24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I recently caught this movie on the Sci-Fi channel. I thought that is was just going to be another lame movie about Bigfoot. But, I was wrong. The movie starts with a great bigging mystery that hooks you well. That made me want to watch more. So I stayed and watched more of the movie and began to get fairly involved. After the initial hook, the pace slows down a little to get the storyline started. Basically the movie is about a man who lived in this small town and did a lot of rock climbing while he was there. His wife supposedly dies durring a rock climbing accident. But he knows that it was bigfoot that did it. He returns to his home in the mountains with his nurse as he is now paralized from the waist down. While there a group of girls move into the house across the street. Well, I'm sure you can tell that this is the main part of the story. Well, the man sees Bigfoot and for the next few days he terrorizes everyone there.
Overall, I thought it was a great flick. Worthy of a good award somewhere. The effects are great and the story keeps you on your toes. I usually never find myself yelling at my TV but I ended up screaming for them to run. I would say that if you are going to see a new bigfoot movie, see this one. A+
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2006
"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.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2008
The good things about this film:
1. The acting isn't bad. In fact it is quite good in some instances despite the sometimes campy dialogue(which thankfully doesn't plague too much of the film). Compare it to most other b-horror flicks and you'd be hard-pressed not to consider these actors for Oscars!
2. The whole "something's out there" feel that the film starts out with. It's what made "Halloween", "Jaws" and "Alien" almost unbearably suspenseful. The first 20 or so minutes of this movie were damn scary and it felt as if FINALLY a horror filmmaker was going to deliver the goods(the opening scene was absolutely terrifying).
3. Judging from the interviews the director seemed to have all the right influences from a horror movie standpoint. We were right on the same page when he spoke of what frightened him most in films he liked.
4. It was shot well. The locations and the camera work- fantastic! It really had that creepy, isolated feel. I almost heard the opening monologue from the tv show "Tales From the Darkside" going off in my head when they showed all the pretty scenery at the start.
1. They showed the monster too much. WAY too much. It was much more frightening when caught in brief glimpses. It was a scary looking thing when it wasn't moving. As soon as it moved it reminded me of something from Puf'n'stuff or Lidsville. The director should have taken a cue from "Alien" and just showed the beast in fleeting glimpses(the face in the window was a great scare, by the way).
2. Cop outs/cliches. Whenever a horror movie resorts to gratuitous gore, nudity or mounds of insects I yawn. It's almost a way of showing me that you don't feel that your work can stand on it's own merits so you have to throw in cheapo "thrills". Bad call. This film doesn't have the bugs, but the neck shredding scene was over the top, as was having the girl in the cave's lower torso torn open. The pound-the-chest-organs-fly-out scene, too. The face-bite scene would have worked so much better and had more shock value had we already not been dulled/desensitized by the earlier gore.
Nudity? Sure, the woman had a lovely figure. But I rented this movie to have my fight-or-flight feelings triggered, not my loins. Manipulative and unnecessary.
Another cheap filler that horror filmmakers like to resort to is things jumping out at you. A couple times is OK, but really, must we go so off the hook with it? Like when the guy opens the closet and something falls out....very cheap. Again, just stick to the story and stop trying to manipulate your audience so much!
I gave this film three stars because of the promise it showed. The director seems to have the right "stuff" to make something in the future that will be remembered. This movie was OK, but it could have been GREAT. If I had a few million I swear I'd take him, his crew and about three-quarters of his cast back up in the mountains to shoot another version. The potential for a truly frightening movie is there(just watch the first 20-30 minutes).
Heck, they're redoing "The Hulk", why not this one?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Written and directed by Ryan Schifrin, Abominable (2006) is a monster flick, with a streak of Hitchcock's Rear Window running down its middle, as a mysterious hairy creature emerges from the woods, to terrorize the inhabitants of a wilderness community. The result is semi-entertaining, but pretentiously B-movie fare.
Preston Rogers (Matt McCoy) is recovering from a climbing accident that cost him the use of his legs, and took the life of his wife. He returns to his home in the woods in a wheelchair, accompanied by his nurse Otis (Christien Tinsley), as five young women arrive at the house next door for a vacation stay. Rogers thinks he saw something come out of the woods, and snatch one of the girls, but Otis doesn't believe him, and refuses to go next door and warn them. An agitated Rogers continues to watch his neighbors through his binoculars. The phone lines are down, and cell phone service is spotty, so he tries to communicate with his neighbors and the police via computer, but no one takes his warnings seriously, until the monster enters the house next door and starts slaughtering the girls. Rogers manages to warn one of them, Amanda (Haley Joel), and she takes refuge in his home. They are safe for the moment, but it will only be a matter of time before the monster strikes.
The film attempts to build up a sense of helplessness and frustration, as Rogers is unable to convince anyone that there is real danger. It kind of works, but what is more frustrating is the silly plot, and how contrived the situation is. Rogers is kind of annoying, and overdramatic, and completely ineffective warning anyone until he finally makes the genius move of just yelling at the people in the house next door.
