Tag Archives: Fantastic Fest 2015

Interview: S. Craig Zahler on Bone Tomahawk

screens_feature6In September 2015, I sat down with writer-director S. Craig Zahler in the bar at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas. His debut feature, horror-tinged Western Bone Tomahawk, was scheduled to play as the closing film at Fantastic Fest that night. We talked about the influences of the film, his approach to shooting its more gruesome moment, and his refusal to compromise on making the film the way he wanted to make it (parts of this interview have previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle).


Richard Whittaker: Was there ever a point where you thought, “I’ll do the soundtrack as well,” because you did everything else on this?

S. Craig Zahler: Well, I did! I did it with a friend of mine, Jeff Herriot. He and I have an epic metal, slightly doom metal band together named Realmbuilder. We’ve been working together forever, and he’s a music PhD, and I knew he knew all the orchestral stuff, and I said, well, I can come up with some melodies, and he can orchestrate it, and we worked on it, and he came up with some melodies and I orchestrated some stuff.

I don’t want to give away any surprises in the piece, but there are certain things connected to the troglodytes that came from me knowing, as I was writing it, there was going to be very little music. I wanted it to be very, very natural , and if it’s not going to be emotional for you, I don’t want to tell you it’s emotional with a bunch of music to pout frosting on it. If it doesn’t work for you, it’d doesn’t work for you, and that’s OK.

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