Buddy: “Some things are better left unfound.”
Otis: “Hey assmonkey! Eat this!”
I never considered myself a huge Godzilla fan, but with all the buzz surrounding the reboot release on May 16th, it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement. I found myself craving something recent with that old-school Creature Feature feel. I’d heard good things about Abominable, or, more accurately, sideways compliments along the lines of, “It’s pretty damn good—for a SyFy Chanel movie.”
Check out my review after the jump.
Official Synopsis: It has been sighted 42,000 times in 68 countries. A creature of myth and legend known by several names; Yeti, Sasquatch and the infamous Bigfoot! We’ve hunted it for years, but what happens when it decides to hunt us? “Abominable” centers on a man recovering from a mountain climbing accident, trapped in a remote cabin in the woods, who sees the legendary beast, and must convince someone to believe him, before the monster goes on a bloody rampage.
Yes, it’s a Bigfoot movie. I know that half of you won’t even give it a chance because Bigfoot is definitely one of the cheesier characters in cryptozoology. But the beast in Abominable is no gentle giant, hardly shy, and not at all reclusive. To quote the film, “It’s bigger than Bigfoot”. Still, Abominable doesn’t go out of its way to avoid the sillier aspect of Bigfoot mythology, rather it incorporates them into the film. The result is a retro feel, a film steeped in 1980’s nostalgia with awesome practical FX, genuine jumps, and a whimsical spirit.
It ain’t rocket science, but Abominable is surprisingly nuanced for a Creature Feature. Sure, we’ve got a bevy of beautiful babes for the monster to feast upon, but there’s a twist to this familiar story arch. Matt McCoy (most famous, in my opinion, for playing the mentally off-kilter Lloyd Braun on TV’s Seinfeld) plays Preston Rogers, the guy who lives right next door to the babe’s cabin. Preston is recovering from a mountain-climbing accident that him widowed and crippled, mentally frail and wheel-chair bound.
Essentially trapped by a long, exterior staircase outside (and a surly, drunk, abusive man-nurse named Otis within) Preston helplessly observes a night of carnage through a pair of binoculars. The similarities to Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal film Rear Window is no accident. With Abominable, the audience gets to experience the terror of the sexy ladies as well as the manic frustration of Preston. Not only is he unable to come to the babe’s rescue, he’s unable to convince Otis that something awful is happening just outside. Attempts to reach the police are taken as a prank. Preston learns quickly that no one believes you when you report a Sasquatch attack. But just like James Stewart’s character in Rear Window, Preston can only remain an anonymous observer for so long before his interference makes him a target as well.
If you’re still not sold on giving Abominable a spin, it might interest you to know that the film features a couple of Horror icons. Jeffrey Combs (Re-animator) is absolutely hysterical as Buddy, the local shopkeeper, hunter, and harbinger. He’s nearly unrecognizable with a long greasy hair-doo and Coke-bottle glasses. We’ve also got Lance Henricksen (Aliens, It’s in the Blood) as Buddy’s buddy Ziegler Dane. The comic highlight of the film is a scene with these good ol’ boys talking about The Darwin Awards around a campfire. I LOL’ed. Seriously.
When it comes to Creature Features, success or failure has everything to do with the monster; a ridiculous-looking beast doesn’t really inspire legitimate dread. The monster in Abominable is more of a hit than a miss. He isn’t perfect, sometimes looking rather troll-like (and once even reminding me of Sloth from The Goonies), but mostly he’s an imposing presence. The eyes are kind of dead, but the mouth is awesome: filled with jagged teeth with a bottom jaw that seems to unhinge. One of the most impactful moment of the film comes when the monster chomps a guy’s face off in one huge bite—like he’s eating an apple! Fan-fucking-tastic!
Abominable is filled with 1980’s Easter eggs, including allusions to The Shining, Jaws, and The Breakfast Club. It’s hardly essential Horror viewing, but its merits are undeniable. It’s far from the best Bigfoot-themed movie I’ve seen (that award goes to The Lost Coast Tapes), but it’s loaded with guilty-pleasure appeal. Oh yeah, and there are boobies.
2.5 out of 5 Skull Heads.
|Directed by||Ryan Schifrin|
|Produced by||Donna Cockrell
|Written by||James Morrison,
Karin Anna Cheung,
|Music by||Lalo Schifrin|
|Editing by||Chris Conlee|
|Release dates||October 3, 2006|
|Running time||94 minutes|