Director: S. Craig Zahler
Writer: S. Craig Zahler
The movie opens with criminals Buddy (Sid Haig) and Purvis (David Arquette) getting brutally attacked after stumbling upon a burial site. Purvis manages to escape with his life but, unfortunately, the same can't be said for poor Buddy. We catch up with ol' Purv as he enters Bright Hope, a small frontier town. The back-up Deputy, Chicory (Richard Jenkins) noticed Purvis burying some stolen items and alerts the Sheriff, Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell). Franklin and Chicory confront Purvis at the local saloon and end up shooting him in the leg when he tries to escape.
The Sheriff calls on Samantha O'Dwyer (Lili Simmons) to see to Purvis' injuries as the town doctor is drunk. At some point during the night, Samantha, Purvis, and another Deputy are kidnapped by what they can only assume are Indians. After learning from a local professor that this particular tribe has cannibalistic tendencies, Sheriff Hunt and Deputy Chicory head out on a rescue attempt along with Arthur O'Dwyer (Patrick Wilson) and a very fancy John Brooder (Matthew Fox).
That, folks, is the long and short of it, in terms of what's going on in this movie. So what'd I think? Well, I'm glad you asked...
As soon as I heard this movie categorized as a "horror-western", I was in. It's definitely not a genre that you see very often. The movie is just a straight Western, most of the time, but has some fantastically gory scenes that almost made me lose my lunch.
I am shocked this is the Zahler's first film considering how beautifully shot it is. It's over two hours long, but is paced so well I didn't even notice. The casting is perfect and the dialogue is wonderful. There's an entire conversation about a flea circus - how can you beat that?! Do yourself a favor and check out this great horror-western.