In this episode, we discuss last year’s low budget cannibal horror western, Bone Tomahawk. Starring the great Kurt Russell, this surprisingly great thriller is many things at once: charming, harrowing, stately, witty, and stomach-churning. Featuring a talented cast of bigger names than you’d expect, this starts as a search and rescue adventure yarn and takes a sharp pivot off into grisly horror about two thirds of the way in. Me and Dad discuss it at length, focusing on the greatness of Kurt Russell and Richard Jenkins, the surprisingly florid and literary dialogue (and its surprising historical precedent), the relative morality of shooting first and asking questions later, the ability of great writing to elevate tension, the questionable realism of progressive ideas about race in the old west, the need for more movies to end with songs that explain the plot, how to cannily evade being offensive to Native Americans, and most of all, the use and precedent set for violence, particularly ultraviolence, in this kind of film. Please note that we will spoil the end of this film, and it’s the kind of movie where a significant amount of tension is derived from the question of who will live and who won’t. If you’re listening for a recommendation, I’d say go ahead and watch it, because we both liked it a ton. Just be aware that it gets pretty damn gruesome at the end, but despite that manages to reach a satisfying and cathartic conclusion.

Additionally, at the end we touch briefly on a few recent releases, Trumbo and The Witch. Join us in two weeks time for the next episode, which will be our first Clint Eastwood entry, The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Bone Tomahawk stars Kurt Russell, Richard Jenkins, Matthew Fox and Patrick Wilson and was written and directed by S Craig Zahler. You can watch it on Amazon Prime!



On this week’s episode, Dad and I take a look at the 1960 John Sturges classic, The Magnificent Seven. Starring Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen, this all time favorite inspired countless scores of sequels and imitations, establishing the basic parameters of ‘Men on a Mission’ films for decades to come. But of course, it was itself a remake, of the 1954 Japanese adventure film The Seven Samurai, directed by the great Akira Kurosawa. This episode ends up being about both equally, more or less, which is fair, as Seven Samurai is quite easily as influential (arguably far moreso). Along the way, we discuss the great chemistry between Brynner and McQueen (all the more impressive considering their real life dislike of one another), the importance of a good villain, the more impressive physical feats on display from the likes of James Coburn and Horst Bucholtz, the gap left without the agility and charisma of Toshiro Mifune, the importance of being cool, and the lameness of being the fat, greedy, cowardly seventh member of the team.

One of these days we’ll do a podcast on a not very good film that we can’t recommend, but that is not this day. You should watch both of these films. They don’t just set the tone for Westerns to come, but they’re cracking adventures that are really just fun to watch.

Next week we’ll be changing the pace with a Western released last year, the bizarre tonal contradiction that is Bone Tomahawk. A very traditional western drama that suddenly turns sharply into cannibal horror, this episode promises to challenge the very premise of watching a western with your father. I’m damn excited to see what Dad makes of it.

The Magnificent Seven (1960) was direcred by John Sturges and stars Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Horst Bucholtz, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Robert Vaughn. The Seven Samurai (1954) was directed by Akira Kurosawa and stars Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, and several other Japanese people.