Monday, January 18, 2016

game on.

These games.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

the power of voodoo

Very weird to be penning something (semi) serious on here but heyho, nice to keep you on your toes.

I felt that David Bowie's passing deserved at least a mention but what can I say about Bowie‬ that hasn't already been said by people so much more eloquent than myself....except maybe THANK YOU for making growing up for those of us who've ever felt a wee bit different or alone much more bearable.

Here as a wee tribute is my overview of Labyrinth which is quite possibly one of THE greatest movies of all time.
Oh and it's one of the very few films I've taken a girl to see where I haven't been dumped immediately afterwards.
Which has happened far more often than I care to remember. 
Originally published in the first issue of Multitude of Movies magazine (go now and buy back issues, I'll still be here when you get back), last year sit back and enjoy probably the only thing I'll ever write that isn't full of childish innuendo and an abundance of 'mooth shite-in' references.
Change is as good as a rest I guess.
Oh and as an added bonus there's a prize for anyone who can list all the Bowie references scattered throughout.

Labyrinth (1986).
Dir: Jim Henson.
Cast: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, some Goblins, a wee baby and Ludo as himself.

1986 was a fantastic year to be a young film fan, sixteen years old and preparing for life in the big bad world (well art school at least) and a myriad of classic releases taking in everything from sci-fi sequels (Aliens) to horror redux (The Fly) via Hannibal Lecter's first big screen appearance to help ease any concerns or worries.
Yup, definitely a year with something for everyone.

There was one movie that year though that seemed somewhat out of place and time, an odd mix of children’s musical fantasy and (PG friendly, thankfully) coming of age sexual symbolism usually found in the works of Angela Carter (whose Company of Wolves had made it to the screen two years earlier).

A movie that scarily dared to mix not only one of the worlds most celebrated musicians, arguably at the height of his success and armed with the most terrifying codpiece in the history of cinema with a shed load of friendly-faced Jim Henson creations but have the audacity to cement the whole thing together with a story by TV funster Terry Jones who at this point appeared to be more interested in channelling Maurice Sendak than Monty Python.

To call it a risky venture would seem a fair appraisal but in the days when creativity ruled over accountancy and imagination was king it comes as no surprise that not only did the movie get made but that, with hindsight, it's widely regarded as a classic of it's kind.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...


And for those sad, lonely few not familiar with plot...

The totally self absorbed but utterly gorgeous Sarah (Jennifer Connelly, fresh from befriending bugs in Dario Argento's Phenomena) is spending a lazy afternoon, as she does day in and day out, reciting lines from her favourite book – also named 'Labyrinth', spooky eh? – to her pet pooch in the park blissfully unaware that it's nearly seven o' clock and time for her to return to humdrum normality and babysit her scarily big headed brother Toby whilst her cuddly dad and harsh faced stepmum (isn't it always the way?) head out for a night on the town.

Arriving home wet, dishevelled and late alongside a mud covered mutt it's not too surprising that Sarah and her stepmum get into a blazing row regarding responsibilities, acceptable waistcoat fa..fa..fashions and babysitting resulting in our heroine, who being immune to her elders consultations, storming off to her room as the adults flounce off to the bingo or whatever it is that eighties parents did on night outs with a thinly veiled threat of some being made on their return.

Sprawled across her bed with a face of fizz and a head full of teen angst Sarah dares to imagine how her life could get any worse before realising that it already has.

Brace yourselves dear reader because her favourite teddy bear, Lancelot, has gone missing from her room.

Stomping around the house in a manner usually reserved for club footed drunks and soon-to-be superstars, Sarah soon finds her furry friend in Toby's room and cries out in anger at her tiny step-sibling which, in turn causes Toby to start crying loudly whilst evacuating all the snot from his tiny body.

Luckily Sarah is an old hand at babysitting and decides to use the oldest trick in the book to calm the troubled tot.

You know the one I mean, it's when you stiffly (and loudly) make up a story where a besotted Goblin King falls in love with a beautiful china (skinned) girl whose annoying brat of a brother mysteriously vanishes leaving the girl to enjoy her bear obsession in peace.

