Bone Tomahawk: An outstanding contemporary Western  

Friday 06th, July 2018 / 12:45
By Breanna Whipple 


CALGARY – Canada is a diverse country, an inarguable fact. Not only expansive on a cultural level, but on a geographical level as well. If one were to travel from one side to the other, they’d uncover a vast array of landscapes, values and intriguing roots behind it all. Upon traveling abroad, the very mention of Calgary is often is met with an inquiry for an event we’re all quite familiar with, fondly or otherwise – The Stampede, dubbed as the ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’ that originated in 1886. With over 132 years under our leather-studded belts, no wonder why Calgary and cowboys go hand-in-hand. 

If the rodeo itself doesn’t tickle your fancy, you need not look far to find an adequate replacement in celebrating our city’s greatest tradition. Spanning from July 10-14, The Globe Cinema has curated an all-star lineup of seven action-packed “Old West” films, including both retro Euro-Spaghetti Westerns and contemporary American Westerns. 

Slotted to play July 13 is Bone Tomahawk (2015), a thrilling contemporary western that has yet to be screened in a theatrical setting in Calgary. Kicking off with a vicious throat-slitting, an extremely violent tone is set within the first few minutes of the film. Based around the abduction of the town’s sole doctor by the hands of a band of cannibalistic cave-dwellers described heinous enough to “eat and rape their own mothers,” the small chance of survival for the quadrant of men set-out to rescue the doctor provides an unrelenting sense of dread. With a progression of events resulting in mass amounts of bloodshed and terror, the audience explores the character development of a limited cast and the grueling journey they all undertake. Well-admired and known widely for their works in genre films, Kurt Russell and Patrick Wilson perfectly execute the leading roles and leave little room for error in steering the vehicle of this wearying tale. 

While extravagant praise is often commonplace with film reviews, it is entirely deserving in this case. With an impenetrable story breezing through its 132 minute runtime, accentuated with practical effects that rival the works of Tom Savini in his heyday, there is not a single element in this film that warrants under-appreciation. Not only is this impressive as a stand-alone film, but when put into consideration this just so happens to be S. Craig Zahler’s directorial debut, a feeling of awe is ignited. Establishing some incredibly grounded and delicious stylistics, this film seems crafted by years of experience rather than a first release. Since we’re raising the bar, lets hike it up another notch – it was shot in only 21 days. Though in good company of both new and old with the rest of the 2018 Western Series lineup, inarguable Bone Tomahawk will be a highlight not soon to be forgotten. 


Catch Bone Tomahawk at The Globe Cinema on July 13th, 2018 as part of the 2018 Western Series. For the rest of the lineup, visit 

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