BONE TOMAHAWK Blu-ray Review

Bare and beautiful, like the movie.

Bone Tomahawk is out on Blu-ray as of today (pick up your copy at the below link), and we've spent a lot of ink here at BMD talking about how much we love the "gory good horror western" from writer/director S. Craig Zahler. With that in mind, I'd love a jam-packed Blu, complete with a cast and crew commentary discussing how this long-gestating and fascinating project finally made it to its world premiere at Fantastic Fest 2015. 

Unfortunately, that's not the home video release we've got in this straightforward package with very few special features. There's no commentary available, and if you want to know more about the making of Bone Tomahawk, you'd be better to read Phil's great interview with producers Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller than to watch the ten-minute featurette on the disc. Though too brief and not terribly informative, it's a charming ten minutes, as Sonnier, Heller, Zahler and stars Kurt Russell, Richard Jenkins, Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox wax nostalgic over the film's production and when they each fell in love with Zahler's script. Jenkins calls the dialogue "brilliant" and "genius," and it's hard to argue with him when he calls out as "just sublime" the line "Mr. Brooder just educated two Mexicans on the meaning of manifest destiny." 

Jenkins also discusses the lack of CGI, and the use of practical effects and makeup, another aspect of production that would be well served by a featurette here. Instead we get a very basic poster gallery and the theatrical trailer - but at least we also get one really terrific deleted scene from the end of the film, in which (SPOILER) Jenkins' Chicory watches Samantha O'Dwyer (Lili Simmons) tend to the leg of her husband (Wilson). Chicory tells her to take care of that leg, because a one-legged sheriff doesn't get much respect, "but a sheriff who limps - he's got character." O'Dwyer is pleased and surprised at the idea that he'll take over as the new sheriff, and though the film doesn't strictly need the scene, it's an enjoyable addition to the narrative.

The final special feature on the disc is the Q&A after that Fantastic Fest world premiere, and having attended the Q&A in person, I can guarantee you that it's an enlightening and entertaining session. I do wish the Blu-ray had more to offer, but even if the film stood alone on this disc it would be worth the purchase, as it looks and sounds clear and very sharp, and holds up beautifully on rewatch. Bone Tomahawk is moving, frightening and brutal, and if you haven't seen it yet, pick up the Blu or check it out on VOD as soon as you can.