Attack of the Sabretooth (2005)

Attack of the Sabretooth (2005)

Extinct no more!

A rich tycoon has built a holiday park on a tropical island with one definitive hook – he has managed to create a pair of sabretooth tigers using DNA extracted from fossils. He invites an assortment of businessmen to the island in the hope that they will invest in his scheme and make him even richer. Also on the island are a group of wannabe frat students who are there on a scavenger hunt. It’s unfortunate for everyone there that the students decide to crash the security systems in order to break into one of the off-limit areas. Without anything keeping them locked away, the sabretooths are loose and on the hunt for food.


Jeez, where have you heard that little story before? I am guessing that Michael Crichton has taken these writer bums to court to sue for the most blatant plagiarism of Jurassic Park that you’re ever going to have the misfortune of watching. Although it shamelessly rips from the superior Spielberg classic (the businessman even calls his resort, Primal Park), Attack of the Sabretooth isn’t all that bad. You could do a lot worse (and believe me, I have) in this ‘monster on the loose’ genre. The film just about delivers what you’d expect – a reasonably high body count, a surprising amount of gore and plenty of sabretooth action. It just seems to take ages to get going before you actually get to any of the good bits.

I try to avoid blatant spoilers in my reviews but to highlight one of the problems with Attack of the Sabretooth, it’s necessary to go through the first ten minutes. So skip the next chapter if you must avoid what happens. Although I’m guessing if you’ve seen any of this sub-genre, you’ll guess what happens to the characters straight away.

The writing may be too similar to Jurassic Park but at least that film had the sense to give the characters some ounce of intelligence. In this sort of straight-to-DVD flicks, you expect some stupidity but here the characters take it to the extreme. To kick these films off, you have to establish the threat of the monster which means some bum, janitor or various other throwaway characters are horribly killed and eaten before the titles hit. Here some dumb security guard sits on the safe side of the security fence, reading a porn magazine. He tears a page out, presumably to get better acquainted with it. But it blows away in the wind and lands on the dangerous side of the fence in the sabretooth enclosure. Not content with the porn he still has left, the guard unlocks the security gate and strolls inside the enclosure to find the page, which conveniently keeps blowing deeper into the jungle. Believe me – that must have to be some kick ass porn for him to be risking his life for one sheet. He leaves the door open and is promptly devoured a few minutes later. Surprisingly the tigers don’t escape at this point but the open gate attracts the attention of another employee who strolls into the enclosure to find the remains of the previous idiot. Needless to say he doesn’t make it back to the door, which is still unlocked. Then not content with killing off two stupid characters, another guard sees the open gate, walks into the enclosure and begins shouting for his missing friend. The guy might as well have been ringing a dinner bell!┬áIt’s this stupidity and poor writing that ruins the film and these three are not the only ones to fall victim to a lack of tissue between the ears.

The addition of the students was a bit pointless. They simply add a teen factor to the film and more bodies when I’m sure the more important roles could have been given a bit of fleshing out. Characters are totally stock throughout – the rich tycoon who refuses to believe anything is wrong because it will ruin him, the gothic chick, the jock, the Asian computer nerd, the token blonde, the token Native guards and a few other slime ball characters. Nicholas Bell is probably the pick of the cast, only because his British accent gives him a more sinister turn as the nasty boss. It’s nothing to write home about and neither are any of the other performances. I guess when you choose to star in these films, you know you’re second rate to the monster so there’s no passion to perform (it’s not like any of them did anything to convince me they can perform at the best of times).

It’s about time we got to the sabretooths though because they are the only reason people like me still tune in. Well I’ve seen better but I’ve seen worse. The CGI works best when it’s against a lighter background like the jungle as opposed to the dark confines of the corridors, which most of the final half is based in. The sabretooths get well fed which is always a good thing because it keeps the pace going and they have a nasty happen of tearing their victims to shreds. The gore quota is very high here with decapitations, maulings and remnants of intestines and severed heads being left. I was impressed for a low budget film. The sabretooth tigers get a decent amount of screen time for the last half of the film as they stalk their remaining victims around the corridors of the resort. I was hoping for the party of investors to be gate-crashed by the sabretooth tigers as it was a perfect recipe for some cheesy moments but that didn’t happen. But for anyone looking to get your teeth into some decent prehistoric carnage, these sabretooth tigers provide adequate bite.


Attack of the Sabretooth isn’t overly terrible given the rehashed material, the slap-dash writing, the budget and the fact it was a Sci-Fi Channel production (which is a kiss-of-death nowadays). I just hope someone remembered to pay royalties to Michael Crichton.





Post a comment