Sasquatch Mountain (2006)
"Believe the legend"
After robbing a small town bank, the group of thieves crash into a car on the road whilst they are making their getaway. Taking the female driver hostage, they venture into the woods to escape the pursuing police. Both groups soon find themselves up against a deadly monster that has come down from the Arizona mountains and they are forced to team up in order to survive.
During the 00s, Bigfoot saw a small revival in horror with a number of films, mainly low budget, pitting man’s hairy relative against a group of people in the middle of the woods somewhere. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them weren't very good. I guess the idea of being attacked by a gigantic walking carpet isn’t exactly up there on anyone’s ‘Top 10 Things to be Scared of Being Killed By’ list. Sasquatch Mountain joins this ever-increasing list of not very good films about Bigfoot. Originally entitled Devil on the Mountain, the title was changed to make it sound more threatening and more sasquatch-orientated – basically a bit more exploitative and focus on a niche audience of monster movie fans such as myself.
The myth about sasquatch/Bigfoot/the Yeti/Abominable Snowman is one of great interest to humans and has been the subject of so much research and attention down the years that it’s hard to understand why no one has really gotten the subject material right (and I say this having seen a few Bigfoot-themed horror films but not all of them so someone may prove me wrong). Sasquatch Mountain throws in a decent opening sequence but this promises that the film will not be anything but a typical Bigfoot horror. Why do filmmakers always have to make these creatures so vicious, angry and blood-thirsty? I highly doubt that such creatures still exist (if they ever did) but if even if they did, they’d most likely find the taste of overweight, sugared-up humans to be a little off.
Though I wouldn’t get too worried about the creature in all honesty. Sasquatch Mountain spends most of its time focusing on the troubles between the bank robbers and their hostage, and then the cops when they turn up and is a talky affair as a result. You won’t get to know enough about any of the characters to really care about them and their philosophical bickering and macho tit-for-tat seems to go around in circles as they traipse through the forest. As is always the case, the more time the characters spend arguing with each other, the less time the monster is on display, thus making the production a lot cheaper. Of course, they also need to actually get to the forest first and we see far too much of the robbery and the following chaos. This is definitely not Heat. This is the film’s major problem. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – having your main characters as bank robbers, murderers, terrorists or any form of ‘evil’ bad guys and then putting them up against some form or monster or threat. Just who are supposed to root for? It’s certainly not meant to be the asshole characters who kill innocent people to get away with some cash. But these characters take up a lot of screen time and generally not very likeable. You can’t even root for the good guys in films like this as they are required to make stupid decisions by virtue of the script in order for the narrative to flow and have them all team up at some point.
At least the monster is a guy-in-a-suit and the makers of the film opted not to go down the CGI Bigfoot route. This adds a nice element of realism to the attack scenes as the creature is happy breaking backs and snapping necks but these sequences are virtually blood-free. We get a few glimpses of the monster but it’s generally confined to the shadows until the big reveal towards the finale. There is that little of the monster that you wonder whether it walked in from another set. Despite the novelty of the suit, the quality of the creation is awful and looks like someone just stuck a load of worn carpet together. Think Chewbacca having to live off the streets of New York for five years and you’ll get the impression.
There’s a decent cast here which is all the more shame for the script being so rubbish. Lance Henriksen gets top billing and must really have a thing for Bigfoot as this was his third such film within the space of four years. As the grizzled truck driver who lost his wife to the monster years earlier, Henriksen chalks up a number of clichés in order to pay his bills for the week. Craig Wasson (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) is the head bank robber, Tim Thomerson (from Dollman) is on hand as the token hunter character and the lovely Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever) adds glamour as the female hostage.
Well Sasquatch Mountain killed an hour and a half on Sy Fy so their investment was well-spent in that respect. It doesn’t go off into mindless monster mode too much and has a few moments where it threatens to get deep and emotional but overall, Sasquatch Mountain is a bore with sporadic moments of Bigfoot which will leave you feeling grossly unsatisfied. Maybe Henriksen could try a fourth Bigfoot film and see if he can do any better?
Also Known As: Devil on the Mountain
Director(s): Stephen R. Monroe
Writer(s): Michael Worth
Actor(s): Lance Henriksen, Cerina Vincent, Michael Worth, Rance Howard, Craig Wasson, Tim Thomerson, Raffaello Degruttola
Duration: 90 mins