Copyright Company and Date: Red Circle Productions 2006
Submitted by Kooshmeister
Preston Rogers - Former mountain climber turned recovering paraplegic whose attempt at a relaxing weekend in the mountains is rudely disrupted by the shenanigans of Sasquatch. Or is it a Yeti?
Otis Wilhelm - Preston's nurse. Otis has a drinking problem which amplifies his already unpleasant personality. Has his face literally bitten off.
Amanda - One of several college girls on a bachelorette getaway of sorts. There's not much else to say about her otherwise, despite the screentime she gets.
Michelle, C.J., Tracy and Karen - Amanda's friends. Michelle was the one who was getting married. Monster chow, all of them.
Billy Hoss - Rex Linn! A farmer out to avenge the death of his horse and his dog. He doesn't. Sasquatch food.
Ziegler Dane - Lance Henriksen! A hunter who likes to kill things. A balanced part of Sasquatch's diet.
The Clerk - Jeffrey Combs! Keeper of Sasquatch lore down at the local 7-Eleven. Eaten.
Sheriff Dick Halderman - Paul Gleason! Irritable and ignorant but well-meaning local cop who finds bathroom humor the pinnacle of wit. Presumed eaten.
The Monster - It's Sasquatch! Only it isn't! Kind of. The movie can't seem to decide if it's a Sasquatch or a Yeti. Preston crushes him between Otis' station wagon and a tree.
You can look up someone's cell phone number on the Internet.
When being attacked by a Sasquatch and in need of police assistance, the little white lie that it's a serial killer instead goes a long way.
There are rhinos in petting zoos.
1985 Chevrolet station wagons are rear-wheel drive.
Sasquatches hate car horns.
Preston: I'm gonna need a bigger knife.
Clerk: Why you don't believe in 'Squatch?
Ziegler: Hell no.
Clerk: Then what the hell are you doin' here?
Ziegler: Because I like to kill s**t.
Clerk: You smell that? Boys, we're not alone.
Ziegler: 'Course not. We're sittin' in the middle of the woods, Sherlock. Ten bucks it's a bear.
[Ziegler gets up and wanders off into the woods alone]
Hoss: Ziegler, wait!
Clerk: Another Darwin Award, comin' up.
Halderman: I would say that Mr. Rogers has lost his neighborhood, y'know what I'm saying? I mean he's not been the same since that accident, now he's seeing monsters. What's that tell you?
McBride: What, do you think this is a hoax?
Halderman: No, no, I don't think it's a hoax, no. I just think the guy's got a hole in his screen door, that's all.
Preston: I think it cut the power.
Preston: I have no f**king idea.
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, 2006's Abominable, directed by famed composer Lalo Schifrin's son Ryan, stands out. Admittedly, with the multitude of young female victims on display it does sometimes feel like a slasher, and its plot isn't entirely original either, but there's no CGI employed and the manner in which the not-too-original story is presented doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence.
The movie is set in the American town of Flatwoods, which despite its name is a very hilly mountain resort. As the film begins, farmer Billy Hoss and his wife Ethel awake in the middle of a snowy winter's night night to discover something killed their horse. Their dog Sparky runs off into the woods and we hear a yelp and a snarl, signaling Sparky's untimely demise and the arrival of the movie's monster. Whatever it is, it chases Mr. and Mrs. Hoss back to their house where they hide out until it goes away. When it's gone, Billy and Ethel come outside to investigate after a breather, they find giant footprints in the snow...
The following day, Preston Rogers is being brought back home to Flatwoods after months of rehabilitative therapy following a climbing accident at the infamous (and poorly named) 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. His doctors have placed him in the care of Grade-A dickweed Otis Wilhelm, a sort of male nurse kind of guy. Preston really doesn't want to be here, or anywhere, really, as he is depressed over his wife's death and such. The fact his house is in the shadow of Suicide Rock isn't helping his wounded psyche any.
When 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.
Preston sends a frantic E-mail off to the local sheriff's office but is told not to send prank mail. Otis returns around this time and naturally doesn't believe Preston.
Meanwhile, Billy Hoss and a couple of other shotgun-toting rednecks head off into the woods as night falls to hunt what one guy insists is a Yeti. Hearing a noise, the third woodsman, Ziegler Dane, heads off to investigate the woods alone (this after he just got explaining what the Darwin Awards were to his comrades) and discovers the dying Karen, who has just enough time to warn Ziegler, "It's coming back!" before it does, indeed, return, and Karen and her would-be rescuer wind up as Yeti chow in short order, with Ziegler loosing the famous Wilhelm Scream as his death cry. Billy and the other guy follow suit.
Preston keeps insisting he saw (kind of) a monster, causing tension to build between him and the already dickish, impatient Otis, culminating in Otis attempting to sedate him after the understandably hysterical Preston further witnesses Tracy get pulled through the bathroom window across the street, which, incidentally, was far too small for her. One snapped back later and the four remaining girls have dwindled to only three.
So anyway Otis tries to sedate Preston, only for his charge to grab the syringe and jam it into Otis' neck, sedating him instead. Otis will spend most of the remainder of the film lying around on the floor.
Without his overbearing nurse hindering him any further, Preston begins making lengthy attempts to warn the other girls, culminating in the monster finally appearing fully (and it is indeed a Yeti, or at least a Bigfoot; the movie does offer a pseudo-science explanation for what a Yeti is doing in the United States, but it doesn't quite fly).
His efforts are mostly in vain as Michelle and C.J. die horribly. C.J. in particular finds out the hard way why they call it "Bigfoot," but Amanda makes it into Preston's house where he and she decide to join wits to defeat the ornery primate, before it thinks to investigate the house across the street for more victims. And by this point you might be asking, why does the damn Yeti need to eat so much? He's already killed eight people in only a few short hours since Preston returned, so surely he'd be full by now, right? Well, let's just say that Bigfoot is out doing a little grocery shopping...
And furthermore, what's a guy who can't use his legs anymore going to do against a gigantic monster we've seen flip over cars and kill experienced hunters? Well, all I'll say is it involves an axe and a station wagon...
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 that wants to rape someone"), 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 there Hoss family hides 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 when he finally wakes up!
Performance-wise Matt McCoy is wonderful as Preston. I'd never heard of him before but Abominable makes me want to see more of his work. He's very cute even if he does look like a skinny, big-nosed Alec Baldwin. The minor roles are filled with instantly recognizable B-movie stalwarts such as Rex Linn (from Cliffhanger) as Billy Hoss, Lance Henriksen as Ziegler Dane, Jeffrey Combs as a kooky gas station clerk and the late, great Paul Gleason as the obligatory skeptical, doomed cop Sheriff Halderman, who owns a coffee mug reading "Don't Mess With the Bull." Must be kin to Richard Vernon.
Abominable is a really good effort, and although it isn't great, it still stands out as a diamond in the rough amidst a sea of s**tty horror films to come out in the last several years. The fact it debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel, which is a dumping ground for various s**tty low-budget horror crapfests, makes the fact it's actually good even more surprising.