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Context Film / BoneTomahawk

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1[[quoteright:250:]]²²''Bone Tomahawk'' is a 2015 horror western movie, written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. It stars Creator/KurtRussell, Creator/PatrickWilson, Creator/MatthewFox and Creator/RichardJenkins. ²²The plot concerns four men who venture on a rescue mission into InjunCountry, facing a tribe of primordial, cannibalistic cave-dwellers.²²----²!!The film uses the following tropes: ²²* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The titular weapon itself. Despite being more like a club, it's still sharp enough to decapitate people with one effortless swipe. ²* AccidentalTruth: [[spoiler:Hunt's last words to Nick promise that he'll avenge him by killing every last caveman. He later somberly admits to Chicory that it was just a lie to make him feel better in his last moments. But it turns out that that's exactly what Hunt does.]]²* AgonyOfTheFeet: [[spoiler:Hunt slices off the foot of the caveman leader with his bone tomahawk, before doing the same to his head.]]²* AllCavemenWereNeanderthals: The cavemen in the film are superhumanly strong, ugly, and stupid.²* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The cavemen are like a race of animalistic sociopaths. ²* AnAxeToGrind: The bone tomahawk, of course.²* AndIMustScream: The pregnant females in the cave. [[spoiler: They are blinded and all their limbs are amputated.]]²* AsYouKnow: Arthur O'Dwyer's wife tells him how she's not going to go over again how he broke his leg by slipping off of the roof while trying to mend it. Arthur counters that she just did.²* AssholeVictim: Purvis and Buddy. It's hard to feel sorry for them when they make a living killing travelers in their sleep. Nick even mentions that Buddy was such a bastard he completely deserved his awful fate.²* BadWithTheBone: The cannibals use bone weapons, which includes the titular tomahawk.²* BadassInANiceSuit: John Brooder wears a nice, white, urban suit in contrast to the darker and more rural fashions of Bright Hope. ²* BadassMustache: Brooder has a fairly standard mustache, but Sheriff Hunt sports an enormous walrus mustache over a beard.²* {{Bandito}}: [[spoiler:The rescue party's horses are stolen by an all-Mexican gang of bandits.]]²* BerserkButton: Arthur O'Dwyer doesn't tolerate anyone making flirtatious remarks regarding his wife. Especially when it's John Brooder. {{Justified}} since she's just been kidnapped by cannibals and Brooder is being particular insensitive, not to mention O'Dwyer is extra-stressed from his injured leg and fully aware he is a burden to the group. ²* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Arthur, Samantha, and Chicory escape from the cavemen, and the remaining troglodytes were most likely killed and thus neutralizing the threat they posed to Bright Hope, but Hunt probably died with them, leaving his wife a widow.]]²* BodyHorror: ²** The female troglodytes are mutilated.²** The cavemen themselves are examples of this as well, as they have a tradition of drilling animal bones into their bodies as clothes. ²* BolivianArmyEnding: [[spoiler: Sheriff Hunt is last seen dying of a gunshot wound to the stomach, preparing to make a LastStand. In the last scene of the movie, Chicory and the O'Dwyers hear three gunshots, and assume that Hunt got the last of the cavemen. It can be inferred that Hunt finally died after doing so, it just happens offscreen.]]²* BreedingSlave / BabyFactory: [[spoiler:The cavewomen are literally nothing but baby factories, because all of their limbs are cut off and their eyes are cut out.]]²* BriarPatching: [[spoiler: Sheriff Hunt and Chicory pretend to try to chug down whiskey before the troglodytes can get it, but in reality, they want their captors to take it and get poisoned]].²* TheCameo: ²** That's Sean Young as the wife of the mayor.²** B-movie stalwart Sid Haig as the older bandit.²** Noted character actor James Tolkan as the drunken pianist.²* CannibalTribe: The troglodytes. And seeing how they're all blackout inbred, they also qualify as a CannibalClan. ²* CatchPhrase: Chicory says, "It is the official opinion of the Backup Deputy Sheriff..."