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  • robert56922 November 2008
    I really enjoyed it. It cleverly mixes a Western with a fun creature-feature, striving to keep the best parts of both genres. The way in which the creatures prey on people is very creative and fresh, and allows for some disturbing imagery throughout. The acting, too, helped keep the premise believable, despite how bizarre it starts to get. One of the weaknesses of the film, however, was that it took too long to get going...and felt a little too slow in key parts. The climax, on the other hand, is strong and worth the wait. If you feel like watching an elevated horror film...this is definitely one to keep in mind.
  • For a movie probably pitched as "Tremors in the old West", The Burrowers turned out to be a pleasant surprise, a movie almost better than it has any right to be or at least better than one would expect given its budget and straight-to-DVD status. Unlike the vast majority of western horror hybrids it works so well exactly because it takes its western self as serious, if not more so, than its horror one. Even though it's made like a horror movie, comes with all the generic paraphernalia of one (jump scares, loud sound cues, etc.), and panders to the straight-to-DVD Lionsgate audience more than western loyalists, it still convinces that its western credentials have as much place in it as the horror hijinks, that they're not mere exotic props to be wielded as diversions from the usual clichés of another monster movie. Before the rather forgettable schlock of the finale, the movie has soaked up enough eerie frontier atmosphere of wide open prairies, deserted Indian camps and abandoned wagons, to make the creature feature aspect seem almost redundant. And in doing meets Neil Marshall's The Descent and Dog Soldiers in equal terms. Let's face it, the Old West could be a pretty terrifying place without us having to add supernatural touches to make it scarier 150 years later. This I believe is The Burrowers' greatest success: it earns its horror credentials by remaining serious within its western setting.

    That's not to say it's gonna win any accolades for originality. But it's competently made sufficiently acted and well lensed to hold together at the seams. If the prospect of a western creature feature sounds like something you would enjoy, The Burrowers will rise to the occasion and try and please. If not then it never had a chance with you. Fans of both westerns and horror (two genres that sadly don't mix as often as they should, still waiting for the filmic equivalent of a Blood Meridian to prove it) will have a ball, traditionalists of either will probably cock an eyebrow.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It is difficult to come up with new ideas for a horror movie. Perhaps that is why this movie feels like it has elements of many other well-known movies. Regardless of that fact, this movie is a great piece. The plot develops naturally. Characters are well defined. There is no happy ending, but instead an almost poetic one.

    This is the story of the tough people who made a country, good and bad, and the people they displaced, good and bad as well. Some comments about this movie try to use this forum as a platform for political propaganda (i.e. calling the representation of well documented army history "liberal crap")... do not be fooled. This movie is about story telling, not about political agendas, neither liberal nor conservative.

    The movie does not show as a low-budget production. Photography is very good, sound is excellent, acting is convincing, the screenplay is engaging... this director is a talented person.

    Do yourself a favor: do not miss this one.
  • A surprisingly good film for the horror genre. It's not a truly outstanding film, but it is a fine flick to rent and sip some beers and eat some popcorn while watching. The acting is pretty good in this film save for Doug Hutchison who's a bit over-the-top in his portrayal of the racist army captain. Racial undertones are presented throughout this movie: how whites treat Indians, blacks, and even certain white ethnic groups.

    This movie is really more of Western that happens to have some horror elements thrown in. Go into it expecting to watch a "cowboys and Indians" film and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Most of the violence in this film is man against man rather than man against monster. The "burrowers" themselves are a bit disappointing once revealed, mostly because of the poor CGI. The final battle is not as satisfying as I thought it would be, but the extremely dark and depressing ending was well done. This film is much better than most straight to DVD releases.

  • I really don't get the negative press and review this flick is getting, this is pure gold. If H.P. Lovecraft wrote a western, this would probably be the story. This story doesn't need toe be blood and guts, it isn't relaing on gore, just shear suspense and story. It is a simpel story, but such a well played one. At the start you think you know what will happen, but it doesn't pan out that way at all. As for the whole "evil white men' stick, well the indians weren't treated right, deal with it white people. I think it was a pretty good representation of the times.