Despite the warning, the monster tears through the house slaying Amanda's friends. A man in a wheelchair would have no chance against a raging beast, but the creature is apparently a bit tired, and is practically moving in slow motion when he finally breaks into Rogers' home. In the middle of the crisis, in a whispering voice, Preston recounts the story of his tragic accident, and assures Amanda that life is wonderful, and they will somehow defeat the monster. A few minutes later, helpless on his back with Amanda attached to a rope, and the creature at the other end, it will take more than a little life affirmation to come out alive. Somehow the resourceful Rogers, manages to find a way to survive.
The creature is mostly under wraps, and the heavy duty action is rather limited until the end, but Abominable still manages to provide a few exciting moments, including a bone crunching demise for Otis. Preston Rogers is kind of weird and a little creepy too, in that he can't seem to keep his hands off of Amanda. His overdramatic behavior, and frightened wide-eyed stares are not quite Don Knotts, but are way overdone. Save for Haley Joel, the rest of the cast, including Lance Hendrikson (Millennium) and Rex Linn (CSI: Miami) are just fodder for a kind of average looking hairy monster.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2007
This movie contains what is important for a good monster movie:
1.Good quality kills, 2. An ugly, mean looking monster, 3. Hot girls, and # 4. The one person trying to make everyone believe his story.
This film is alot of fun, It Has a great looking Bigfoot with an ugly frown and pointed head. He goes after a bunch of hot girls having a weekend getaway and contains alot of cameo appearances by horror film regulars. All in all, it turns out to be a beautiful Shlock Fest that is worthy of recognition in the "Cinema Du Sasquatch Archives"!
Does not quite hit the mark as "Legend of Boggy Creek" or "Snowbeast" but still it embraces its audience and gives it just what it searches for.
It has a great look to it too.
If you enjoy films about the "Bigfoot Mythos" check this out for a good brain beating.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2012
"You have to believe me. I saw it. There is a monster out there." The main character, Preston Rodgers could not get anyone to believe him, even after power poles were knocked down, blood and entrails were smeared everywhere and homes & automobiles were ripped apart. The Sheriff who finally shows up at the end can only say "all there is out here is pine cones . . ."
Give me a break! Yes, the acting was loathsome, the music was just plain wrong, the dialog was purely stupid, there was gratuitous nudity and gore aplenty, but the main problem with this movie was that the characters' actions and motivations were never true to what anyone, including those characters would have done in that situation - not once; not ever.
I have not seen all the other "Big-Foot" movies that other people compare this one to so I don't know if it is really better than those, but after reading all the glowing reviews here I feel like Preston Rodgers. Will anyone believe me when I try to warn them?
"You have to believe me. I saw it. There is a monster out there." The monster is this movie. RUN! RUN! NOOOOOOOO!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2013
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This movie has all the bench marks of a Scy Fy Channel movie of the week. Cheesy looking monster, helpless coeds killed in horrible ways, and idiotic Bigfoot hunters, yet the movie also has some genuine creepiness to it. The main character is a wheel chair bound man, trapped in a ski cabin while a creature in the woods closes in. No one will believe him as he tries to find help and warn the cabin full of beautiful young victims-to-be staying in the cabin next door. Definitely good fun to watch in the dark on a crisp winter night
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2011
Abominable represents a fine return to genre for horror films. In an era where too many horror movies are Jason Voorhees slasher types or overly-CGI infested crapfests without the slightest originality or aptness of execution, Abominable, directed by famed composer Lalo Schifrin's son Ryan, stands out.
A man named Preston Rogers is being brought back home to the town of Flatwoods after months of rehabilitative therapy following a climbing accident at the infamous Suicide Rock, an incident which killed his wife and has forever cost Preston the use of his legs; he is a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair. When his male nurse Otis leaves to run to the grocery store, a bored Preston decides to do some birdwatching with his binoculars when some college girls - Amanda, C.J., Karen, Tracy and Michelle - drive up to occupy the rented cabin across the road for the weekend.
With little else to do that doesn't remind him of his wife, Preston alternates between watching the girls and watching the woods. And when Karen wanders off to call her boyfriend on her cell phone away from the others, Preston sees, out of the corner of his eye, something big and hairy swoop in and snatch her, and by the time he brings the binoculars up again, Karen is gone leaving only her phone behind. He comes to suspect that the legendary Bigfoot is encroaching upon Flatwoods, looking for food. And humans are might tasty.
Abominable is not a groundbreaking film by any means, and the effects aren't that great (the monster costume makes the Yeti look like what someone aptly described as "an angry Brian Dennehy"), but it is well-directed and has some really wonderful suspenseful moments, making excellent use of the claustrophobia of Preston's house and the deep, impenetrable darkness of the woods without.
Scenes such as the one at the beginning where the farmer and his wife hide in their house while something big, unseen and nasty skulks around outside is the stuff of nightmares, and Preston's reaction to his first glimpse of the monster, which is to freeze up and slowly start wheeling his chair back inside the house (no easy task given how his arms are locked up with terror) is also really great. As for gore, well, just you wait 'till you see what happens to Otis!
Through and through, Abominable an excellent little horror movie.