The Night They Came Home

I am a fan of Westerns and glad to see the genre is alive and well for storytelling about events, some better known than others. Many stories often go untold, and if they are told, they have a limited perspective. I need to catch up on reading about who Rufus Buck is and the gang (fellow teens/young adults) he led in the late 1800s. Yes, they are documented criminals, but after I viewed the film for this review, Rufus relays how the African American and indigenous individuals had lived through abuse, etc., aside from the Native Americans being removed from their land as people moved West. Their acts of rebellion put them on the wrong side of the law, and The Night They Came Home tells the story of their actions and consequences.

Synopsis: Inspired by actual events, The Night They Came Home chronicles the ruthless exploits of the Rufus Buck Gang, a group of outlaws who clashed with the Indian Territory of Middle America at the tail end of the 19th century. The combined force of local law enforcement officers and Indian police aim to take down a coldhearted band of fugitives with vengeance on their minds.

Paul G. Volk directs this Western thriller based on the screenplay by writers John A. Russo (Night of the Living Dead) and additional writing by James O’Brien (Western Religion). In this film, Trejo plays the local gravedigger; thus, his screen name is Digger. As a gravedigger, he has firsthand knowledge of what Buck and his gang are famous for, aside from burying the deceased who crossed paths with them. He is approached by a young man new to the area and asks Digger to relay the story of the outlaw gang.

Marshal Heck Thomas (Tim Abell) is assigned to locate and stop the ruthless killers. He teams up with Indian peace officer Paden Tolbert (Tommy Wolfe) somewhat reluctantly, but their skills work well together. Buck appears to be quite the leader and firmly believes that what he is doing is to create a “revolt” and fight against the injustices, personally and for all Native Americans. His members were African American, Mixed race (Black and Indian), and Native American.

For anyone concerned about the R rating for the violence, it is merited, as with most any other Westerns, when men took the law into their own hands instead of seeking justice through the laws at the time. Unfortunately, there is abuse of women, and the scenes are not as graphic as other R-rated films I have seen in the past.

The film is worth watching, especially if this is the first time you learn about the Rufus Buck Gang.

Cast: Brian Austin Green, Peter Sherayko, Charles Townsend, Robert Carradine, Phillip Andre Botello, Anna Florence, and Weston Cage, among others.

Running Time: 105 minutes U.S. Release Dates: In Theaters, On Demand and Digital Jan. 12, 2024

Source: Lionsgate

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