It may come as a surprise then to discover that this is exactly what happens because bizarrely enough the owl silhouetted in the serious moonlight on Sarah's window ledge is, in fact, Jareth, the flamboyant King of the Goblins who in an attempt to win Sarah's hand (and probably the rest of her too) has actually granted her wish.

Realising that this possibly wont go down to well with her folks Sarah begs for him to return Toby but Jareth, being a tricky Goblin kind of guy and literal lad insane instead transports them both to the ominous Labyrinth (see what they did there?) where he promises Sarah that in order to see Toby again she must not only solve his diabolically complex conundrums but also do battle with various scary monsters (and sundry super creeps) whilst making it to his castle within thirteen hours.

And if she doesn't?

Then tiny Toby will be transformed into a goblin.


Sarah, ignoring the fact that she's under pressure, tries to reason with Jareth but soon comes to realise that it's as useful as putting out fire with gasoline so decides to take the challenge.

But will our heroine succeed in her quest?

Go on, take a guess.

After building a successful working relationship during the production of the fantasy adventure The Dark Crystal, Muppet guru Jim Henson and acclaimed fantasy illustrator Brian Froud began work on concepts and ideas for a second film together after a discussion in the back of a limousine on the way back from a screening of the aforementioned movie, bringing in children's author Dennis Lee to pen a storyline that could be used not only as the basis for the script but also as a tie-in novella.

With this treatment completed in late '83 Henson (on his daughters recommendation) hired ex-Monty Python prankster Terry Jones to pen the first draft of the film's script.

Reportedly Jones “didn't get along” with Lees poetic – and unfinished – piece and returned to Froud for inspiration, not only to his artwork but also to the artists almost frightening knowledge of goblin law and legend, particularly their penchant for stealing babies.

Drawing heavily on these illustrations as well as the recently published Maurice Sendak book Outside Over There for inspiration (the film actually acknowledges Sendak in the closing titles) Jones' much darker script passed through various other writers hands, including those of executive producer George Lucas and Henson stalwart Elaine May, with at least twenty five versions being written before production began in 1985 although Jones receives solo screenplay credit.

Apart from the tonal shift from Jones' original story the biggest change came with the casting of David Bowie. Mysterious and unseen in the original drafts and planned to be realised in puppet form, Jareth The Goblin King now took centre stage.

In Henson's mind Bowie was the perfect representation of “the sexuality, danger and the disturbing aspects of the adult world” whilst in return the singer saw Labyrinth as the perfect chance to return to the music-writing aspect of films and after his work on The Hunger, Cat People and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence was delighted to be involved in a project aimed at children “of all ages.”

With a team comprising of puppeteers ranging from veteran performers Frank Oz, Dave Goelz and members of the Fraggle Rock and Sesame Street team to newcomers poached from TV's Spitting Image alongside a myriad of circus performers, acrobats alongside soon to be stars such as Danny John Jules and Warwick Davis, Labyrinth began shooting at Elstree Studios in April 1985 and took five months to complete which, when you realise that the majority of effects were achieved 'in camera' seems a remarkably short amount of time given the films scope and scale.

In fact it still holds the world record for the largest panoramic back-cloth ever constructed for a film as well as being the first motion picture to feature a fully realised CGI animal in the owl from the films title sequence.

Which is slightly bizarre yet strangely in keeping with the feel of the movie.

Editing duties were shared between John Grover (credited), Henson and Lucas with the director hoping the collaboration would achieve the right balance between his own 'softly softly' approach and Lucas' 'faster, more intense' school of film-making.

No doubt poor Grover was sent out to fetch the coffee.

With a score by South African born synth wizard Trevor Jones, whose career in film began with the John Boorman take on the Arthurian Legend Excalibur and with whom Henson had previously worked on The Dark Crystal complemented by five new songs from Bowie hopes were high for the films success with the production being featured everywhere from The New York Times to the late lamented Starlog via Billboard Magazine with emphasis being given not only to the films massive scale and non-human cast but also to David Bowie's return to the screen.

