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The Burrowers [DVD]
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The Dakota Territories. 1879. A handful of brave pioneers maintain isolated settlements in the badlands beyond civilization. Irish Immigrant Fergus Coffey is near to winning the hand of his beloved Maryanne when she is suddenly taken from him, her family brutally abducted in a nighttime attack on their homestead. Suspicion falls immediately on hostile Indians. Experienced Indian fighters Will Parcher and John Clay form a posse and set out to rescue the kidnapped settlers, taking along a nave teenager hoping to prove himself a man, and ex-slave looking for his place, and their ranch-hand, Coffey. But as men vanish in the night, and horrific evidence accumulates with the dead and dying, the group discovers that their prey is far more terrifying than anything human, and their prospects are fare more terrible than death.
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Not your typical cowboy movie.... Not your typical horror movie....
The only typical thing about this movie is the acts of the white man! Always shoot and kill, then ask questions later.. Sad history we have from our past....
Yet, well worth the watch if you are a horror movie fan!
Monsters are nothing I have seen before and creepy to say the least!
Enjoyed it and in my opinion you will too!
Summing up the movie; good people die, slowly and painfully. Whilst the worst of them get away with hate crimes scotch free. Come to think of it... it's America today. Guess we're all still living in the 1800s after all.
He played well in both movies too.
This was a very well scripted and produced movie a out "burrowing" creatures whom some made mistakes that Indians were coming this horror damage on humans. And this actor whom I recognized, Doug Hutchison, character of a northern Blue military officer, did well to show how bungling a well thought out and planned operation can get by sheer ignorance. He was exactly that playing "Percy" in The Green Mile, bungling up the electric chair for an inmate he hated and wanted revenge on.
This is a well done movie set in the times of the "old west"; a different perspective on "creature features". Only thing they could've done was to dig into those holes to see what they were inside, but guess that wasn't possible in those days.
I recommend watching this intently and have a different perspective on various ways that creature movies can be done in any time frame, including the old west.
As settler's disappear, Indians are blamed, and a posse of locals along with an army regiment head out to search for a missing family of six. Without spoiling the suspense, let's just say that the few Indians the group encounters are the least of their worries.
Plenty of foreshadowing, (where'd that hole come from?) several nasty surprises (for the characters) and a
taut, well acted script....I enjoyed it.
Top international reviews
August the 11th 1879, the Dakota territories, and after a family of pioneers are abducted a posse is formed and go off in search of the culprits. It is believed they have fallen prey to hostile Native Americans, but once out in the wilds the truth hits home and the posse find themselves in a brutal and bloody fight for survival.
It's not like Tremors! That wonderful homage to the B movie creature features of the 1950s is played for laughs and action thrills. The Burrowers admittedly on plot synopsis' does lend one to think that a fun packed creature feature is in the offering, but as many unaware film fans have found out, this is far from being the case.
I would rather walk in the right direction than ride with my head up my ass.
The Burrowers takes itself seriously, and not insultingly so. J.T. Petty wanted to make a Horror/Western but not in the schlocky sense. He even infuses the narrative with some human concerns and statements, ecologically and racially so.
The pace is very, very deliberate, so potential first time viewers need to take that into consideration. Once the plot is kick started in the opening salvo, the posse go out into the wilds and interact, for better and worse, dialogue is sharp and pointed, intelligent even.
A number of great character based scenes are setting the tone for what is a downbeat picture, while when the action comes in tantalising spurts, it's well marshalled by Petty, and it's not just all about the creatures either.
The look is of a classical Western, which considering the modest budget is quite some achievement. From costuming and props, to the colour palette, the film convinces as the Old West of 1879. In this regard it would have been very interesting to have seen Petty make a standalone Oater.
Practical effects are very decent and CGI is wisely used sparingly, though the big showdown at pic's end is something of a let down. Elsewhere Sir Clancy of Brown and Doug The Thug Hutchison are sadly under written, though the face fuzz department scores high marks!
