Film: The Burrowers (2009) BUY IT
The Principals: William Mapother. Clancy Brown. David Busse. Sean Patrick Thomas. A few Burrowers. J.T. Petty (who
The Premise: It’s back in the day, when the west was wild and white men were prejudiced towards people of color. Glad THOSE DAYS are over! Oh, there are distorted pink beasts beneath the soil who come up every three generations to stick us with poisoned claws, let us rot while paralyzed, and then eat the living shit out of us. A handful of people think they’re tough and go on a mission to find some missing girls they presume were taken by Injuns. They were ‘Burrowed’, so the joke is on the tough guys.
Man vs. Burrower: ROUND ONE.
“And with the passing of Stephen we can finally consecrate Baldwin Hill.”
Is It Good: Why yes it is. It’s actually quite good, what with some actually solid dialogue and well-rounded characterizations set against a beautifully shot and ably directed backdrop. And there are some nice little moments that’ll make you squirm. It’s a formula film for sure, but it’s a nice spin on the idea and there’s no reason this film shouldn’t have been given a shake at the theatrical circuit. It’s better than every Saw film, every Rob Zombie Halloween film, and a worthy soulmate to underground monster movies the world over.
I’ve seen this compared to Jeepers Creepers and Tremors, which is fine based on the concepts. The great thing is that it’s a nice little (and I mean little) Western to boot. It feels authentic and takes its sweet time telling its story. There’s not a lot of monster action, no doubt partially due to budget but also to keep people invested in the story. The creatures themselves don’t really take a foothold in the cool monster pantheon though you have to applaud the balance of miniatures, people in costumes, animatronics, and CGI. This is a horror flick worth its salt and very well cast. The guy who ends up being the lead reminds me a little of Gerard Butler, which is a good thing.
This is a really worthwhile little horror flick. Glad I finally got around to seeing it.
Is It Worth A Look: Sure. Like Splinter, it’s a really effective little movie we would have idolized (maybe a little too much, but still) in the 80’s.
“What’s that off in the distance?” “Acting jobs.”
Random Anecdotes: For about half the film William Mapother does the unthinkable and isn’t creepy. He makes up for lost time. Sean Patrick Thomas is actually pretty good here, which is weird ’cause he was in a Julia Stiles movie. I have a question regarding Clancy Brown’s character in the film. I’m not sure if he’s going to pull through his injury…
He didn’t have the cachet of Buffalo Bill or Wild Bill Cody, but Irreversible Randy was just as charismatic.