The Western III Hall of Fame

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Bone Tomahawk (2015)

This reminded me of The Salvation from the last Western HoF, both films have a direct to video feel about them. People talk about old 40s and 50s movies having stiff acting, but damn this had some of the worst acting I've seen. I mean if felt like a day time soap opera in the way they delivered their overwritten lines. And the dialogue wasn't as clever as the writer might have thought it would be. Especially in the saloon scene where all the cast is gathered to discuss going on the hunt for the missing girl, just the way they deliver there lines sounded like they just didn't care. The one character I liked and who I thought was good was David Arquette. Sadly he didn't get much air time as he was eaten off camera

Shortly after I joined MoFo someone told me about this film and I tried to watch it back then:

From the thread: Movies you couldn't even watch
Bone Tomahawk (2015) was the last one, I hate that current style of film making with over done irrelevant dialogue and ultra violence/gore for the sheer thrill of it. I made it to 15 minutes and off it went.
So after watching this the dialogue never got better, it was as fakey as a monopoly money and the violence while gory was fakey cheesy gory. But I was totally surprised that this was about zombie like cannibal troglodytes, wow! I never knew that. I always thought this was a regular western.

As a so bad it's good type of movie I could see people enjoying this with a six pack of Red Bull and a big bag of Slim Jims. But it's not my type of movie and not well done.

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Oh yes, I was waiting for @Citizen Rules to review Bone Tomahawk Totally not surprised that he didn't like it. I think it's OK but like all the films by Zahler, it's way too long for its contents. Drop that stupid leg injury and with it 30 minutes of limping across the desert and it could even be good.
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I even enjoyed it as a western before it changed over.
Even the dialogue between the guy with the bad leg and his girl...and Kurt Russell and his wife, sounded to me so fakey and so obviously overwritten like the writer was trying to emulate Pulp Fiction. And the phrases they used was to modern sounding to me. But like I said I could see people having fun with it.



Oh yes, I was waiting for @Citizen Rules to review Bone Tomahawk Totally not surprised that he didn't like it. I think it's OK but like all the films by Zahler, it's way too long for its contents. Drop that stupid leg injury and with it 30 minutes of limping across the desert and it could even be good.
Yeah it did take a long time for the group to find the troglodytes.

I prefer Joan Crawford's Trog (1970)



Other than the ridiculously violent turn the film takes, I don't remember too much about Bone Tomahawk. But CR's issues with the dialogue sound like the exact same problem I had with Zahler's last film, Dragged Across Concrete. Maybe that kind of writing works better in his novels, but I don't think it translates well to the screen.



I watched Red River last night for the third time. I decided to watch the colorized version just to compare it to the original b&w. I love b&w movies btw...the color version was fun to see but I still prefer Red River in b&w.

This is my old review of Red River which I updated with my thoughts from last nights viewing.

Red River (Howard Hawks 1948)


Red River does a lot of things right and there's a few things I wish it had done differently. Overall it's a fine and powerful western.
First the good stuff:

John Wayne, he's a bastard in this film and a damn good one! He got my 'dander up' and that's a sign of a strong actor. Some people think that he can't act because he always plays the same roles. BS! The man can definitely act and he does vary his performances. He's in top form in Red River.

Montgomery Clift, they could have easily made his character an arch type, wimpy guy, who couldn't do anything right. But here he's tough enough, but fair...He's a quick draw and will use his gun, but he's not cold blooded. He's fleshed out and three dimensional and makes the movie work. He's a unique actor, I like him in the films I've seen him in.

Walter Brennan, Brennan lightens the mood so our senses have a chance to reset and be ready for the next tension filled scene. I always liked him, he adds a lot.

Quo the Native American, yes I'm even going to review him! He paired well with Brennan and also added a lighter touch when it was needed. Thumbs up to the script writer for respecting his character and not making him look foolish.

Cherry Valance, cool name for a character. John Ireland rocks this role. Good story element as he appears to be the antagonist and a direct threat to Montgomery Clift. This really adds tension and excitement. The way his character finally turns out is a sign of an intelligent script.

I loved! the on-location shooting. The film looks so rich and vast with the wide angle shots at the start of the film of the wagon train. Later there's nice wide angle shots of 1000s of cattle on the open range. Very impressive and a hallmark of Howard Hawks, he goes big here!


What I didn't like: The wagon train scene when the girl is shot through the shoulder with an arrow, she doesn't even flinch...she actually smiles. Say what?

The happy ending didn't work for me. We have this huge buildup with Dunson, half crazed with revenge comes into Abilene to kill Matt. After a dramatic fight sequence, the girl (Joanne Dru) gives a speech and then almost automatically they're friends again.

And that seemed cold heartened, Cherry Valance is 'killed' and laying there and they just forget him....and everyone ends on a happy note.

