Clancy Brown (left) and William Mapother gitty up to gruesomeness in The Burrowers.
THE BURROWERS (J.T. Petty) Rating: NNN
Rue Morgue magazine's monthly CineMacabre movie night offers another look at J.T. Petty's flawed but effective western-horror exercise The Burrowers after its local bow earlier this fall in TIFF's Midnight Madness program.
An ungainly but intriguing fusion of The Searchers and Tremors, Petty's subtle creeper (his second Midnight Madness genre-bender after 2006's S&Man) follows the very icky misfortune that befalls an 1879 rescue party racing to find some vanished women in the Dakota Territory.
The pacing could be much tighter, and an attempt at an Iraq War allegory involving a Custerish lout (Doug Hutchison) gets a touch wobbly, but Karl Geary, William Mapother and the invaluable Clancy Brown make a fine trio of frontiersmen, and Petty creates some mighty unsettling atmosphere out there on the plains.
With rumours flying that distributor Maple Pictures plans to release The Burrowers directly to DVD next spring, this may be the last chance you have to see it on the big screen (and with Petty in attendance).
Screens tonight (Thursday, November 20) at the Bloor.