Put off by the sadistic and single-minded tactics of self-appointed group leader Henry Victor (Doug Hutchison), Coffey sets out with a couple of ranchers (William Mapother and Highlander's Clancy Brown), as well as a teenaged boy and a freed slave (Sean Patrick Thomas). They soon discover mysterious holes in the ground and a catatonic girl buried in the dirt, suggesting that they may not be hunting an ordinary tribe. A sinister enemy seems to be stalking them from below the serene grassy plains of the vast new frontier.
Director JT Petty sustains a level of dread and foreboding as his blend of Western grit and unnerving horror unfolds across the isolated and expansive Dakota Territory. The Burrowers is a creature feature within the context of a true Western–-in fact, it is ostensibly a terror take on John Ford's The Searchers. A profound juxtaposition is forged between the horrific actions of mankind and the mounting horror of what our hero and his posse are about to discover.
Horror fans who screened the film in Toronto are raving about it.
The Native performers in this Horror Western are...TATANKA MEANS, DAVID MIDTHUNDER and ANTHONY PARKER.
The Native actors aren't listed among the top ten cast members on Wikipedia. I gather the Indians' role is minor. The ranchers storm a Lakota encampment, but the Indians set them straight with a legend of "those who dwell below." Or something like that.
For a superior movie about an underground menace, I recommend Tremors. Rob's rating: 9.0 of 10.
Incidentally, David Midthunder (below) is another actor who would make a good Tonto.
For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.