If you’re a regular reader of Birth.Movies.Death. you know that we’re pretty united in our love for writer/director/end credits theme song singer S. Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk. We laughed, we cringed, we bought the blu-ray. It’s a truly special film, coming as it did out of nowhere and achieving something iconic on a fairly limited budget, in a rather crowded playing field.
That’s why we’re so in the bag for what sounds, on paper, like a rather goofy follow-up effort. From its title to its premise to its cast, Brawl In Cell Block 99 might fool someone who didn’t know better into thinking it’ll be a skippable DTV effort.
But, as mentioned, we know better.
Zahler tackling the prison exploitation subgenre was exciting news for us back when it was first announced, and today our excitement increases with the report that Don Johnson is in talks to play the prison warden, opposite Vince Vaughn as an ex-boxer convict under his watch. The plot reportedly centers around Vaughn’s character being forced by “his enemies...to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground.”
Again, it’s hard to exactly convey why the Bone Tomahawk team (Zahler and his producers, Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller) making what sounds like a Chuck Norris ‘80s Cannon programmer is legitimately great news. But bear in mind these are the fellas who turned a low-budget “cannibal western” into a double Independent Spirit nominee and an instant classic. That the subject matter of their new film is so surprising is part of what makes it such a compelling prospect. Zahler & Co. have our full trust. Simply put, Brawl In Cell Block 99 is at the top of our most-anticipated list.