Add to that a budget of $25 million and the pulling power of Henson, Lucas and Dame David things were looking rosy for Labyrinth and the film opened in North America on 27th June 1986 followed by a staggered worldwide release (remember them?) culminating with a prestigious royal première on 1st December 1986 with the Prince and Princess of Wales in attendance.

Unfortunately critical reaction was mixed, with praise being heaped on Henson's imagination and the films bold visual style whilst bemoaning its lack of originality in its plotting.

Bizarrest of all though must be Gene Siskel's review in the Chicago Tribune which accused the film of being visually ugly and overtly violent with the baby in peril plot being an “unforgivably sleazy gimmick.”

Which is nice.

Only managing to claw back half of its budget during its U.S theatrical run, Labyrinth's commercial failure of the film demoralized Henson to the extent that he never directed another movie, which must rank alongside Ken Russell's inability to secure funding and Michael Powell's ostracising after Peeping Tom as one of cinemas great crimes.

Well that and the success of The Babadook obviously.

The golden years of Henson's imagination fuelled fantasies were over.

And the world would be a darker place because of that.

But just as Sarah managed to find her way through the films Labyrinth so the viewing public finally discovered this hidden gem, thanks in part to it's availability on home video (big oblong plastic things that used to house movies in the dark old days – ask your mum or dad) and, in the early 90's through it's screenings on the newly created Disney Channel. Even the critical response to the film had softened somewhat since its initial release with even the formerly frumpy Chicago Tribune calling it “...a real masterpiece of puppetry and special effects, an absolutely gorgeous children's fantasy movie."

And thanks to child friendly cinema shows and its original audience becoming parents themselves Labyrinth is now more accessible than The Dark Crystal, with each new generation it's audience grows as more and more children fall under Jareth's spell. Only recently I had the pleasure of experiencing the film on the big screen with my own children who, alongside both parents and podlings in attendance were spellbound for the entire running time, almost hypnotised by the events on screen.

Except during 'Magic Dance' obviously when they all went batshit, dancing in the aisles and chucking their younger siblings around like sacks of spuds.

The biggest measure of it's new found success though must be The Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball, held every year in Los Angeles since 1997. An event which has grown from merely celebrating the movie to an art event in it's own right, featuring as it does circus performers, a myriad of entertainers and art over a two day period.

Jareth himself would be proud.

But what of the future for The Goblin King, dear Sarah and Toby?

What of their lives after Labyrinth?

Unfortunately for those wanting more a mooted Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean sequel was dropped at the discussion stage, mutating as it did into MirrorMask (taking with it ideas for a Dark Crystal prequel on the way) partly due to Lucasfilm co-owning the rights to the movie and George not needing the cash but probably more likely to do with the fact that he was annoyed that no-one had asked for a Willow sequel.


As luck would have it a sequel did appear in 2006 when Tokyopop, the American distributor and publisher of all things anime and manga (amongst other things) released a four-volume comic series Return to Labyrinth to much fan praise but mostly critical apathy.

The more things change eh?

Written by journalist Jake T. Forbes and illustrated by Chris Lie, Return takes place around thirteen years after the events of the movie and this time centres around a teenage Toby and his bond with The Goblin King.

Unfortunately whilst its premise may be sound it suffers somewhat from an overuse of pop culture references (everything from The Wizard of Oz to Star Wars via Star Trek: Voyager) which only works to date the piece and alienate the non geek readership in a way the source material didn't, which is a shame as the plot, as cliched as it may seem improves with each volume and brings the story arc full circle adding closure to Sarah and Toby's relationship.

And beyond that?

Who knows though with modern cinemas almost undead attraction to devouring it's past don't be too surprised if a remake is announced over the next few years with a post rehab Justin Bieber as Jareth alongside a hideously expensive fully CGI realised cast of creatures.

God what a depressing thought.

I should really cheer myself where's that baby I'm meant to be watching?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

frightening things.

