The greatest killer Sasquatch movie ever made? Perhaps. Have there been that many good killer Sasquatch movies? Not really. Is the term “killer Sasquatch” redundant? I suppose so, as I've never seen a friendly Sasquatch movie. (No, Harry and the Hendersons doesn't count.) Ryan Schiffrin's film is entertaining beyond its small budget, as he wisely chooses to keep the monster hidden from full view until it nears its climactic conclusion.
By combining elements of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window to what should be a rudimentary Bigfoot story, director Schiffrin has crafted the most entertaining Bigfoot movie in recent memory, and perhaps the strongest entry in the genre that I personally have ever seen. It has everything a good Sasquatch movie should have – solid entertaining characters, some wonderfully campy violence, and a monster that is hidden from sight often enough to generate some genuine suspense.
The film takes place nearly entirely in the protagonist's cabin in the woods. Being confined to a wheelchair he spends his time looking through his binoculars, watching a houseful of girls, on vacation for the weekend, next door. Things get a little crazy when he sees what appears to be a Bigfoot, and the girls start to disappear…
You can definitely see the influence of Rear Window. This never takes away from the film however, as it certainly stands well on its own. There's enough Bigfoot violence that before you know it, you'll forget all about the similarities. Abominable is pure fun and never tries to be anything else. For this reason, it succeeds when other Bigfoot movies have failed. The Bigfoot monster was never meant to be taken seriously, just as the film Night of the Bloody Apes could never be taken seriously. (Come on, there are certain connections… One's about a giant man-ape terrorizing people; the other a Mexican wrestler turned titular ‘bloody ape' terrorizing people. Point proven.) It's a fun popcorn horror movie - no more, no less.
The cast is great - Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Combs, and Dee Wallace will be familiar to any self-respecting horror fan. Though their appearances are brief. Matt McCoy is good as the wheelchair-bound protagonist, which is probably as a result of this being his fourth Bigfoot-related project. (After Little Bigfoot, Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter, and starring next to Bea Arthur in an episode of Golden Girls. Zing! Okay… only two of those actually have anything to do with Bigfoot…) Paul Gleason (The Breakfast Club) is always fantastic. And the beautiful Haley Joel holds her own as the lead female, despite her limited acting experience.
If you wake up one morning, and say to yourself… “Tonight… I think I could go for a Bigfoot movie.” You could definitely do worse than Abominable. And realistically, I don't think you could do any better. Bigfoot films are apparently very difficult to make well. So, take the good ones where you can get ‘em.
A tidbit for you… Bigfoot must be pretty much universally recognized as a legitimate figure and hold some cultural significance, as not only is it listed in the dictionary (…a very large, hairy, humanoid creature reputed to inhabit wilderness areas of the U.S. and Canada ), but Microsoft Word won't even let me get away without capitalizing the B. Imagine that…