Wednesday, October 20, 2010
THE BURROWERS takes the Western and Horror genres and smashes them together like two brightly colored pieces of delicious tasty play dough. Four cowboy types form a posse to track down the missing family we see at the beginning of the movie that gets attacked by the title creatures, the Burrowers. Along the way our protagonists run across a military outfit run by a crazy Captain who thinks the family was taken to a reservation. The cowboys stay with them until they realize that the Captain is wrong and heads off in the right direction following a trail of strange shallow holes they find around every attack sight. The movie is about figuring out what these creatures are. For most of the movie everyone assumes that it was Indians that attacked the family. When one of them is attacked by the creatures they realize they are in over their head. By this time however its a little too late.
If you like Westerns you will like the attention to detail this film offers. The costumes and speech seem authentic even if maybe they aren't. The cinematography is beautiful but still shows a rough and unforgiving west. The actors seem like they are really in the west in olden times. With the exception of the stereotypical cliched racist Captain all the characters are well rounded and don't necessarily fill typical roles like villain and hero. The good guys aren't perfect. In fact the main character gets scared and pulls his gun shooting at some Indians that were trying to greet them peacefully. He not only made enemies of people that may know how to help, he gets one of his fellow posse members (the KURGAN from HIGHLANDER) killed. You never know if heros will be villains and you are not really sure who is going to live or die. This makes the film unpredictable. That's a good thing.
THE BURROWERS is a dark film. You don't really expect a western to be particularly disturbing but this one is. Its disturbing because the creatures like to paralyze you and bury you alive. The victims are right at the posses feet. All they have to do is look down. You can't sleep. All you do is wait until the little monsters get hungry and dig you up and eat you alive. Don't get caught by the Burrowers is all I am saying.
A few complaints I guess are in order. After all I did say THE BURROWERS was near perfect. The monsters get a little too CGI at the end but its only in a few shots. Also the way the main character finds out that the woman he was searching for is dead doesn't make much sense. At the beginning he gives her a trinket to show his intention of marriage. At the end these Indians show up with a collection of stuff they took off the victims of the Burrowers and of course he finds his trinket. Here is the problem. They find the Indians hundreds of miles away from the initial attack of the family. The Burrowers bury their prey right away. They don't drag them around underground for hundreds of miles. You have to assume that the Indians were near the ranch from the beginning of the movie and traveled all the way to meet up with the main characters at the end. It doesn't seem right to me. Maybe I missed something. I don't know. I have only seen it twice. Do the creatures travel? If they do why would they leave their food behind? THE BURROWERS also drags a little bit towards the end because you are not quite sure where this movie is going and you are not sure if the movie knows where it is going either. It is only a short time and the pace picks up at the finale.
THE BURROWERS is a movie that makes you think. Its a movie about two cultures not working together to defeat a common foe because of fears, prejudices and cultural differences. It kind of reminds me of the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD where the people in that movie get killed because no one cooperates right away with one another. Even though THE BURROWERS ends on kind of a downer you won't be disappointed watching this movie. Its a scary, smart good time. YEE-haw?