It's that time of year again when hundreds of horror 'enthusiasts' (plus the usual half dozen sweaty, high waisted folk who live at home with their disabled mums - who, by the way will never die!) descend on my fair city ready to soak the streets (and seats) with the unmistakable smell of sweat, shame, semen and tears for a celebration of all things fright and gory-full.

Which can only mean that our lovely pals at Frightfest have announced the line-up for sunny Glasgow.

And what a line-up it is!
Kicking off with the by now traditional Thursday night pre-fest film (especially for all you soft southern shites who are too feart to go to the pub) THE FOREST, this year promises a record thirteen films, a selection of unmissable (probably) shorts, guests, give-aways, a sneaky peek at Paul Hyett’s HERETIKS and a chance to buy me a drink to show me how much you like the t-shirt design this year.

Well, it's worth a punt.


You should be.

So, as Jennifer Anniston used to say "Pay heed to my words for here is the science!"

Which means here's a list of the films on show.

First up (at 9pm on Thurs 25 Feb fact fans) is the UK Première of the aforementioned THE FOREST starring Game of Thrones smirking sexpot Natalie Dormer as a young American woman, Sara, who is desperately searching for her twin sister in and around Japan’s most haunted location, the spookily monikered (yet amazingly high Scrabble scoring) Aokigahara Forest.

"Put it in me!"

For those of you who don't know the famous forest, which is just below the northwest base of Mount Fuji and across the road from the big Aldi superstore has always been linked to the Japanese belief in the paranormal, especially those legends pertaining to the 'ubasute' (ghosts of old women abandoned by their families - a bit like your mum) and the 'yurei' (those of lonely suicide victims).

But what, I hear you cry do these supernatural spooks have to do with the Sara's sisters disappearance?

Expect bumps, bangs and the best tree-based horror since The Evil Bod.

Which has been turned down again by the organisers for being just too crap.

Oh well, there are plenty of DVD's still available for anyone who's interested.

Evil Bod...Not as shite as the remake and only a fiver to buy. Bargain.

Anyway on to Friday’s first fright and another UK Première, this time it's the tongue tripping THE HEXECUTIONERS, director (and sometime holiday specialist) Jesse Thomas Cook’s trouser-soiling story of state sanctioned euthanasia where the young and inexperienced Malison (Liv Collins, daughter of drummer Phil and ex-Eastender Michelle) alongside seasoned suicide specialist Olivia (Sarah Power) are sent to the remote estate of the mysterious Milos Somborac, whose deathbed wish is to die via the Tibetan death ritual known as the Yotar Sky Burial.

Which sounds fairly legit if I'm honest.

Sexy redhead in sensible knitwear?....Check! That'll be the best movie of the weekend sorted.

Soon tho' the real reason as to why this arcane method has been chosen becomes clear as the death-dealing duo find themselves fighting a whole host of scary spirits whilst attempting to look good in a variety of sensible knitwear.

How can you possibly follow that? I hear you cry.

Easy, is the answer, with the UK Première of Sonny Mallhi’s ANGUISH, which has been described as the creepiest and most resonant American independent horror since It Follows.

Blue is the warmest colour.

Which is a shame really but to be honest there's no way it could be as arse-numbingly awful as that so I'm actually quite looking forward to it especially as the main character is a troubled teen with a dissociative identity disorder which makes her susceptible to seeing dead people.

Which is nice.

A quick fag and toilet break may be in order before the next film wish is the much-anticipated (it says in the press release and who am I to argue?) World Première of Stephen King adaptation CELL starring John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, everyones favourite freaky foster kid Isabelle Fuhrman and - wait for it - STACY FUCKING KEACH!

Stacy Fucking Keach.

When a powerful signal is broadcast across the worlds mobile phone networks worldwide, every user’s mind is dangerously re-programmed turning them all into crazed killers.

Think that woman who plays Candy Crush on the train opposite you every morning but with better teeth.

