A Cannibal Western. Delightfully disgusting.
Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins, and Matthew Fox star in this star-studded western adventure about a group of gunmen on a mission to rescue three people, which were taken from their town of Brighthope, by restless Native Americans…or something else.
As it turns out, the natives are definitely something else; brutal, inbred cannibals. They’re absolutely vicious in a way that even those who braved through Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno may have a hard time stomaching. There is a scene in which a man is scalped, then forced to eat the scalp, has his groin beat into a pulp, until he is finally split in two. Yes, that is a scene in a movie, and yes, it is just as disgusting as you imagine.
The film relies on a very slow moving plot and excellent character development. At just over two hours, you really get a feel of who these people are throughout the course of the film, and you are therefore able to truly care about them and the people they are so dedicated to saving. The dialogue is perfect, and the lines are always well-executed; but what else would you expect from such a strong cast? Kurt Russell, in particular, is great and confident as ever as lead deputy, but it is my opinion that Richard Jenkins steals the show. His character adds a level of warmth in an otherwise cold and gritty movie. Notable also is Patrick Wilson as the dedicated husband, stopping at nothing to save his wife from her captives.
There aren’t many scenes of gore, but when they hit, they hit hard. I don’t think I need to elaborate any further on that as I’ve already stated the most brutal scene in the movie; possibly one of the most brutal scenes I have witnessed in recent memory. And I’ve seen a lot.
We also get some great cameos from Sid Haig and David Arquette. Is anyone not in this movie? Also, who the hell did the casting on this film!? (I know the answer, but you get what I’m saying.) They did an incredible job. I’d also like to point out that Kurt Russell’s beard needs to appear more in film. Here, he looks like an old western version of MacReady from The Thing, and we get to see even more of it in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. More, Mr. Russell, more!
If you like westerns, watch this movie. If you like great acting, watch this movie. If you want to see a horror western…well, come on man, just watch this damn movie. Buy it on BluRay or DVD. It’s that good.
An excellent plot held up by an outstanding cast, featuring some intense practical FX. Don’t skip this movie.