Though, the ending was a forced change thanks to billionaire Howard Hughes threatening director Howard Hawks with legal claims of plagiarism, as Hughes claimed the movie's ending was similar to his movie The Outlaw. Thus the ending was re-edited and changed so that it's unclear if Cherry lives or not. I suspect in the original ending Cherry died as it was written that Cherry kills Dunson in a gun fight. The happy ending might intended to have Cherry still alive, but without re-filming the shoot out there's not an establishing shot showing Cherry alive and well. I blame Howard Hughes for the ambiguous happy ending and not the director or the film.

Still Red River is one of the all time great Westerns.


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Bone Tomahawk

The Western element in this and the horror element in this are actually both pretty stereotypical/follow the guidelines. It's just the fact that they are combined that makes this movie stand out.

And it does certainly stand out, I can't deny it's a well made, written, and engaging film. I never had to check the run length, and it was over two hours long! The acting was good (although Lili Simmons is very stiff as Samantha... I found it hard to believe her part), and score was chilling.

I think the look of this film seemed a little too dark and musty, but at the same time too polished. The gore scenes at the end were shot with a light filter that just looked so fake to me, and I wanted it be more real.

It's certainly an interesting idea, I did for the most part love this... the first half is definitely closer to a 4 or 4.5, but the second half in which we leave all character development behind, drags it down to that (still solid) 3.5.

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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I actually four of these watched and need to write their reviews and, yeah, knock out Best Picture as well
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I actually four of these watched and need to write their reviews and, yeah, knock out Best Picture as well
Slacker!
Meanwhile, I have to do my write up for The Scalphunters 😏



The Scalphunters

Bass just wants his furs back. Joseph Lee just wants his freedom. jim Howie just wants to scalp Indians. Kate? Well, Iím not really sure what she really wanted.
Each character are caught up in said possession of the furs.
This is a fairly pedestrian films that doesnít do any justice to the talent involved.
Burt Lancaster and Ossie Davis are the only standouts here. Shelley Winters isnít given anything worthwhile to do, and seems bored with her role.
In the end, the dynamic between Lee and Bass is the only interesting part of the film.
Bass looks down on Lee. Theyíre both different from each other in terms of personalities. Bass is a gruff hunter who lives by the land. Lee is a intelligent black man who knows his history. Both feel more superior then the other. In the end they have a fist fight where Lee finally stands up for himself, finally earning Bass respect.
He finally shares a bottle with Lee and allows him to ride his horse with him. But unfortunately what proceeds it ruins it.

This was a blind pick that I thought looked interesting because of the cast and the director involved. I should have stuck with my first instinct and stuck with what I was familiar with.
And again....Iím so sorry, guys!



The Scalphunters
...This was a blind pick that I thought looked interesting because of the cast and the director involved. I should have stuck with my first instinct and stuck with what I was familiar with.
And again....Iím so sorry, guys!
No worries, I liked it. Just curious what else were you considering?



The Scalphunters
...This was a blind pick that I thought looked interesting because of the cast and the director involved. I should have stuck with my first instinct and stuck with what I was familiar with.
And again....Iím so sorry, guys!
No worries, I liked it. Just curious what else were you considering?
I had considered The usual Ford films and Wayne films, but I wanted to go with something Different this time. And I came across this on Amazon and thought it looked interesting. Odds of most people having Already seen it seemed low.
I was very hesitant picking a blind nom, but I was really at a loss of what to choose.
Also, this and the previous HOF have made me realize I need to broaden my westerns horizons. Starting that up with quite a few selections in the next month.



I had considered The usual Ford films and Wayne films, but I wanted to go with something Different this time. And I v and across this on Amazon and thought it looked interesting. Odds of most people having Already seen it seemed low.
I was very hesitant picking a blind nom, but I was really at a loss of what to choose.
Also, this and the previous HOF have made me realize I need to broaden my westerns horizons. Starting that up with quite a few selections in the next month.
See I like watching obscure westerns. I just watched one tonight, Copper Sky (1957) it's so obscure it only has a 138 rating votes on IMDB and only 13 reviews. It wasn't the best but I'd never seen another western quite like it.



I had considered The usual Ford films and Wayne films, but I wanted to go with something Different this time. And I v and across this on Amazon and thought it looked interesting. Odds of most people having Already seen it seemed low.
I was very hesitant picking a blind nom, but I was really at a loss of what to choose.
Also, this and the previous HOF have made me realize I need to broaden my westerns horizons. Starting that up with quite a few selections in the next month.
See I like watching obscure westerns. I just watched one tonight, Copper Sky (1957) it's so obscure it only has a 138 rating votes on IMDB and only 13 reviews. It wasn't the best but I'd never seen another western quite like it.
There are a bunch of obscure Spaghetti Westerns on Amazon that have my attention. Sabata, and Sartana series. Also, a few I havenít heard of such as Support your Local Gunfighter and Support your love Sheriff. A Man Called Horse.
April, I have decided, is when Iím going to sit down and watch a lot of these (assuming they arenít removed by then) and maybe put forward a list for the countdown.



Also, reading your western reviews for the countdown has also gotten my attention.
Cool, I'm glad somebody reads it I want to watch a bunch more westerns before the Countdown voting deadline is up. We have two months left now.