Sasquatch (2002)

Sasquatch (2002)

They found the missing link….. and it’s not friendly.

Billionaire Harlan Knowles leads a rescue mission into the mountains and forests of the Pacific Northwest to look for his daughter who went down in a plane crash, along with a top secret project known only as the Huxley Project. As the team heads into the mountains, they come to realise that they are not alone and that something is watching them. Something intelligent and which doesn’t want the top secret project being found.

 

Bigfoot – one of the big mysteries of the unexplained which man has yet to really answer and one which Hollywood has seemingly done little with over the years. You could probably count the number of Bigfoot films on one hand, there have been that few of them. And even fewer are the amount of Bigfoot films which have actually been any good. Off the top of my head I can only think of another two films which involve Bigfoot and even one of them isn’t about Bigfoot, it’s about the Abominable Snowman. It’s a great idea for a horror film just waiting to break free. The possibility that they do exist in the world and the possibility that they may be pissed and hungry for human flesh is too good for a horror buff to think about! It’s an idea which has seen a sudden emergence thanks to a spate of Bigfoot-themed horror films. Sasquatch is the first one I’ve watched and I’ve got Abominable and Sasquatch Hunters to come!

The first thing that I should tell you about this is another director-studio feud which has resulted in the original vision of the film being skewered by the studio’s desire for cheap shocks. The re-titling to Sasquatch (it was previously named The Untold) for the video market and the addition of more shots of the creature were not what Jonas Quastel had in mind. It’s unfortunate because no matter how bad a film may be, I always prefer to see the director’s cut because that is usually the vision that was intended from the start, not one that has been tailored for money-making purposes. The director is the man calling the shots throughout filming and he should be the one calling the shots on how the film turns out. When studios start messing with the films they make, they might as well have directors done away with and get some second unit directors to film loads of random scenes to be put together. I was one of those lured by the title Sasquatch – I probably wouldn’t have given it a second glance with the named of The Untold. So I guess the studio has won after all.

However the flip side to this is that the film blows and I can’t really see anything that Quastel could have removed or changed that would make me change my mind. The thing that really strikes you when you sit and watch this is how hard Jonas Quastel has tried to stamp his own mark on the film. He has tried to mark his own directing style with his use of editing and fades to black. He probably knew that the material sucked so he had to get people to take more notice of him than the material. After all, even if the film sucks, at least producers can see the talents of the director shining through and then offer them better budgets for future films. However here you know there’s a scene change coming because it fades to black. Time and time again. It gets so annoying after the first ten times. Fade to black is usually a device to indicate that a longer period of time has taken place between scenes but here characters only have to step outside their tents for the fades to black to hit.

The constant fades to black are probably the least of the film’s worries though. There’s a distinct lack of anything happening apart from a group of characters trawling through the woods. Bigfoot is out there but you wouldn’t guess it. The creature doesn’t have a whole lot to during the film other than rustle trees and ogle the gorgeous Andrea Roth taking a naked dip into a hot water spring in the middle of the woods (how else we were going to get our T & A quota?). It’s also got some Predator-style vision (not the only Bigfoot film to do this I might add) and when it is finally revealed, it’s bald! I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing but it just looks downright silly and looks nothing like the scary mother on the cover box. The creature probably tore it’ own hair out when it just kept waiting to do something.

At a slim eighty-two minutes, the film has no right to be a slow and uneventful as it is. But the wafer-thin plot doesn’t even keep us going for sixty minutes let alone eighty-two. Not only do you have the mystery of Bigfoot to toy with, you’ve also got the mystery as to why Lance Henriksen has starred in more terrible films than he gets good roles. As usual, Henriksen turns up, pulls his performance out of his ass and then walks off with another payday which should last him another month until his next low budget feature. Does this guy have an addiction to crap films or what? He’s a great actor and deserves so much better. Andrea Roth looks hot as hell when she gives us the teasing moment in the jaccuzzi but does little else barring that. I guess her character serves her purpose and hey, I’m not complaining. I guess the guy in the gorilla suit did a good job too, simply because he was the only guy who wouldn’t see how ridiculous he looked in the costume.

 

Watching Sasquatch is about as enjoyable as having piles. There’s a good horror film waiting to pop out about a killer sasquatch and thankfully another film took the bull by the horns and did it (see Abominable). It’s no wonder the creatures are so reclusive. If they know how bad their images were being tarnished in crap like this, I bet they’d extinct themselves!

 

 ★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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