a revolver, inexhaustible stamina, and contrivances.
In the end, Bone Tomahawk finishes on its predictable course. It’s not clear what the director is gunning for in this movie. It’s not funny enough to be tongue-in-cheek. It’s heavy-handed to be a straightforward gritty horror western. It takes itself too seriously to be a B-movie parody.
Bone Tomahawk is well made for a straight-to-video flick, and its storytelling offers exactly just that.
Bone Tomahawk is a B-movie straight-to-video horror western flick.