Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jeffrey Combs, Michael Deak, Paul Gleason, Lance Henriksen, Rex Linn
Director: Ryan Schifrin
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
It has been sighted 42,000 times in 68 countries, a vicious creature of myth and legend called Sasquatch, Yeti, and perhaps most infamously, Bigfoot. We ve hunted it for years. But what happens when it decides to hunt us? ... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
A Better Bigfoot
K. Fontenot | The Bayou State | 10/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Compared to many recent Bigfoot-inspired flicks, "Abominable" is a true work of art. Consider that its biggest competition comes from "Sasquatch," "Sasquatch Hunters," and the awful "Clawed," and I'm sure you'll agree with me. Perhaps it doesn't deserve four stars (three-and-a-half would be a better rating), but this movie just has too much going for it than to toss it to the wayside.
First of all, the story is a labor of love by director/writer Ryan Schifrin. In the commentary and the documentary, "Back to Genre: Making Abominable," Schifrin comes across as a very likeable, very grounded guy. You can't not want to cheer for him and his creation. He managed to pick up a third-tier leading man, Matt McCoy, to take the lead role, used the creature designer, Christien Tinsley, as probably the funniest jerk in recent flicks, scooped up the legendary Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Combs and Dee Wallace Stone for key cameo roles and the unforgettably funny Paul Gleason (The Breakfast Club) to portray the local sheriff.
Secondly, the actual DVD is awesome considering it is an independently produced film. It comes in a nice sleeve like most popular big studio flicks do. It's got wonderful liner notes by Schifrin and a nice tribute to Paul Gleason. Also, the artwork is top-notch. You'll recognize the style used as that of Drew Struzan. You know who he is, he designed the "Star Wars" posters, the "Indiana Jones" posters, and a ton of others. As far as extras are concerned, there's the aforementioned documentary and commentary, outtakes and bloopers, extended and deleted scenes, storyboard and stills gallery, a student film by Schifrin and the screenplay for those with DVD-ROM capabilities.
The movie takes place deep in the California forests where McCoy's character, Preston, has been taken for a little rehab since losing his wife and the ability to walk in a climbing accident. He's cared for by the very uncaring Otis (Christien Tinsley). When Otis leaves to get some soy milk (Preston's allergic), a small group of good-looking, giggly girls move into the cabin next door for a bachelorette party. That gaggle of giggly ladies includes female lead, Haley Joel, and my personal favorite scream queen, Tiffany Shepis.
When the sun goes down, the body count goes up. Bound by his wheelchair, Preston can do nothing but watch as the creature takes out each girl one-by-one. Preston desperately attempts to warn the girls and the sheriff's department via wireless internet. The girls think he's a peeping tom, and want nothing to do with him. The sheriff thinks he's either crazy or playing a practical joke, and holds his deputies back from going to check on the girls and Preston.
There are a couple of things that are wrong with this film. First of all, the music is hit-and-miss. Sometimes it is dead-on with building tension. At other times it's nothing but overkill. Secondly, there's the subpar acting of a couple of the girls in the cabin across from Preston's. Granted, I don't expect Oscar-worthy performances, but I just felt that a couple of the girls weren't acting as well as the could have. Finally, and this is the biggie, the creature looks sort of like Jack Elam (this fact is also noted on a messageboard at IMDB). He's not that scary once you get to see him in all of his hairy glory. He's got bug-eyes and a jack o'lantern smile and isn't very consistent with his footspeed. However, he does manage to give the audience quite a few "boo!!" moments that make up for his slightly silly look.
There's actually quite a bit of good scares in this flick. As stated before, when the music is on, it is extremely good at building suspense. You'll want to cheer for Preston as he tries to both warn the girls and save his own hide. The brief appearances of Henriksen and Combs are both funny and action-packed. Dee Wallace Stone is luckier than most in this film, but it's great to see her on the screen. Overall, this is a really good horror flick to watch. Sure, it has its bad points, but it's all made up for with excellent pacing, good lighting, and plenty of 80's era gore.
