Mohawk (2017 film)

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Mohawk
Mohawk poster.jpg
Official poster
Directed byTed Geoghegan
Produced byTravis Stevens
Written by
Starring
Music byWojciech Golczewski
CinematographyKarim Hussain
Edited byBrody Gusar
Production
company
Distributed byDark Sky Films
Release date
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
Language

Mohawk is a 2017 American political action-horror film directed by Ted Geoghegan, co-written by Geoghegan and novelist Grady Hendrix, and starring Kaniehtiio Horn, Ezra Buzzington, Noah Segan, and professional wrestler Jonathan "Luke Harper" Huber in his feature film debut.[1]

Plot[edit]

Late one night in 1814, a young Mohawk woman named Okwaho or "Oak" (Kaniehtiio Horn) gets into an argument with her mother Wentahawi (Sheri Foster) over whether her neutral tribe, who are being violently slaughtered by new Americans, should get involved in the War of 1812. Her two lovers — a Mohawk warrior named Calvin (Justin Rain) and a British soldier named Joshua (Eamon Farren), one of whom is the father of her unborn child — push for retaliation, which ultimately leads to Calvin sneaking off later that same night to light a nearby American encampment on fire, killing 22 sleeping American soldiers.

Six soldiers and their civilian translator Yancy (Noah Segan) escape from the fire and, seeking their own revenge, track down the trio the next morning. A skirmish occurs, which results in the death of Wentahawi and the American Commander, Colonel Charles Hawkes (Jack Gwaltney). A power-hungry and brutal subordinate, Captain Hezekiah Holt (Ezra Buzzington), takes control of the Americans and demands violent retribution. Chasing Oak and the two men, the Americans capture, torture, and kill Calvin at the cost of more Americans being killed, including Holt's son Myles (Ian Colletti). When Oak and Joshua are finally captured at a desolate French-Canadian mission (where Holt and his men have already murdered Oak's uncle and cousins), Holt kills Joshua with his sabre and shoots Oak in the chest, seemingly killing her. The remaining Americans then leave to return to their base at Fort George.

Oak survives the injury, shaves her head into a bloody Mohawk, and constructs a makeshift suit of armor out of remains of a pregnant deer and its unborn fawn. She stalks the last three Americans (Holt, Yancy, and Private Lachlan Allsopp (Jon "Luke Harper" Huber) through the darkening forest, killing Yancy and Allsopp before revealing herself to Holt. He becomes disoriented and, through dream-like supernatural means, ends up back at his burnt-out camp. Having abandoned his pistol and sword in the forest, he and Oak fight hand to hand. She finally kills Holt by throwing him onto the burnt remains of a tree, impaling him through the heart. Oak, severely injured, walks away from his corpse and, as she leaves, is witnessed by a Mohawk family, who look upon her like a deity.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was written by director Ted Geoghegan and novelist Grady Hendrix. In 2015, the two were announced as co-writing a film titled Satanic Panic, which Geoghegan was then slated to direct.[2] When Satanic Panic was put on hold, the two chose to write this project together – based on Geoghegan's desire to work on a project about marginalized people and Hendrix's encyclopedic knowledge of The War of 1812.[3]The project was produced by Snowfort Pictures and Dark Sky Films, who had previously produced in Geoghegan's directorial debut, We Are Still Here.

Mohawk was shot in Upstate New York in June 2016, and filmed two days at Syracuse's Skä•noñh Great Law of Peace Center.[4]

Actress Kaniehtiio Horn, who plays the film's lead, Oak, is a native Mohawk.[5] Actor Guy W. Gane III, who plays Taylor, appeared in Geoghegan's directorial debut, We Are Still Here as the vengeful Civil War-era ghost Dagmar.

Release[edit]

Mohawk World Premiered at Montreal, Quebec's Fantasia International Film Festival on 15 July 2017.[6] Its U.S. Premiere occurred at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles, California on 8 October 2017 as part of BeyondFest.[7] The film was released in select cinemas and on Video-on-Demand on 2 March 2018.

Soundtrack[edit]

Mohawk (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Cover to the soundtrack to the motion picture Mohawk.jpg
Soundtrack album by
Wojciech Golczewski
Released1 February 2018
GenreElectronic, Ambient
Length21:00
LabelData Airlines
ProducerWojciech Golczewski

The score to Mohawk was written and composed by Polish composer Wojciech Golczewski, who had scored director Geoghegan's previous directorial effort, We Are Still Here. The album's artwork was created by Damian Bajowski, with additional mastering by Dubmood. It was released on vinyl and in digital formats on 1 February 2018.

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Mohawk"2:22
2."The Woods"3:34
3."Wentahawi"4:00
4."Calvin Attacks"1:09
5."Waterfall (Alternate)"1:41
6."Back from the Dead (Alternate)"4:23
7."Calvin Speaks"2:01
8."Tortures"4:21
Total length:21:00

Reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Mohawk is "Certified Fresh" with an approval rating of 83% based on 40 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10.[8] Metacritic gave the film a score of 71 out of 100 based on 12 critical reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9]

A follow-up to Geoghegan's haunted house thriller We Are Still Here, Mohawk's strong socio-political undertones were embraced by the media. RogerEbert.com critic Simon Abrams noted in his three-star review of the film that it "has the same political urgency as Wes Craven's now-classic, but rough-around-the-edges early films, like The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes."[10] Los Angeles Times critic Noel Murray noted in his positive review that "Mohawk is a gripping and despairing action picture, about how we can't seem to stop trying to destroy those we distrust — including ourselves"[11].

IndieWire stated, in a feature on the film, "While studios continue to downplay Native American experiences, Ted Geoghegan's gripping new thriller puts their brutal persecution in context"[12].

References[edit]

  1. ^ McNary, Dave (7 June 2016). ""'Hemlock Grove' Actress Kaniehtiio Horn to Star in Horror-Actioner 'Mohawk'". Variety. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  2. ^ McNary, Dave (6 November 2015). "'Satanic Panic' Set With 'We Are Still Here' Director Ted Geoghegan". Variety. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  3. ^ Halfyard, Kurt (21 June 2017). "Fantasia 2017 Interview: Ted Geoghegan Talks MOHAWK and How to Subvert Expectations". Screen Anarchy. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  4. ^ Staff (29 June 2016). ""Mohawk" Filming at Liverpool Landmark". Spectrum News. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  5. ^ Staff (20 December 2017). "Kaniehtiio Horn IMDb Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  6. ^ Staff. "Fantasia 2017". Fantasia International Film Festival. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. ^ Staff. "Mohawk I BeyondFest". BeyondFest. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Mohawk (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Mohawk Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Mohawk Movie Review". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Indie action thriller Mohawk mines America's bloody past for its horror". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Mohawk: An Action-Thriller With Bisexual Native Americans That Hollywood Would Never Make". IndieWire. Retrieved 19 October 2018.

External links[edit]