    I am sorry if I offend some people, but you would have to b a complete idiot not to love this one. On of the best horror flicks I have seen since In the Mouth of Madness. HP Lovecraft would be proud!
  • On 11 August 1879, in the Dakota Territories, the Irish Fergus Coffey (Karl Geary) intends to propose his beloved Maryanne Stewart; however her family is attacked apparently by the Sioux and they vanish. Fergus joins to the experienced John Clay (Clancy Brown) and William Parcher (William Mapother) and a teenager to track down the family of settlers. Along their journey, the team-up with the army troop led by the sadistic and racist Captain Henry Victor (Doug Hutchison) that also believes that the Sioux are responsible for the abduction of the families in the territory. The quartet has friction with Henry and decides to ride without the escort of the army and the black cook Callaghan (Sean Patrick Thomas) decides to travel with the group. After an Indian attack in the woods, the survivors discovers that the Sioux are not responsible for the slaughters but actually a pack of carnivorous creatures from underground called The Burrowers and they have to fight to survive.

    "The Burrowers" is a creepy, original, weird and brutal film in the environment of the Wild West, with good special effects. However these effects are too graphic and gruesome and most of the characters are non- likable. Doug Hutchison, from X-Files, performs a sadistic and racist captain of the army and his character is really hateful. The conclusion is pessimist and the black humor never works. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "Escavadores" ("Burrowers")
  • The Burrowers is written and directed by J.T. Petty. It stars William Mapother, Sean Patrick Thomas, Clancy Brown, Laura Leighton, Doug Hutchison, Karl Geary and Robert Richard. Music is by Joseph LoDuca and cinematography by Phil Parmet.

    August the 11th 1879, the Dakota territories, and after a family of pioneers are abducted a posse is formed and go off in search of the culprits. It is believed they have fallen prey to hostile Native Americans, but once out in the wilds the truth hits home and the posse find themselves in a brutal and bloody fight for survival.

    It's not like Tremors! That wonderful homage to the B movie creature features of the 1950s is played for laughs and action thrills. The Burrowers admittedly on plot synopsis' does lend one to think that a fun packed creature feature is in the offering, but as many unaware film fans have found out, this is far from being the case.

    I would rather walk in the right direction than ride with my head up my ass.

    The Burrowers takes itself seriously, and not insultingly so. J.T. Petty wanted to make a Horror/Western but not in the schlocky sense. He even infuses the narrative with some human concerns and statements, ecologically and racially so.

    The pace is very, very deliberate, so potential first time viewers need to take that into consideration. Once the plot is kick started in the opening salvo, the posse go out into the wilds and interact, for better and worse, dialogue is sharp and pointed, intelligent even.

    A number of great character based scenes are setting the tone for what is a downbeat picture, while when the action comes in tantalising spurts, it's well marshalled by Petty, and it's not just all about the creatures either.

    The look is of a classical Western, which considering the modest budget is quite some achievement. From costuming and props, to the colour palette, the film convinces as the Old West of 1879. In this regard it would have been very interesting to have seen Petty make a standalone Oater.

    Practical effects are very decent and CGI is wisely used sparingly, though the big showdown at pic's end is something of a let down. Elsewhere Sir Clancy of Brown and Doug The Thug Hutchison are sadly under written, though the face fuzz department scores high marks!

    A tricky one to recommend to either Horror or Western fans, but for atmosphere and a great sense of period - and no little amount of originality as well, it's worth checking out as long as you don't expect Tremors. 7/10
  • Basically a Horror Western with heavy overtones of racial morality.

    But is it worth watching? Well, in my opinion yes. It has suspense, horror, action and of course - cowboys and Indian's, what more do you want? Monsters? Well it's got them too. And yes, it really is as silly as it sounds. But overall, it's a good flick to rent.

