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The Burrowers

The BurrowersGruesome and gory in places, The
is a film that MotorBar would
  not normally consider reviewing — but
  it is so well constructed with a fright-
fest to keep you perching on the edge
  of your seat that we have included it

NOT SURPRISINGLY, THE BURROWERS has gained Official Selection Toronto Film Festival and Sitges 2008 and it is all the more scary because it starts out as a seemingly peaceful western adventure and develops into something, well, grotesquely shocking.

In the Dakota Territories of 1879, Irish immigrant Fergus Coffey (Karl Geary: Stag Night, Mimic 3: Sentinel) is intent on wooing and winning his beloved Maryanne Stewart (Jocelin Donahue), but just when he is confident that she is close to accepting him, he loses her when her family disappears in a brutal attack on their homestead during the night.

The suddenness and the apparent savagery of the raid leads those who discover the bloody aftermath to believe that hostile Indians have abducted the family. Experienced Indian fighters William Parcher (William Mapother: Lords of Dogtown, The Grudge) and John Clay (Clancy Brown) form a posse to try to rescue the kidnapped settlers, but they have reckoned without the real perpetrators — that will make them wish that it had been Indians.

With Parcher and Clay in the posse is naïve teenager Doble Spacks (Galen Hutchison), former slave Walnut Callaghan (Sean Patrick Thomas) and the desperate Coffey. But they have no idea what they are letting themselves in for as they join forces with the army, led by the bigoted Henry Victor (Doug Hutchison: ConAir, The Green Mile, Punisher: War Zone).

The obsessive and callous Victor hunts down and tortures an Indian brave in an attempt to find out where the settlers are being held, but information gleaned from him and from Faith (Alex Edmo), a squaw the posse later meets, gives Parcher and Clay an inkling of what they might be up against from an unknown tribe the Indians call The Burrowers.

And as others disappear under cover of darkness and as mutilated, bloodless corpses and comatose survivors turn up, it becomes clear that every single one of the group is in danger from a fate worse than death by a prey more terrifying than they could ever have imagined — and the truth is even more horrific than they believe.

Worse still, Parcher and Clay now know that only the Ute Indians can control the bloodbath and the army is on its way to wipe out the entire tribe. Will the secret of the Utes die with them or will the two tough frontiersmen be able to stop the massacre and learn how to control The Burrowers?

Gruesome and gory in places, The Burrowers contains one torture episode and some scenes of particular nasty attacks which are all the more startling because of the splendid build-up of the film. The Burrowers is primarily a fright-fest of a horror film, but it is also a fine example of a well-paced and superbly-filmed western — a sort of Lonesome Dove meets Alien meets Tremors. Don't miss it!

The Burrowers also features: Laura Leighton as Gertrude Spacks; David Busse as Young Bluecoat; Harley Coriz as Short Ute; Brighid Fleming as Little Sister; Christopher Hagen as Father; Suzi McLaughlin as Mother; Tatanka Means as Tall Ute; David Midthunder as Dull Knife; Jon Kristian Moore as Big Brother; Anthony Parker as Ten Bears; Cole Resch as Little Brother; R J Rice as Black Bluecoat; Bonnie Morgan as Burrower 1; and Chris Grabher as Burrower 2.

Director of Photography is Phil Parmet; Co-Producer, Key Puppeteer and Special Creature Effects by Robert Hall; Music by Joseph Loduca; Art Director is James F Oberlander; Song All The Pretty Little Horses arranged and Performed by Grant Campbell; and Writer/Director is J T Petty (Mimic 3: Sentinel).

Beautifully filmed on location in New Mexico, The Burrowers is available to own on DVD from 13 July (2009). Distributor: Lions Gate Home Entertainment | Running Time: 93 Minutes | Certificate: 15 | £12.99.

Special Features

The Burrowers: Making A Horror Western | Digging Up The Burrowers: Creating the Monster.

"The Burrowers is primarily a fright-fest of a horror film, but it is also a fine example of a well-paced and superbly-filmed western — a sort of Lonesome Dove meets Alien meets Tremors. Don't miss it!" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"Best Creature Feature since The Thing" — Dean Boor, Gorezone

"Haunting stuff… delivers the gruesome goods that fright-film fans will be looking for" —