Bone Tomahawk ★★★★

Cowboys vs Aliens didn't work. Cowboys vs Cannibals does. Worth the price of admission alone for Kurt Russell and his awesome facial hair, S.Craig Zahler's Bone Tomahawk is an unapologetcally violent horror-Western featuring Russell's upstanding Sheriff rounding up his own posse to rescue Patrick Wilson's wife from a bunch of man-munching troglodytes.

Despite a leisurely pace, once the blood, viscera and uncomfortably squelchy sound effects start pouring out the silver screen, things get seriously fucked up.

Add in an intriguing, ever-changing relationship dynamic between the four-man rescue team: the endearing Richard Jenkins as named-after-a-type-of-lettuce Deputy Sheriff Chicory; Matthew Fox (never better) as arrogant and slightly unhinged Injun-killer Brooder; Patrick Wilson's borderline-gangrenous, stubborn-as-an-ox husband of wife/kidnapee Lili Simmons; and holding it all together is the quite frankly awesome Kurt Russell, a welcome presence in any cinematic endeavour, regardless of quality.

Although inflected with a touch-of-the-Tarantinos, what with some of the characters indulging in rambling anecdotes amidst the dark veins of humour and ultra-violence, Bone Tomahawk is very much its own thing. Melding the traditional (as per most modern Westerns, Benji Bakshi’s lensing takes full advantage of the wild Californian vistas; characters are suitably ‘quirky’ and have an arc) with the twisted, S. Craig Zahler’s revisionist Western can satiate our appetite for Kurt Russell until Tarantino’s own Hateful Eight turns up next year.

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