²* ChristianityIsCatholic: Justified as Arthur O'Dwyer is presumably of Irish ancestry.²* ContemporaryCaveman: Well, not exactly modern day, but relatively so.²* CoolGun: Aside from the standard [[TheWestern Western]] arsenal of Peacemakers, Schofields, and Winchesters, there's O'Dwyer with his fancy nickel-finish Merwin-Hulbert revolver, including the first-ever onscreen depiction of this pistol's unusual reload. ²* CoolOldGuy: While Sheriff Franklin is not exactly in his prime, the title goes to Chicory: apparently in his late sixties, or even early seventies, but can still keep the pace and provide help. [[spoiler: He even survives in relatively good shape.]]²* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: Poor Nick.]] First he gets his scalp removed which is forced down his throat with a hammer and chisel. He is then held upside-down and takes several hatchet blows to his groin which makes it easier for two of the tribesmen to split him in half by pulling on his legs.²* TheDeterminator: Arthur O'Dwyer, who insists on participating in the rescue party in spite of a broken [[spoiler:and eventually gangrenous]] leg.²* DistressedDamsel: While two men were also captured, the focus of the film is on Mrs. O'Dwyer.²* DoomedHurtGuy: [[spoiler: Subverted. Arthur O'Dwyer is one of three survivors at the end.]]²* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Brooder, the TokenEvilTeammate, tears up when he has to put his loyal horse out of its misery.²* EvilAlbino: The cavemen are all permanently slathered with this white ashy substance from head to toe so they blend in with the sand of their hunting ground. ²* EvilWeapon: The bone tomahawk is one gnarly-looking and brutal weapon. ²* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Sheriff Hunt, Brooder, and Nick all come to terms with their impending deaths rather quickly.]]²* {{Fingore}}: When Hunt tries to [[spoiler:break out of his cell to save Nick, a cannibal casually slashes at his hand to make him stop.]]²* FlayingAlive: [[spoiler:The cavemen scalp poor Nick.]]²* ForTheEvulz: The cavemen's brutality has nothing to do with tradition. They are pure evil, plain and simple. ²* FreudianExcuse: Brooder's parents were murdered by Natives when he was ten, and this led him to become the racist, cynical {{jerkass}} Indian hunter that he is.²* FromBadToWorse: The rescue party was already on a suicide trip, but [[spoiler:getting their horses stolen]] was the final nail in the coffin. ²* GenreMashup: A horror movie with a {{Western}} skin.²* TheGhost: Bright Hope's drunken doc, who could not see patients and therefore forced Mrs. O'Dwyer into the mix.²* {{Gorn}}: What puts the "horror" in horror/western.²* GoryDiscretionShot: However, most of the violence is either off-screen or downplayed heavily, except near the end.²* TheGunslinger: Brooder is the quickest draw of the rescue party.²* GroinAttack: The cavemen tear open [[spoiler:Nick's]] junk and try to shoot Hunt in the dick with a repeater. Thankfully, they don't understand [[Main/IncrediblyLamePun cocking]].²* HandicappedBadass: ²** Arthur O'Dwyer insists on coming along despite his broken leg. He is largely a burden to the group [[spoiler: but is actually the most effective of them in the end, managing to kill 4 of the cavemen entirely by himself.]] ²** [[spoiler: Sheriff Hunt kills the final three cavemen offscreen, as we hear three gunshots at the very end, despite bleeding out and dying.]]²* HappilyMarried: The O'Dwyers, despite snarking at each other, are quite clearly in a loving and happy marriage. ²* HelloNurse: The lovely Mrs. O'Dwyer is the town nurse and back-up doctor. ²* HellIsThatNoise: The only form of communication the cavemen have are an absolutely inhuman roaring sound that can echo for miles. It turns out they make this by forcing an animal's trachea into their throat. It becomes a plot point when several characters are alerted to their presence by this call, and when [[spoiler:Arthur rips out one of the trachea to use as a whistle lure.]]²* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler:While Mrs. O'Dwyer and Chicory are screaming and bawling as Nick's brutal death unfolds before their eyes, all Sheriff Hunt can do is stare with a speechless but fuming expression.]]²* HollywoodTactics: Invoked by the nurse: ''"This is why frontier life is so difficult. Not because of the Indians or the elements but because of the idiots"'' - the stupidity of the cavemen made them easily to entrap by modern people with handguns. Arthur got two of them despite being caught asleep, crippled ''and'' with revolver unloaded. The reason there was a plot at all was people did a whole string of mistakes, since they could not anticipate [[HumanoidAbomination what they were dealing with]].²* HiddenDepths: In spite of being a rather scatterbrained and socially ignorant old man, Chicory turns out to be a former soldier with quite a bit of medical knowledge.²* HoistByHisOwnPetard: ²** [[spoiler:The only reason Arthur is able to slaughter the cavemen is because he lures them out of hiding with a throat whistle he cut out of one of their corpses.]]²** [[spoiler:Hunt also uses a bone tomahawk to kill the caveman leader.]]²* HumanoidAbomination / HumanSubspecies: The cavemen are inbred to such an extent that they qualify as mutants. ²* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: Aside from having a badass name, the bone tomahawk is both an extremely effective club, and an extremely effective hatchet all in one. ²* InbredAndEvil: The cavemen are as evil and as inbred as you can get. ²* InjunCountry: [[spoiler:Caveman and Mexican country, it turns out]].²* ItCanThink: The cavemen are such savages they aren't even regarded as human, but [[spoiler:the leader actually does learn very quickly how to use a gun in the climax, unfortunately for Sheriff Hunt.]]²* IWillOnlySlowYouDown: Both subverted and played straight. O'Dwyer insist on marching with his pards even though he is crippled, while Brooder stays behind with his repeater after he is wounded.²* JerkassHasAPoint: Brooder is explicitly treated as the bad guy when he guns down the two travelers in cold-blood, but even Hunt agrees that they must pack up on the off-chance they were bandit scouts. [[spoiler:Then it turns out they were all along.]]²* LastStand: [[spoiler:Brooder and Sheriff Hunt each stage one]].²* LoveTriangle: Brooder is still in love with Mrs. O'Dwyer. He proposed to her before she married Mr. O'Dwyer.²* MadeOfIron: As part of their mutations, the cavemen can tank through almost any attack unless it's directly to the skull. One even survives getting shot square in the throat. ²* ManBehindTheMan: It's implied that the mayor's wife is the one who is actually running the town.²* MercyKill: [[spoiler:Five gunshots are heard right at the end of the film, even though there were only three male cavemen left. This implies Hunt also put the women out of their misery too.]]²* MonsterMisogyny / NoWomansLand: All cavewomen are blinded and quadruple-amputated, seen as nothing but [[Main/BreedingSlave Breeding Slaves]] by their inbred sons. ²* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: The antagonists are 1, cavemen, 2, Indians, 3, cannibal natives, 4, mutants, and 5, zombies (See OurZombiesAreDifferent).²* NobleBigot: Brooder might be a racist {{Jerkass}}, but he's ALighterShadeOfBlack when pit up against the villains of the movie. ²* OffWithHisHead: [[spoiler:Hunt decapitates the caveman leader with his own bone tomahawk.]]²* OnlyAFleshWound: While the most grievous injuries receive appropriate attention, many other injuries seem to cause almost no damage. Brooder is stuck in the shoulder with a knife and seems to instantly forget about it. Chicory is also shot with an arrow through the wrist, pinning it to his thigh, which receives no attention thereafter. ²* OurZombiesAreDifferent: The cavemen really are just realistic zombies when you think about it. They're completely mindless rabid animals who have zero form of communication, are only effective in hordes, are so inbred they're basically [[Main/HumanoidAbomination Humanoid Abominations]], can only be killed by a shot to the head, and are strictly cannibalistic. ²* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: The film strikes a balance between this and DeliberateValuesDissonance, acknowledging the antiquated values while still presenting a remarkably progressive Old West:²** The town's resident Native American is called "the Professor." He's well-dressed, fluent in English, articulate and seems to command some respect in the community. Even still, he must contend with Brooder being a renowned killer of Indians.