There is quite a bit of violence and gore in this flick, including explosive stomping of bodies, face-biting, body snapping, car crashes, axes hacking, needle injections, and on and on. The language can get pretty rough at times, though I've heard much worse in other R-rated flicks such as this one. There's also a little obligatory nudity from one of the lasses. In short, your kids shouldn't watch this.
For a wonderful evening of mindless violence and comedy, as well as a pretty decent flick all around, "Abominable" is sure to please. If you're a big fan of Sasquatch, definitely purchase this flick. If you appreciate B-cinema, you'll enjoy this film.
Saw Abominable in the theater.
T. Wilson | Portland, OR USA | 08/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I actually saw this film in the theater and was just graphic enough to be funny and entertaining. I will own this movie when it comes out. I can't imagine the edited sci-fi channel version of this being near as good as the hard "R" I saw in the theater. This is one of my favorites of the year and I had high expectations going into this since I drove 300+ miles to see it."
What a delicious little monster movie
Daniel W. Kelly | Long Island, NY United States | 11/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was a throwback to monster movies of the early 70s, with a slasher edge to it, which makes it a whole lotta fun. Great cast of horror alumni, including everyone from Dee Wallace Stone to modern day scream queen Tiffany Shepis, some campy, over the top acting, some gruesome gore, a great hokey monster costume, and some real suspenseful moments. This is one of those films you'll end up watching time and time again if it should come on cable."
Hairy Ate The Hendersons
William R. Hancock | Travelers Rest, S.C. United States | 10/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Abominable" , from IDT/Anchor Bay Entertainment, is the newest entry in the "Sasquatch Horror" genre and it is a good one; clever , inventive, and well crafted by first-time director Ryan Schifrin, the son of legendary (think theme from "Mission, Impossible", among countless others)
television and film composer Lalo Schifrin...who DOES the musical score for his offspring's debut effort. And some other Schifrins get involved in all these doings, as well, as you'll discover if you carefully scan the credits. This almost has a flavor of a Schifrin family effort.
In this case, nepotism works just fine, thank you, as "Abominable" is one of the best "killer yeti on the loose" fright flicks ever put before the public. It is scary, it is suspenseful, it is tense and frightening, and sometimes it is funny as hell. There are puns and homages all over the place here, and borrowings from iconic moments in other classic feature films. Remember Kong hauling up Fay Wray & Bruce Cabot on the liana vine as they tried to escape down the cliff from him? Well, turn the vine into a climbing rope and slip another blond into some repelling gear and you get a fair approximation of that 1933 visual. And Roy Scheider declaring that the shark hunters need "a bigger boat" in "Jaws"? Well Matt McCoy thinks he needs "a bigger knife" here with Mr. Eat-Em-Up coming after him.
The story line itself is a smart composite of several movie plots. It is a bit like you put the old 1970s Clint Walker/Bo Svenson t.v. movie "Snow Beast" through a cinematic blender with "Rear Window" (more the Christopher Reeve version than Hitchcock's original), the classic blind-lady-versus-hired-killers Audrey Hepburn vehicle "Wait Until Dark" , and, as the director himself points out in a very good little "making of..." short, of the well known original "Twilight Zone" episode "Horror at 20,000 Feet", the one with William Shatner trying to make people believe him when he tries to tell them about the gremlin he's spotted out on the plane's wing.
This story has Matt McCoy playing one Preston Rogers, a rich man who...until six months ago...was an avid mountain/rock climber, along with his wife. Then one day that all ended when a safety line broke and the two of them fell off a rock face. The wife was killed and Preston broke the small of his back. He is now a paraplegic; paralysed from the waist down. He has come home from the hospital to try and acclimate himself to living in his mountain house with its high, steep steps and wrap-around upper deck. Accompanying him for this "trial run" is an overbearing, obnoxious, patronizing jerk of a male nurse named Otis (Christien Tinsley) who is largely dismissive of anything Preston has to say.