    Nothing in this film is top drawer, but it's not far off. The characters are a little over the top with stereotypes, eg. Henry Victor - the Indian hating military commander (quite comical at times, whether this was intentional I don't know), the Irish settler, the 'token' black guy. The overtones of racial morality are present throughout, almost as though this is supposed to be a tale about 'loving thy neighbour'. I can understand why they did this, It's set in the late 1800's and the Indians were the bogeymen at the time, but it's a bit overdone IMO. Anyway, it's not about 'loving thy neighbour' it's about monsters...keeping it real.

    Overall, Cowboys, Indians and Monsters (just missing the voluptuous blond I guess). Grab a few beers and rent this film.

  • Warning: Spoilers
    Good acting, interesting horror plot, and a realistic portrayal of characters and events makes this a compelling low budget film. It's not an action movie and is not particularly frightening, but there are plenty of creative twists and turns and the characters carry the ball. The special effects are adequate to portray what is happening while avoiding a cheesiness common in low budget movies because they don't try to be spectacular. We actually see the rarely seen realism of men shooting with revolvers and missing most of the shots. The idea of being buried alive, then eaten, is sufficiently eerie to lend an aura of horror which is quietly reinforced but not overly dramatized.

    Definitely worth seeing. It drags a bit in the last hour but not much. Underrated.
  • A western horror movie with creatures? Yeah, that's really all you need to know if you want to see this or not. Hey, you may not like it, but at the same time you may love it. I'm in the middle ground.

    Story revolves around a rescue mission of sorts. The native Americans are blamed and that's where the rescue team is headed. Well, during the pursuit, people are mysteriously disappearing during the night. And what the hell are those weird holes in the ground? And why is the young girl they found not reacting to anything? Find out this and more in The Burrowers.

    Like I said before, creatures in a western horror movie. That should be enough for you to make up your mind. If it's not enough, I can say that the creatures are pretty cool and the idea behind them is pretty original. But, you don't see them very often, and when you do, occasionally, they're in CGI form, but not always. And when not in CGI form, they look pretty sweet. My biggest gripe with the flick is....anything non-creature related. I just didn't give a damn about any of the rescue mission or the social-commentary or anything. Call me immature, call me a dumby, but hey, I like me some creatures, and these were pretty cool creatures, so it really grabbed all of my attention.

    The Burrowers was a pretty slick lookin flick, with nice shots of rugged New Mexico, decent music, cool creatures (have I mentioned that??), a gaggle of carefree characters (especially Doug Hutchinson) and a pretty weak ending. The flick is a pretty mixed bag. It's a pretty solid rental, that you may just end up really enjoying. Or not.
  • kosmasp24 September 2010
    I actually wanted to rate it a 6 (out of 10), but I liked the ending so much I had to give the movie an extra point. Plus it does dare to be different. And I think it does succeed most of the times, with combining known ingredients and mixing them up. Of course this is a western, but there is more to it than "cowboys and Indians" (much more and no pun intended).

    Most of the time we do know more than the main actors. And while we do know, it might feel a bit too slow moving for a few people. Of course I haven't watched the short (look in the movie connections on IMDb) or the web series, that are connected with this. It's a great nice idea though, that has some nice acting and a decent enough plot to follow.
  • I heard about this film from "Kim Newman's Video Dungeon" feature in Empire.

    Normally he gets to sort through the straight-to-DVD trash that most (or some) would rather leave to others. However, his "dungeon breakout" selection of the month is always worth a look. This is one such example and is a highly ambitious film that was bizarrely "shitcanned" by LionsGate Films. Especially since they're about to release Saw 5(!)

    I feel the whiff of corporate defecation amidst!? Anyway! Sorry back to the review:

    Great acting, grizzled new frontier dialogue, thought provoking overtones of "injun" racism and amazing vista shots of 1800's Dakota plains. Plus a "beastie" that preys on all of them!

    Okay, so yes maybe it's contains some horror. but at it's heart is a great epic. Highly recommended and a lot more related to "good country for old men" or "The Proposition" than "the Thing" or "Tremors". But if you expected a trashy "short sharp shock" horror movie then don't say I didn't warn you.. p.s. this is NOTHING like tremors! :P
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This Movie keeps you alert and on edge with an excellent choice of unusual creatures that make sounds a lot like The Predator, but are way more dangerous. It's a horrible way to die, being eaten while paralyzed but fully conscious.