²** It's implied that the Mayor's wife is the real authority in the town, but she must act through her husband, who has the official position. Hunt addresses her when he needs something done, but she insists that he make his request to the Mayor. ²** Mrs. O'Dwyer is allowed to see patients in lieu of the resident male doctor, though she must still be escorted through the street when her husband is not available.²** The two black residents of Bright Hope have lowly positions, but no one displays any racism toward them. When the stable boy is killed, one of the white residents laments his brutal death (although his employer seems more concerned about the missing horses).²* RedHerring: [[spoiler:The dynamite is a fake ChekhovsGun. They bring it. Brooder is left behind to use it in a last stand. Yet it was never used.]]²* RedRightHand: The cavemen's horrific mutations stemmed from generations of inbreeding. ²* RRatedOpening: Despite a gory discretion shot, there are gruesome deaths within the first five minutes, making it clear this is not your typical Western.²* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler: Brooder is the first of the posse to be killed.]]²* {{Sadist}}: The cavemen aren't just dumb animals, they're straight up sadistic psychopaths. They are as needlessly brutal and torturous as possible. ²* TheSavageIndian: A twist on the standard trope. The tribe is actually a family of in-bred cavemen. A Native American man explicitly states that Native Americans do not consider them kin, instead calling them "troglodytes." Southwestern (Paiute) Native American legends tell of giant, ogre-like cannibal humanoids who lived in caves.²* ScatterbrainedSenior: Chicory is a lovable ol' coot. ²* SkewedPriorities: Wallington is more concerned about his stolen horses than the fact that three people were kidnapped and another was murdered. ²* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''Film/TheBurrowers'', as a horror/Western GenreMashup dealing with the conflict between a search party posse and a group of non-human man-eating monsters.²* SwissArmyWeapon: The bone tomahawk has a blunt end that makes it double as a club. ²* TapOnTheHead: [[spoiler: Chicory and Sheriff Hunt are both knocked unconscious for at least several minutes. They seem none the worse for wear]].²* TokenEvilTeammate: Brooder is the most unlikable and ruthless member of the posse. He has a reputation as a merciless killer of Native Americans, including [[WouldHitAGirl women]] and [[WouldHurtAChild children]]. He also proves quick on the trigger when he suspects people to be threats, which might help the posse out when [[spoiler:he kills a bunch of likely bandits]].²* TorturePorn / SplatterHorror: The film is filled with the most sadistic {{Gorn}} imaginable. ²* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Chicory and Sheriff Hunt have no idea what kind of mess they have gotten into by jailing Purvis.²* VillainOpeningScene: We're introduced to the villains attacking some bandits before we're introduced to the heroes.²* TheWestern: It's got a sheriff, a posse, Mexican bandits, a (never seen) drunken doc, and savage Indian-like people. ²* TheWorldsExpertOnGettingKilled: [[spoiler:Brooder, an accomplished Indian hunter, is the first of the group to die]].²* WeirdWest: Inbred cannibalistic cavemen aren't your usual Western villains.²* WouldHitAGirl / WouldHurtAChild: Discussed. Brooder admits to killing Indian women as well as men, reasoning that women can also fight. He goes out of his way to mention that children can fight too... It shows how thoroughly Brooder hates them.²* WouldntHitAGirl / WouldntHurtAChild: Chicory rather blithely comments on how he couldn't fathom harming a woman or a child immediately after Brooder admits that he has. Sheriff Hunt tells him to shut up.²----


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