As civilization crumbles and the bloodthirsty ‘phoners’ attack anything that moves it's left to artist - how cool is that? you hardly ever get artists as the hero, I love it already - Clay Riddell (Cusack), a man desperately searching for his wife and son alongside a ragtag group of survivors - including Tom McCourt (Jackson) to battle against the high as a kite horde whilst looking for the mysterious 'Raggedy Man’, a man (who is raggedy) who may just have the answers to what the hell is happening.


Next up is the Scanners-tastic THE MIND’S EYE, directed by Joe (Almost Human) Begos.

Set in snowy 1990 New England, this big smoochy lip-smacking tribute to David Cronenberg (when he was good) and Brian De Palma tells the story of telekinetic fugitive Zack Connors (Begos regular Graham Skipper), a man who can move and destroy objects with his mind.

And probably undo ladies bra's but I'm not sure.

The Mind's Eye...Just not this one.

Picked up by the authorities our hero is sent to a research institute run by the diabolical Doctor Slovak who, despite promising that he’ll reunite Zack with his girlfriend Rachel (The Woman's Lauren Ashley Carter) is in reality using his patients to create a synthetic mind-control serum for his own power-crazed use.

As you would too if you're honest with yourself.

Rounding off (as opposed to polishing off) Friday is the European première of Tyler MacIntyre’s love letter to Frank Henenlotter, PATCHWORK.

"Scabs roon' mah mooth!"

More lie back and bitch than Lilo and Stitch, this sexy spin on Mary Shelley mixes gore and guffaws to comic (horror) effect as three young women - queen bitch Jennifer (Tory Stolper), airhead Ellie (Tracey Fairaway - so close) and button-nosed weirdling Madeleine (Maria Blasucci) wake up after a night out to find themselves not only in a strange laboratory but also hastily stitched together in one body.

Discovering that they share thoughts as well as arms and legs (but not alas three arses) will the women manage to co-operate long enough to not only make their escape but extract shevenge on the mad scientist responsible for their condition?

You'll just have to wait and see.

Or at the very least wait till someone else has seen it and ask them.

There's time for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle in your crummy, lice infested hotel room (you'll not sleep, the couple next door will see to that) before Saturday's programme burst into action with the Scottish Première of Roar Uthaug’s water-based disaster epic THE WAVE.

Norway's biggest hit of last year - and a Scandinavian smash to boot - The Wave finds bearded geology bloke Kristian working at an early warning centre in the small town of Geiranger keeping an eye out for rockslides, lost sheep and the like.

Here come The Belgians!

Unfortunately the calm and quiet is soon shattered when the a fjord called Geiranger (bless you) breaks (you can tell that geology was my strong point at school) creating an 85 metre high tsunami.

Expect damp seats, woolly jumpers and children in peril.

Next up is a slice of pie that is the portmanteau horror SOUTHBOUND, five interlocking tales of terror from the makers of (gulp) V/H/S that follow the fates of a group of travellers over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.

Southbound....and we all know what that means.

Promising supernatural horrors haunting a pair of blood bathed blokes, an all-girl band discovering the true meaning of family values, a home invasion and a botched rescue mission, Southbound should have something for everyone.

Everything that is except arse-kicking martial arts action possibly but fear not because it's followed by the high-kicking Hong Kong hit SPL2: A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES.

Less Strictly Come Dancing more violently come on my face.

Director Soi Cheang's tale of Thailand’s criminal underworld sees undercover Hong Kong cop Kit isent to a terrifying Thai prison after his cover is blown during a botched operation where or bowl-haired hero discovers that the jail is really a cover for an organ trafficking ring run by a group of sweaty bad men.

Luckily there's one honest guard in the prison (and he's played by Tony Jaa - how lucky is that?) setting the scene for an top-tier, turbo-charged excuse to watch grown men kicking seven shades of shite out of each other in a variety of ever more amazing ways.

There's just enough time for a quick wee before director Johannes Roberts presents the European première of his spooktacular shocker THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR.

Distraught after losing (as in he died, not in a McCann way) her son, India-based antiques dealer Maria (Walking Dead's Sarah Wayne Callies) discovers a dark rite (there's always one) that will let her to say goodbye to her dead child and hopefully find closure.