    I liked the explanation of their having existed since before humans came on the scene, and subsisting on the then millions of Bison, and since we were the primary cause of the reduction in Bison numbers, well then, we're the Main Course for them now. A really good movie. Preferably it should be watched in total darkness for the Creepy Effect.
  • The first half is a bit dull with it's constantly having the characters (and the viewers) waiting for something to happen.

    The actor playing the commanding officer of the Indian hunters, fresh off his role as Loonie Bin Jim in Punisher: Warzone, appears to be playing the same person, only with a stiffly waxed fake mustache and an absolutely dreadful fake southern accent.

    What was the point of making him a Southerner? Any Southerner with an ounce of self respect wouldn't have joined the Army in the years following the war between the states, not until the first world war and the institution of the modern draft. Are Yankee filmmakers trying to rewrite history and lay the mass murder of Indians at the feet of the the South? That's their cross to bear! It was the victorious northerners that did to the Indians what they perfected in the countryside and on the battlefields of the south. I think the only reason he's even in this movie is to get some torture in it to satisfy the low brows.

    In the last half everything gets better, apparently even the directing! Actual suspense begins to build and the encounters with the Indians begin to become increasingly bizarre. The atmosphere becomes more sinister and the movie begins to take on the aspects of a nightmare in which you can't wake up. The finale is pretty harrowing.

    Despite my gripes, it's definitely worth viewing and ten times better than those awful and dull After Dark Horrorfest films.
  • "The Burrowers" is an original little film to say the least. It makes a pretty damn good western, & commentary on how whites treated the Indians badly in the late 1900's. It makes for a nifty little horror film, as what the white settlers & Calvary thought was a Indian raid & massacre of a family, is not what happened, to their horror.

    Very good acting, directing, & pacing compliment this film, with enough of a spooky soundtrack to intensify scenes just at the right moment. The creatures are a bit tough to make out in the dark, but in retrospect, that probably enhances this film too.

    If I had to liken "the Burrowers" to any movie(s), I'd call it "the Mole People" on steroids, meets "the Searchers." Though no where near as good as film as "The Searchers," (not many westerns are), it digs up "the Mole People," & buries them for good! "The Burrows" is one of those rare films that combines the western & horror genres & makes it work!

