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October 24, 2010

Movie Review: Assault Of The Sasquatch (2010)

Does Bigfoot exist? Scientists, scholars and ordinary folks alike wonder this decades old mystery. This giant "man-ape" has captivated, and at the same time caused terror for residents of the pacific-northwest. Whether you think Bigfoot (or Sasquatch) exists ;is up for discussion, but one thing is for certain, this curiosity is alive in movies. The two most notable films in the Bigfoot genre are Legend Of Boggy Creek and (shockingly enough) Harry and the Hendersons. We've seen several other attempts at the cinematic Sasquatch in Creature from Black Lake, Boggy Creek II - one of the better Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes, in my opinion- ,Shreik Of the Mutilated - where our furry pal wears a white coat as a "Yeti," the wonderfully tasteless gore-fest, Night Of The Demon -a British Video Nasty, that really delivers on the "nasty"- and the recent abomination, Abominable, starring Lance Henriksen. Not too long ago, Chiller - a horror film channel on cable owned by NBC - showed Sasquatch Attack. Shot in 2009,by director Andrew Gernhard, Sasquatch Attack, now has a new title for its DVD incarnation, Assault Of The Sasquatch.

Assault Of The Sasquatch starts off really well in a murky forest, where a bear poacher (Kevin Shea) - who reminds me a lot of cult film actor Richard Lynch in one of his earlier sinister roles - and his group of dimwitted redneck cronies are killing off innocent bears. These gentlemen also have a much bigger objective: the legendary, Sasquatch. After a little battle with the monster, they capture and stick him their "Sasquatch-proof" truck. Unfortunately for our fellow poacher, the beast, bests his a crew and gets him locked up by law enforcement. Now our poacher and his truck - containing this very pissed-off beast - are taken in into the city where Sasquatch soon finds being away from the woods, ain’t half bad. Yes, our furious giant is away from his natural environment but he’s surrounded by so many more yummy opportunities. Two of Bigfoot's options come in the form of a couple of wandering nerds; the rotund and profusely sweating, Don (played by Shawn C. Phillips) and the slender and slightly more mobile, Murph (M.J Kelly).

Bigfoot, also hankering for the ladies. In one scene - that definitely feels inserted for the DVD -, Bigfoot peeps in on a topless, showering babe. I haven't seen the original broadcast of "Sasquatch Attack", that played on the Chiller network, but I assume this and several other scenes were put into the film just to amp up the nudity and violence quotient. That’s not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong; they just felt odd in their placement, and like they were shot after the initial production. Just a feeling I got from viewing. The Bigfoot attacks - which I'm sure, will be of interest to fans of Bigfoot carnage- are really fairly tame. After a solid opening scene of Bigfoot splatter, the violence, really isn’t that effective, and in a sense, Bigfoot, seemed neutered. The monster himself, also, looks more like singer, Michael McDonald, then a massive, lumbering Sasquatch. Bigfoot’s also, hardly imposing. He’s way too short and appears to be a shade over six-feet tall ,at best. The production itself looks to be a fairly good budget for a B movie. The night scenes, though, leave a lot to be desired. The picture quality, otherwise isn’t too bad.

In the extras department, we do get quite a bit of material to go through: A producer and director commentary, that's pretty spirited and amusing. Director, Andrew Gerhard and company do have some interesting stories about production and even address the film under its original title, Sasquatch Attack, through out the track. The change to Assault of the Sasquatch, must have been a recent re-titling. Ironically, this movie has many similarities to John Carpenter's classic, Assault on Precinct 13. It's just far from a classic. Also included is a "Booty Poppin" music video (?), the original theatrical trailer for Assault Of the Sasquatch, a blooper reel, and finally a featurette with co-stars, Shawn Phillips and M.J Kelley. This behind-the-scenes segment is a little odd, but isn’t a bad addition to the supplements.

Assault Of the Sasquatch is not the worst entry in the “Bigfoot” sub-genre - Shreik of The Mutilated, gets that dubious distinction – but unfortunately, it won’t breathe any life into these unique monster movies.

Director: Andrew Gernhard
Format: Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC
Language: English
Region: Region 1
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Synthetic Cinema Int
DVD Release Date: October 19, 2010
Run Time: 85 minutes

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