Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Sasquatch aka The Untold (2002)
Review by Dan Taylor

I'm 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.


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