A tricky one to recommend to either Horror or Western fans, but for atmosphere and a great sense of period - and no little amount of originality as well, it's worth checking out as long as you don't expect Tremors. 7/10
The Burrowers is a very well acted film. William Mapother, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jocelin Donahue, Clancy Brown and Doug Hutchison round out the main cast, and they all do stellar jobs. I wasn't all that familiar with Mapother, seems he had an outstanding start to his career with prominent roles in Magnolia, Mission Impossible 2, In the Bedroom, Swordfish and The Grudge, he even appeared in quite a few episodes of Lost playing a character called Ethan Rom. But good roles seem to have really dried up for him in recent years, he definitely has enough talent to be a well known actor. I had only seen Sean Patrick Thomas in the worst of the Halloween films Halloween: Resurrection and Darren Aronofsky's severely underrated The Fountain, he's better in this than he was in those. The lovely Jocelin Donahue who I liked so much as the main star of House of the Devil continues to impress in a very small role, she could become a new scream queen if she chooses to keep working in these type of films. Doug Hutchison plays a very similar character to his role as Percy Wetmore in The Green Mile, replete with handlebar moustache, he plays another loud mouth who's ultimately a weasel and a coward, a role he plays brilliantly. To me he will always be Tooms from The X-Files, he's a fine actor but everytime I see him I can't get the image of him stretching down a chimney out of my head. Finally we have Clancy Brown, a man that even the most casual film watcher would recognise. He was Kruger in Highlander, Captain Hadley in the Shawshank Redemption, Sgt. Zim in Starship Troopers, Justin Crowe in Carnivàle and more recently, Meacham in Cowboys and Aliens. I've honestly never seen him give a bad performance, and along with the other actors, he made The Burrowers very watchable.
Written and directed by J.T. Petty, he's done a great job with this film. His script is a real slow burner, we only see glimpses of the burrowers until over half way in, the first half is much more about the characters and how they interact with one another, and I always appreciate a film that lets us get to know the characters before they start getting bumped off. His direction is confident and even in the much slower first half it's never boring, there's always a sense of dread and the open badlands is a great setting. The cinematography is splendid, there's some brilliant shots of the open vast emptiness of the old west. The film has a sepia look that suits the film really nicely. The budget was just $7,000,000 but it looks like it cost much more, the production values are just about the best I've seen for a film of its budget. The music was an excellent accompaniment, lots of violin and old western type of music. The burrowers themselves are a great design, especially when you see how they were done. It was released straight to DVD, a shame as I believe this would have done reasonable business if released theatrically.
The DVD itself is decent, especially for the price it's available for. The picture quality is fantastic for DVD, at least up-scaled on a Blu-ray player and the sound is above par. There's The Burrowers: Making a horror western and Digging Up the Burrowers: Creating the Monster, neither are on for long but both are interesting. There's English subtitles only.
I've always loved films that mix genres, and I really enjoyed The Burrowers. Mixing horror with a western is still a type of film that hasn't been done very often, Dead Birds was the first I can think of and recent films like Cowboys and Aliens and Jonah Hex have used the western, but they mixed it more with sci-fi. There's quite a few gruesome moments but it's certainly not a film for gorehounds, though the way the creatures feed on people was disgusting. This won't be a film for everyone, it does take a long time to get going and some will definitely be bored, the ending like in so many films also left a little to be desired. It's a film I thoroughly enjoyed and if you like films that mix genres, or you're after a little known and well acted monster movie then this is heartily recommended. If you don't like films that take their time to build character development, then I'd suggest the brilliantly fun and somewhat similar Tremors.
It quickly becomes obvious to viewer that the real culprits weren't the Indians (and if it was this would be a western not a horror film and I wouldn't be watching it) but creatures which live underground. We find out later that they used to live on buffalo but since the whites killed the buffalo in their hundreds of thousands, the creatures have taken to human meat, starting with the Indians and now moving on to the whites.
One of the good things about this film is the characterisation. It's an ensemble piece with no obvious hero and few of the characters are, and please excuse the expression as it's completely inappropriate given the context, whiter than white. Some, like the cavalry captain are blatantly racist and brutal whose attitude to Indians is simply kill them but torture if possible. But even the best of them are at least self-serving and callous or short-sighted. They aren't a particularly nice bunch, just very human really, but they are interesting and the script is well-served by decent actors.
There isn't much in the way of gore but it is deeply brutal and grim in tone which is even better. The creatures are used often but mostly just briefly glimpsed in their appearances until near the end. They are also very effectively done.
All in all, this is a neat, effective and different horror thriller. Well worth a try.
Clancy Brown - irgenwie immer gut und auch Doug Hutchison als Henry Victor macht seine Sache Klasse (Ich wußte, ich kannte ihn irgendwoher -TheGreenMile-).
Das einigermassen gewagte Ende passt auch sehr gut zum Film und das Sahnehäubchen ist der Abspann mit Grant Campbells Song.
Status 'Geheimtipp' würde ich sagen.
Technischer Kram der DVD interessiert mich nicht, daher entfällt diese Beurteilung und es gibt 5 Sterne von mir.