Unbeknownst to her husband Michael, she travels to a remote temple (tho' probably not by public transport) where the it is said that the barriers ’twixt the world of the living and the dead is at it's thinnest.

Being a girl tho' Maria messes up the ritual allowing the spirit of the evil goddess Myrtu to enter our realm and roam the earth once more.

Now Maria must protect her daughter Lucy from this netherworld nasty whilst trying to explain all this to my nan.

Ramping up the gore factor by 73.6% is Can Evrenol’s (Can Evrenol what I hear you ask....who knows?) Turkish delight that is BASKIN

"I think I'll have strawberry milkshake!"
 Packed to the rafters with bizzaro chills, an atmosphere you can cut with a knife and lashing of perviness, Evrenol’s mental mix of everything from Coffin Joe to H.P. Lovecraft and HP Sauce possibly (via Argento and Barker - Clive not Ronnie) promises a terrifyingly taunt tour-de-force of ultra-violence and extreme horror that sees an unfortunate police squad stumble upon a Black Mass being performed by a nightmare cabal of subhuman cannibalistic freaks with a thing for imaginative blood ceremonies. 

And frogs.

Jack the lad need not apply.

A wee history lesson now as we travel back to 2008 and Pascal Laugiers  MARTYRS, controversial on release it's best known for having a top plot, a great beginning, shocking middle and incredibly satisfying ending.

Unfortunately Laugiers decided to stick another ending on top of that which turned a nice little religious shocker into a tediously overblown 'O' level dissertation into the existence (or not) of God that managed to piss any goodwill or enjoyment you may have had up the wall.

Now our American cousins come to the rescue (in much the same way they did in WW II) with the UK première of the highly anticipated remake.

Directing siblings Kevin and Michael Goetz have promised a bold reimagining of the source material rather than a slavish remake so this might be worth a look.

Or then again, it might be rubbish.

Two Martyrs yesterday (that probably only works if you say it out loud).

Either way there wont be much time to argue about it as this year’s (Henry) cavalcade of carnage climaxes with a bloody big bang of heavy metal fuelled murder and mayhem with the UK première of Sean (The Loved Ones) Byrne’s THE DEVIL’S CANDY, which by all accounts is meant to be rather good.

Rather rubbish artist (is there a theme this year?) Jesse Hellman (Ethan Embry) alongside his wife Astrid (Ex-All Saint Shiri Appleby) and metal-head daughter Zooey (Kiara - I belong to - Glasco) moves to a house in Texas, unfortunately (for them that is) the house has a violent past.
Owen Wilson - The pikey years.

 By that I'm assuming that bad things happened in it and not that the actual house itself got up off its foundations and ran amok, tho' that would be worth seeing

It's not long before his paintings start taking on a darkly disturbing turn when a drifter called Ray turns up on their doorstep wanting to move back into where his parents tragically died.

Nope, sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

And if that list of frankly magnificent movie mayhem isn't enough to tempt you then frankly you're beyond help.

Tho' I'll forgive you if you buy a T-shirt.

FrightFest Glasgow runs from 26th and 27th February and tickets are available here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

meat is mulder.

In anticipation of the return to our screens of The X Files here's a celebration of the best* fan art on t'interweb.



Friday, January 1, 2016

mack the knife.

Caught up with this on it's limited release after it closed Fantastic Fest in Austin (thanks Colin).

No idea why I'm bothering writing anything except 'see it now' because it's frankly magnificent but heyho I get paid by the word.


And a happy 2016 by the way.....

Bone Tomahawk (2015).
Dir: Steven Craig Zahler.
Cast: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons,
David Arquette and Sid Haig.

It's the dust covered and shite smelling 'old' west in the arse end of the 1890s where robbery obsessed double act Arch Hall and Warren Oates (Arquette and Haig) are planning a well deserved break after a busy month of attacking and killing any travellers they come across on the western plains.

Unfortunately (especially those looking forward to dear old Sid taking a lead role) the pair are themselves attacked by assailants unseen.

