Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Review : Abominable (2006)


Ryan Schifrin

Who doesn't like a good Bigfoot movie?

Problem is, there really aren't to many to choose from. I can think of only one that has any merit whatsoever, and that's THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK. That film scared the dick out of me when I was a kid. I still recall the mournful sound the beast made, juxtaposed with the stunning shots of sunsets. Great stuff.

Of course, watching it as an adult, its pretty hard to get past the endless, completely zany singing, and the porn-level performances of the cast. So, I'm loath to even call that film a good Bigfoot movie.

Well, last night, in a frenzy of boredom, I decided to revisit a more recent stab at the Bigfoot myth, and I enjoyed it enough to feel it deserved a little review. Many of you will have missed it on its release, as its a low-budget affair, and may well be a Scy-Fy Original. That's a dreaded term, right there, but hang tight. ABOMINABLE is a ton of fun, and a surprisingly well made creature feature.

The opening scenes are, (and I may get lynched here), actually authentically scary, as we witness a good ole boy and his wife encounter Mr Sasquatch in an almost pitch black setting. The shot of the monster silhouetted against a dark forest skyline recalls that great shot in MADMAN, where we first see Marz. Its creepy, and it grabs the attention from the get-go.

From there, the film follows a crippled gentlemen, Preston, traumatised by the accident that left him wheelchair bound, and left his wife soil-bound. He's returning home for the first time since his lady died, and is accompanied by a carer, Otis. No sooner has he arrived though, and picked up his trusty binoculars to enjoy the views from his window, he begins to notice some strange activity out there in the wilderness. There seems to someone watching from the woodlands that surround his home, and as he quickly realises something not-quite-human, is stalking both himself and his hot, half- naked neighbours, (whom he wisely also keeps a close eye on), he realises its up to him to save everyone, including his own ass, (and I assume, maybe get laid in the process). Problem is, of course, he's wheelchair bound, has no phone, and can't get across the damn street.....

Now if this sounds familiar, that's because it is, (and you know your Hitchcock). Yep, this is REAR WINDOW with Bigfoot. It follows that films lead in establishing the leads helplessness in the situation, and builds some significant tension and fear, as the perceived enemy looms ever closer. The film, like the Hitchcock classic, takes place mainly in one location, while utilising the main characters viewpoint to give an outsiders look into events across the street, and it somehow pulls it off in grand fashion. It helps that the cast are taking this whole thing pretty seriously, (even if, at times, we aren't), and that the performances are way above the norm for DTV Horror flicks. As Preston, Matt McCoy brings a quietness to the role, that gradually turns to desperation and terror as he realises theres a beast out there, stalking him. He comes off as a once proud, now broken man, who still has a mine of courage buried inside him, which he must tap into in order to survive, (and save the hotties, can forget about them). As his carer, Otis, Christien Tinsley is an off-the-charts asshole, and is simultaneously hilarious and annoying. He's plays Otis as a self important, condescending dickhead who treats Preston like a child, and who approaches his 'carer' duties with an iron fist, and tyranny in his heart. In short, he's a big ole bully, and a lot of fun to watch. Job done.

ABOMINABLE also features a pleasingly solid wealth of cameos, from some Horror favourites. Lance Henrikson, (ALIENS, NEAR DARK), shows up as a gun-toting redneck. Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR, THE FRIGHTENERS), plays his buddy, who happens to be dying of lung cancer. Dee Wallace , (CUJO, THE LOST, HOUSE OF THE DEVIL), features in the opening scene as the terrorised wife, and the always watchable fan-favourite, Tiffany Shepis, (EVERY LOW BUDGET HORROR EVER MADE), plays one of the hotties living, (and partying) across the street from Preston's windowed prison. Shepis is always value for money, (all the guys out there know where I'm coming from).

As for the monster, he's kept in the shadows until midway through act 2, and when he appears, he's starring in one of the most effective jump-scares I can remember. When we finally get a good look at the big guy, he sorta looks like a drunken hairy Scotsman, and it may cause a few giggles, (or more than a few, in my case), but he's mean-spirited and bite-happy enough, to stay dangerous, even if he does look like you should be throwing your loose change at him.

If the third act feels a little less effective that the previous two, then its still a great watch. Tension is replaced by gore, mayhem and an epic battle between wheelchair and woolly man-eater. We're back in traditional monster-movie territory, and that's no bad thing. There's also a nice little capper on the film two that should please you guys.

If you missed ABOMINABLE on its release, its worth seeking it out. Its a fun, fast paced, alternately scary and campy monster movie, that does our pal, Sasquatch, proud. And does me proud too, knowing that the big hairy bastard is Scottish. I couldn't help but cheer on, as my 8ft tall countryman bit off peoples faces and dragged naked babes through windows. Sometimes, life just makes a man smile. Dig a good creature feature? Then grab some beers and your binoculars, and have a look.

8 Abominable Scotsmen out of 10


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  2. I actually liked this one. I was expecting a cheap SyFy flickie, but I'm glad I sticked around that night they showed this. Gory, tense and with a neat looking monster suit, one of the better films they've made...if not the only good film they made.

    1. @Kaijinu...hahahah...yeah i think it may be the ONLY good film they made, or ever will :D