NOVEMBER 8, 2010
I can’t recall how I discovered it in the first place (most likely someone sent me a link), but one of my favorite Youtube regulars has to be Don the DVD guy, aka Coolduder, who has a series of videos that consist of him talking about all the DVDs he bought that week. Sometimes he reviews them, other times he just talks about how he bought it because it has a new cover (the Martin Lawrence film Blue Streak, for example). He’s entertaining enough on his own, but I mainly watch him because it makes me feel better about my spending habits. I didn’t even buy Blue Streak ONCE and it came out in 1999, the year I was buying DVDs at a rate of 4-5 a week (thanks to the now defunct reel.com shopping service). So this dude was NUTS. Anyway, I was overjoyed to see him pop up in Assault Of The Sasquatch, basically playing himself (along with Murph, his co-star) and having no real relevance to the movie.
In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if their scenes were filmed at a different time than the bulk of the production, as they never interact with any of the main characters, and even seem to be in a different movie entirely. While not completely without (intentional) humor, the bulk of the film is somewhat serious, with a lot of deaths (and not always at the paws of the Sasquatch) and a somewhat depressing tone (dead mothers and such). But Don and Murph seem to have stepped in from an 80s comedy, even spying on a girl in the shower at one point. Plus Don delivers each and every line as if he was Gilbert Gottfried’s over-caffeinated cousin.
But rather than make the movie schizo, it just adds to its charm. For starters, the “Assault” in its title is no accident; this is more or less Assault on Precinct 13 with a Sasquatch, as a collection of cops, criminals, and random civilians spend a good chunk of the film “trapped” in a police station with the ‘quatch outside. I’ve always wondered why the basic plot of Assault isn’t ripped off more often, so I was thrilled to see it used for something as random as a Bigfoot.
Even more thrilling – the kills in this movie are actually kind of awesome. I’ve been conditioned to expect the worst from these things, but they put the effort in here, with Sasquatch hands going through human heads, lots of general evisceration, etc. But my favorite has to be the guy who just gets pummeled by random objects – Bigfoot throws chunks of cement, a tire, even a goddamn mailbox at this poor bastard.
The actors are the expected mixed bag, but I sort of love the old crusty poacher guy. Whether he’s using his real or an exaggerated “angry old bastard” voice, I don’t care. Every time he opened his mouth I laughed. Again, the movie’s not particularly good, but it endlessly entertained me, more often than not by intentional means. I never got a whiff of the delusions of grandeur that plague such things.
Of course, there were still a lot of problems – some truly atrocious ADR and more than a few bizarre edits among them. It starts off really rough, with a too dark scene with the poachers cut back and forth between two cops in a car who don’t seem to actually be in the car at the same time (plus they’re both constantly looking to their right the entire scene, which is just awkward whether they’re together or not). And the lead girl is the worst actress, which always bugs me – it’s not like any of these folks have star power or anything, so why not use one of the better actresses (the ones in smaller roles) as the lead? She doesn’t even partially resemble the guy playing her dad (the ages don’t seem right either, I thought he was an older brother at first).
Also, according to my notes, the opening credits went on too long, but I mean, come on BC, that’s nitpicking.
Mainly I just liked that it wasn’t being taken too seriously. I’ve seen too many Sasquatch films that were just dull as dirt because they were trying too hard to be legit. This one’s a lot looser and goofy, but the characters (save Don and Murph, and in some instances, the Sasquatch) are playing it straight, not cracking one liners and mugging around like jackasses. In short, it’s a good little time.
What say you?