Review by Dan Taylor
a sucker for a good Bigfoot story. It probably
dates back to a lifelong fascination with
tv's IN SEARCH OF, the 'Bionic Bigfoot'
episode of SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, and all
those Sun Classics "documentaries"
that suggested ancient astronauts who built
Noah's Ark were responsible for the assassination
of Abraham Lincoln.
So when I spotted SASQUATCH
staring at me from the video store shelf
I was intrigued, to say the least. Add in
a starring role from the always-reliable
Lance Henriksen (MILLENNIUM, ALIENS, PUMPKINHEAD,
etc.) and the deal was sealed.
Harlan Knowles (Henriksen)
is the head of a biotech company that has
lost some valuable cargo. Two months ago,
a plane carrying his daughter went down
in a wooded area of the Northwest. We soon
learn that the plane also carried the firm's
top researcher and the prototype of his
groundbreaking invention, codenamed Huxley.
With official search and rescue efforts
called off, Knowles assembles a team to
help him venture into the wilderness and
find the survivors.
To its credit SASQUATCH doesn't
waste much time with set-up. The flick opens
with video-cam footage of the plane crashing,
survivors battling an unseen force, and
even some Sasquatch-cam to get the juices
flowing. Next thing you know, Knowles and
his crack team are at the docks getting
ready. We've got: the insurance chick/hottie
who wants to know what else was on the plane;
the nerdy computer wiz who is also well
versed in the subject of mythical beasties;
a wise and grizzled guide; a hard-drinking
blowhard adventurer/author; and, a crash
expert who fills in the guide and
audience on the backstory.
Once the team reaches the
region where the crash took place and begin
seeing things creeping around in the woods,
SASQUATCH takes off in a direction that
I hadn't anticipated. Instead of riffing
on the slasher-stalks-victims-in-the-woods
motif by substituting the misunderstood
sasquatch for a scarred groundskeeper, the
flick gives the hairy creature some motivation.
Pretty soon we see that all of the characters
are not what we thought they were and bad
people get their comeuppance.
Far from your typical, by-the-numbers
"beast on the loose" flick, SASQUATCH
is an entertaining and thoughtful horror
flick with a great performance from Henriksen
and a solid supporting cast. Characters
never stray into the hysterical over-acting
zone and while the makeup effects are a
bit uneven we might've been better
off never actually seeing the titular
monster I can definitely recommend
SASQUATCH as a change of pace from the usual
horror fare lurking on video store shelves.