Directed by Ryan Schifrin
Produced by Donna Cockrell, Theresa Eastman, Paul Spadone
Written by Ryan Schifrin
Director of Photograpy Neal L. Fredericks
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Cast: Matt McCoy, Haley Joel, Christen Tinsley, Rex Linn
2006/94 mins/Color/Dolby Digital 5.1
1.85:1 anamorphic/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Anchor Bay Home Entertainment DVD
Did I miss a meeting? I like to think that I keep up with entertainment and celebrity news, but I seem to have missed a story about Lance Henriksen. Did he break some obscure law and as punishment he now has to appear in every Bigfoot movie that's made? He appeared in SASQUATCH and he'll be in the upcoming SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN. He also makes an appearance in the recently released ABOMINABLE. Maybe he's determined to be in as many Bigfoot movies of varying quality as possible. ABOMINABLE proves to be fairly good...for a Bigfoot movie.
As ABOMINABLE opens, we meet Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy), a man who is confined to a wheelchair. He was injured in a mountain climbing accident in which his wife was killed. After six months of therapy, he is now returning to his mountain house, which is close to the scene of the accident. He is resistant to this experience, and the situation isn't helped by Otis (Christien Tinsley), a verbally abusive nurse. As Preston settles in, he notices that a group of young women arrive at the house next door. While observing this, he sees something move through the trees. As night falls, one of the girls goes outside to make a phone call and is snatched by a figure in the woods. Preston sees this and attempts to contact the police. The phone is dead, and he's forced to send an e-mail. As Preston sits in the house, alone (Otis has gone to the market), he waits for the creature to return. When it does, he realizes that it's a huge, bloodthirsty beast. Preston can't leave the house, and can't call the women. How will he warn them of the danger?
While watching ABOMINABLE, I decided that my review would contain a joke about how writer/director Ryan Schifrin was watching REAR WINDOW and decided that it needed a Bigfoot. That joke was ruined by Schifrin himself when he admits on the special features that the movie is REAR WINDOW mixed with a "creature feature". Oh well, so much for my joke. But, it's nice to hear a filmmaker be perfectly honest about his influences.
So, there you have it -- ABOMINABLE is basically REAR WINDOW with a Bigfoot. But, that descriptions sells the film short somewhat. Schifrin makes good use of his small budget by intentionally having the audience see much of the film's action through Preston's eyes. We watch Preston move around his house, and all of the views of the other house, where the women are, are only seen through Preston's binoculars. While we have seen all of this before, the movie is able to ring some tension out of these scenes. We're frustrated when Preston is attempting to tell Otis what he's seen while the nurse only berates him. And there is a very nice scene in which the monster runs amok in the other house while Preston can only sit and watch.
These moments help to raise ABOMINABLE above the usual direct-to-DVD dreck. But, the movie is not without its problems. As you can probably imagine from reading the synopsis, the middle of the film drags as we watch Preston frustrated at every turn. And watching someone watch something gets somewhat boring after a while. The somewhat cliched story become even more so with the introduction of the cynical police, represented by the late Paul Gleason. There is a scene in which Lance Henriksen and Jeffrey Combs hunt for the creature which feels tacked on. That’s because it is, as it was shot a year after principle photography. This certainly has the feel of “Hey, let’s get some more horror guys in there!” (That, or it’s all part of my Lance Henriksen/Bigfoot conspiracy theory.) As for the monster, we get some good looks at it in the finale, and it looks like a cross between Paul Williams and Zach Galifianakis. That sort of took the scare out of it.
ABOMINABLE premiered on SciFi Channel in May, 2006. The version included on this DVD contains scenes of nudity and violence not seen in the television broadcast. Having not seen the TV version, I can’t say how much more violence is included here, but the movie does have some gory scenes, including one murder which is very creative and memorable.
I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot of Bigfoot movies, but the ones that I have seen haven’t been very good. (And Lance Henriksen has been in most of them.) ABOMINABLE isn’t a great movie, but at least it tries to do something different. The movie has some suspenseful moments, and the finale gets quite violent. You ask if I’ve seen a great Bigfoot movie, and I’ll answer, “Not yeti.”
ABOMINABLE leaves giant footprints on DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The movie was shot on film and the transfer looks fairly good. The image is sharp and clear, showing only slight grain and no notable defects from the source print. The daytime scenes look great, as the colors are fine and the landscape shots show a great deal of depth. The nighttime scenes, however, are somewhat dark, and the action isn’t greatly detailed at times. The image shows a mild amount of artifacting. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The track boasts some very good surround sound effects, especially during the attack sequences. Not only is there audio from the rear speakers, it contains nice details as the breaking glass and crashes don’t blur together. The subwoofer effects are also good during these scenes.
The ABOMINABLE DVD has a few extra features. We start with an AUDIO COMMENTARY featuring writer/director Ryan Schfrin and actor Matt McCoy. They are joined for two sequences by actor Jeffrey Combs and editor Chris Conlee. This is a solid commentary, as the speakers talk about the production, focusing mainly on how the film’s low budget was utilized. Most of this is standard fare, but there are some interesting moments (especially during the Bigfoot attacks) where Schifrin gives away some surprising secrets. “Back to Genre: Making ABOMINABLE” (37 minutes) is an in-depth featurette which features comments from the cast and crew. It looks at the story, casting (with audition footage), production, and editing of the film, while also touching on locations, sound, and music. The DVD contains 6 DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES which run about 6 minutes. There is an OUTTAKES AND BLOOPERS reel (5 minutes). We are also treated to “Shadows”, Schifrin’s 8-minute student film. The extras are finished off by 2 TRAILERS, a POSTER & STILL GALLERY, and a STORYBOARD GALLERY.
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©