Across the way from Preston's chalet (this road is a cul-de-sac that winds uphill from the main county road) is another house , this one basically a summer vacation home that is usually unoccuppied.
Today it is NOT unoccuppied , as an SUV of giggly girls pulls up (one's relative owns the house) and they begin to unload for a getaway weekend.
Bad idea, chicklets. You'll NEVER guess what's on somebody's supper menu!!
So the stage is set for a night of terror.
Other plot elements involve :(One) an attack on a local farm where a 1,200 lb. quarter horse is killed and a couple terrorized inside their own home by something huge that leaves massive humanlike footprints outside in the dirt (this is a straight-up tip of the hat to Charles Pierce's "The Legend of Boggy Creek" and some of Pierce's "night seige" segments from that film), and, (Two) a night-time hunting party sequence whereby Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Coombs, and Rex Linn go "booger hunting" and end up wishing they never had.
Some amusing elements to the story center around the county sheriff, played by Paul Gleason shortly before his untimely death; a man who has no use whatsover for "monster stories". It is around Gleason's character, and the town he serves, that a bit of an inside joke is constructed. Why screenwriter Ryan Schifrin chose to do this, I don't know, but he named the fictional town where...nearby...the bulk of our story takes place. FLATWOODS. And the creature being spotted and reported by the locals has been dubbed "The Flatwoods Monster" (...and Gleason's character adamantly doesn't "believe in no Flatwoods Monster"!). Well, if any viewer is not familiar with that term they can Google it and get themselves an education. In the early 1950s, some UFO sightings around the town of Flatwoods, West Virginia , resulted in some citizens encountering a terrifying "something"...like a robot-looking monster...on a ridge just out of town. A similar something was also seen an a back road by some motorists soon after. This "robot-monster" incident came to be known in UFO/paranormal circles as "The Flatwoods Monster" and is well known to this day (the real town even has a festival centered on every year, just like Point Pleasant observes its "Mothman" anniversary). Young Schifrin has opted to put his tongue in his cheek here and play with the Flatwoods legend, but I'm not exactly sure why...unless he is playfully hinting that maybe sasquatch comes from outer space.
One last element of interest here is the LOOK of Schifrin's "booger". It generally passes muster as a Squatch, a yeti, a bigfoot, or whatever...from the neck down. Eyewitness encounters over many years have described a real (yes, I think so) Squatch as looking like a facial cross between a human and a gorilla (and NOT like a human and an orangutan, as in the case of "Harry Henderson"). Well, THIS critter here doesn't look anything like EITHER of those descriptions. It looks like some kind of god-awful take-off on something you'd have seen in old EC Comics (like "Tales From the Crypt") back in the fifties, or, as one reviewer here has so shrewdly observed, like an exaggerated caricature of JACK ELAM! It is almost all jagged teeth, but...there is something about the eyes, eyelids, and set of the nose that DOES make you think of Jack Elam
(could this be an homage to "Creature From Black Lake"?).
That Schifrin KNOWS that the Squatch SHOULD be much more apelike facially is proved by the fact that he sits for his "special features" director's interview with a ZINJANTHROPUS skull reconstruction on a table beside him, which says something because many anthro types believe the Zinjan skull is very similar to what a GIGANTOPITHECUS skull should look like, and a prevailing school of cryptozoological thought holds that a squatch
may well BE a gigantopithecus variant. Also of interest is that the same skull in Schifrin's interview is shown on the floor of the Squatch cave in the movie as Lance Henriksen is shining his flashlight around.
All this focus drawn to this zinjanthropus skull and yet the depicted killer creature in the flick bears this no resemblance whatsoever.
Odd...but of no real ultimate import. The movie stands or falls on its own telling of its story and in that it does a great job. Kudos to Ryan Schifrin for a good first time out of the gate. Keep it up, Kid, and you'll be a star!
"Abominable" is anything BUT that, and I recommend it highly.