Oates is killed but a terrified Hall manages to escape to the nearby town of Pensnett-on-the-Plains where he hides himself in the local saloon.

Not being local tho' (and stinking of piss) it's not long before his presence (and odour) comes to the attention of the local Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Russell, no introduction necessary) and his forgetful "Back Up Deputy" Chicory Tip (Jenkins) who shoots him in the leg to stop him leaving without paying his bar tab.

Oh OK then, it's because Chicory saw him burying a stash of bloodstained clothes under a bush.

And they say Govan is rough.

Taking him to the jail (but not alas up the casino) Hunt calls on local doctors assistant Samantha O'Dwyer (Simmons, daughter of Richard) for help, partly to give her a break from looking after her invalid husband Arthur (father of Owen and Luke, Patrick) who's recuperating after breaking his leg falling off the roof trying to adjust the aerial in order to get unscrambled porn but mainly because the town doctor is a drunk who never leaves his house.

Escorted by local sexy man, the mightily moustached John Brooder (Fox), O'Dwyer prepares to spend the night mopping Hall's sweaty brow whilst the menfolk catch up on their sleep.

Don't hustle the Russell.

The next morning Hunt and co. are surprised to find that the town has been attacked by persons unknown resulting in not only the death of a stable boy (as opposed to an unstable girl) and some horses but the abduction of  O'Dwyer, Hall and the young deputy Nick.

Which is nice.

Wearing his best investigating hat (in a change from his Snake Plissken eyepatch or MacReady stick-on beard) Hunt soon discovers a strange arrow embedded in a nearby post.

The wooden type not an internet one obviously.

Assembling a meeting at the pub, the towns very own Native American, known as The Professor, tells those gathered that the arrow belongs to a scary group of primitive Native Americans called 'Troglodytes'.

These cannibalistic cave dwellers are feared by all 'true' Native Americans due to their extreme savagery and love of buttock revealing loin cloths.

Imagine a dirtier, more broken toothed type of Brummie with a lower IQ and you're halfway there.

Hunt, being the heroic type - and being Kurt Russell obviously, decides to organise a rescue mission - against The Professor's advice - and assembles a party to track the Trogs back to their caves.

Not too surprisingly Mr. O'Dwyer insists on joining them despite his gammy leg as does the loyal Chicory and the enigmatic Brooder - who feels responsible as he escorted Samantha that fateful night.

Turns out that Brooder has had run ins with the natives before, killing quite a few in the process and feels that this more than qualifies him for the mission.

Plus he was Racer X in Speed Racer so who are we to argue?

"I can see your house from here Peter!"

The fantastic foursome soon depart into the wilds and as tempers fray and the heat rises are soon bickering between them, Brooder especially seems to revel in the antagonism he causes with in group.

As the band head deeper into the unknown the brave men must deal not only with their own fears and prejudices but with the very idea of their own mortality.

Oh yeah and a band of big toothed bone crunching cannibals just over the horizon.

Reminiscent of both Joe R Lansdale's stint on Jonah Hex for Vertigo back in the 90's and JT Petty's magnificent The Burrowers, Steven Craig Zahler's directorial debut is as near to cinematic perfection as you can find.

Perfectly cast, beautifully shot and as lean as Kurt's facial hair is fancy, Bone Tomahawk is an instant classic and why it hasn't had a wider - oh go on any - release beyond VOD is a mystery worthy of a movie itself.

But enough bitching and more raving.

As previously mentioned (just go back and check the cast list), the casting director for this deserves a special award himself for managing to get such a stellar band of actors together (and that's not including the likes of Michael Pare, Fred Melamed, Sean Young and more in cameo roles) but it’s Zahler’s almost poetic script with it's this tight and taunt dialogue alongside his confident, unflashy direction and almost funeral pacing that really brings home the horror of the groups situation as the whole thing builds toward a darkly intense (and incredibly violent) final act. 

Do whatever you have to to see this, then buy a copy for your nearest and dearest before getting them to do the same.