    Notched it up a extra star for originality!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sub-par CGI aside, this movie is actually not that bad. We have a pretty good and plausible plot, decent acting, some ancient folklore, reality in that when firing on someone you take down the horse first (nothing graphic though), nasty/bad guys (but not over the top), decent people, and some monsters out on the prairie eating up people, and only so because certain people did away with their major food source. The movie managed to address certain sociological and political issues without being preachy, and it worked well with what was going on. All of the characters were believable. Where it fell down was, as mentioned above, and by a few others, the bad F/X. SPOILER ALERT! What would have made this movie even better, and more suspenseful than it already was, was to not really ever have the audience see The Burrowers, other than a face flashing by. It was tense without ever seeing them. Also, when the Burrowers went for the bait have the bait only in the moonlight, and we'd only see an occasional claw/hand or face, but mostly just see the beasts in shadow. Can movies be fixed/updated? If so, fix the little problems here and I'm buying this one.
  • This movie begins quietly on the prairie like other great western films with a man profess his love to a woman. A causal viewer would mistaken this as a western love story. Boy, would he or she be surprised. This movie is a cross between "The Searcher", "Days of Heaven", and "Feast". For me, I like the quiet opening of the movie without any loud and overbearing music, and its subtle overtone might strike others as being slow, but for me the subtleness sets up the creepy atmosphere of the film. I love Doug Hutchison's performance as cavalry officer, he gave this film a realistic feel to it, although, I doubt all cavalry officers behaved like him back in the old west days. The monsters which I am sorry to say are the weak point of the movie. Even though, they are scary but not well put together consider this film has some budget that are higher than other horror films. Also, I found the settings of the movie a bit disruptive at the end of the film as the characters went from a prairie setting to a forested mountain setting and back all too quick. It's too bad that this movie didn't see its theatrical release. Perhasp a better title would help.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ...especially given its pitiful rating here on the IMDb, "The Burrowers" is an engaging Western creature feature with far more brains than it seems to have been given credit for. Apparently adapted from a Fearnet mini-series, this E.C. Comics-ish tale defies its minuscule ($7mil) budget with some fine camera-wrangling by Phil "The Devil's Rejects" Parmet, an effectively evocative score from Joseph "The Evil Dead" LoDuca, fine ensemble work from its cast (including William "Lost" Mapother, Sean Patrick "The Fountain" Thomas, Doug "The Green Mile" Hutchison, Karl "Coney Island Baby" Geary, and Clancy "Starship Troopers" Brown---look also for a brief appearance by Jocelin "The House of the Devil" Donahue), and a delightfully intelligent script from director/writer J.T. "Faces of Death" Petty. The pace of things is leisurely, which may dissuade the ADHD crowd, and the critter fx are at times a bit dodgy (but still mostly satisfying), and the ending may feel a bit anti-climactic, but for the patient viewer, there is much to be enjoyed, including some nice dark humor and unexpected happenings. Not quite deserving of cult status, but heads above much of the dreck that passes for horror movies these days.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Reading a chapter in Kim Newman's book Nightmare Movies:Horror on the screen since the 1960s,I noticed a small section of the book focusing on Horror-Westerns.Nearing the end of the section,I spotted a title that Newman mentioned,which sounded like a great genre cross-over of the Western with a monster-movie Horror,which led to me getting ready to track down the Burrows.

    The plot:

    The Dakota Territories- August 11th,1879:

    Returning home, Fergus Coffey discovers that his fiancé Maryanne Stewart has been kidnapped,and that a number of her family members have been brutally murdered.Suspecting that Stewart has been kidnapped by an Indian tribe,Coffey gathers up a gang of fellow outlaws,who soon set off to track down Stewart.Trampling on any Indian tribes near by,Coffey and the gang fail to find any sign of Stewart. Interrogating a number of the tribes people,Coffey begins to hear about a group called The Burrowers.Presuming them to be a new tribe,Coffey and the gang start setting their sights on finding The Burrowers,but soon discover to their horror that they will have to dig deep into the unknown,in order to find the mysterious Burrowers.

    View on the film:

    Featuring hardly any indoor scenes,writer/director J.T. Petty soaks in every inch of the outdoor atmosphere,by using vast wide- shots,which along with giving the title a gritty feel,also superbly shows the haunted wilderness that Stewart is tracking The Burrowers in.Along with the epic wide-shots,Petty and cinematographer Phil Parmet show an expert eye in the use of shadows,with the impressive (practical) special effects for The Burrowers being wrapped in velvet darkness,so that they can slowly creep up on the viewer.Keeping the horror nerves shredded with the clever use of shadows,Petty splashes a lavish Western mood across the shaken nerves,by using candle lights and camp side fires to show the deadly terrain that Stewart and the gang are entering.

    Slowly allowing the haunting horror elements to seep in,Petty sets them against an excellent, rugged Western backdrop,thanks to Petty showing Coffey and the gang desperately try and stick to "the old way" in hunting down Stewart and The Burrowers,with Petty being unafraid to show his heroes in a less-then positive light,as they pull bits & pieces of info on The Burrowers out of the tribes people. Gripping the Western atmosphere with a firm Horror fist,Petty fires off dozens of horror shots,which brilliantly go from being extremely creepy, ( character's being buried alive) to delightfully squishy, (Coffey finding himself surrounded by dozens of Burrowers) as Coffey starts attempting to bury The Burrowers.
  • The idea of underground creatures menacing the old west was well portrayed in "Tremors 4". "The Burrowers" adds some interesting twists relating to why these burrowing beasties appeared, and the Indians way of dealing with them. The film opens strong with a slaughtered family, and everyone wrongly blaming the Indians. What follows is a prolonged hunt for the hostiles. Unfortunately character development is sacrificed in favor of hitting the trail. A lot of effort went into the burrower monsters, with not a hint of c.g.i., and unfortunately it is mostly wasted in the barely discernible night attacks. Another glaring problem is the lack of subtitles for the cowboys, as their mumbled jargon is no easier to understand than the Indians language which is subtitled. Somewhere in here is an intriguing movie, but "The Burrowers" obvious flaws are objectionable. - MERK
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I enjoyed this horror movie. It is really a vampire movie, with two variants. These "burrower" creatures of the night travel underground rather than flitting around in the sky. Also, their power to render their victims utterly helpless to resist their feeding comes from a curare-like poison in their saliva rather than hypnotic stares from the traditional vampire's eyes. This poison makes the victim unable to use any voluntary muscles (as would be necessary to scream out for help, for example) but in each case they are conveniently left the use of one digit to signal their waking/living status to uninfected observers. Nice touch. Effectively done.
  • I watched this movie on Comcast on Demand when it was in the free movie section. I had seen the cover in a retail store, and paid no attention to it, as it looked cheesy. Boy was I wrong. Both the Director, and the Director of Photography took unique looks at shooting this movie. I have to assume that their budget was low, but even so, they made a thoroughly entertaining movie. The imagery of the Dakota territories during this period seemed accurate to me, and I found that the character development was pretty good for a horror movie. The movie's ending was very good, and probably the most realistic they could have pulled off for a horror movie set in the west. I am a fan of Lost, and enjoyed seeing two reoccuring characters from Lost play integral roles in this movie. WIth all the recycled garbage that has been coming into theaters recently (almost always a remake of an original movie, or a grossly overdone retelling of a classic fairytale), it was refreshing to see some original concepts here. My hat is off the the production crew, filmmakers and cast of this film. Spend $5 at Walmart, and buy this film. You will not be disappointed.
  • I love these quality B-flicks and I always get excited when I find a new one. Now I just found The Burrowers and from the cover and some stills I even started having expectations. Furtunately this is not bad at all. It's actually a movie of very good quality. Where most B-Movies tend to be lashed-together, obviously realized for some profit exclusively, apparently some are crafted with love. The small details, the refined tone, quality cinematography and gross creatures will get you over some flaws in the script. But the fact, that it takes it's western side serious and manages to score in that genre too, makes Burrowers a cool feature, absolutely worth your time. 6/10
  • The Burrowers defies expectations. Where one might expect something along the line of Tremors (or, god help us, Tremors 4), the Burrowers should and cannot be confused for a lighthearted horror. The film is instead dark and vaguely disturbing, with a presumably high body count.

    The titular Burrowers largely stay out of sight for much of the film, although the creatures always feel close at hand and there are quick glimpses as they attack. The creature design is less than impressive although the creature's lore helps compensate for any shortcoming. The creatures seem to fill an evolutionary niche which, once disturbed, has caused them to hunt for alternative food supplies.

    The acting was surprisingly solid. There's an authentic flavor to the Western atmosphere and a certain degree of lawlessness pervades the film. Every encounter seemed tinged with danger which adds an additional suspense to the film.

    The Burrowers offers more than enough fodder for thought. The movie arguably has a lot going on in it, between eco-themes, racial undertones and overtones, etc, that could feed any number of academic papers depending on how you read into the events. At the same time, the sheer amount of things going on at times can be a turn-off. One gets the impression that a lot of characters are killed not simply for dramatic reasons but instead are written out as a means of balancing the otherwise overladen story. Right around the end is the distinct feeling that the director and crew didn't really know how to end the movie so they tacked on an awkward conclusion that offers little in the means of closure rather than to simply leave it open-ended.
  • Doug Hutchinson is one of my favorite actors so this was fairly enjoyable and Clancy Brown is great! There's some really sweet action but honestly I was barely into this; I'd give it a 6.5 just to be nice!
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