Sasquatch: The Untold (2002)
By: Devon B. on January 17, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Magna Pacific (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 82 minutes
The Movie
Director: Jonas Quastel
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Andrea Roth, Russell Ferrier, Philip Granger, Jeremy Radick
Screenplay: Jonas Quastel, Chris Lanning
Country: USA
Stumbling into the video store one lazy Tuesday afternoon, I came across (well, not literally, it wasn't the porn section or anything) a new movie about Bigfoot. Of course, I HAD to see Sasquatch: The Untold. After the DVD's Blair Witch wannabe pre-menu intro of a girl saying 'I think I'm gonna die out here' into a video camera, though, I was a bit worried about the crap-fest I'd undoubtedly rented. This region 4 release wisely chose to remove that intro. Not that I know wise, 'cause I agreed to watch this movie again to review it.

The jolting beginning set on a plane offers the first example of the film proper's tragic flaw. If the stupid camera cut outs bug you, switch the movie off! The pap story is about the daughter of Lance Henriksen getting lost in the forests of the Pacific North West. Distraught, Henriksen heads a crew out to look for his missing daughter…or is he after some nifty, prototype DNA equipment from his biotech company that was with his daughter at the time of the crash? His group looks for the wreck, trooping on through the foliage that's 'too tough to forest.' I'd have thought that meant an area very tough to get through, but obviously it means 'there's a couple of trees here and there.' Anyway, the crew plods on, making the occasional 'smart' remark. Soon, they're stuck dealing with a Sasquatch that took out the plane wreck survivors. Seems that ol' Biggie doesn't want the DNA equipment to leave the forest, since it contains a sample of Sas DNA. Wouldn't want proof of his race's existence to get out, after all. I learned this from the film's dialogue, as I never would've guessed it just from the proceedings. Yes, the Bigfoot does keep taking the equipment, but he also keeps taking it only about three feet and then leaving it there. I'd guess that it was heavy and the Sasquatch was worried about back injury, but he dragged a plane through the forest, so he should easily be able to carry the DNA thing.

Sasquatch: The Untold reminded me instantly of Congo, and the plot twist of the CEO having an alternate motive for sending a rescue party after his offspring certainly made the similarities even more apparent.

The acting is palatable for the low budget, but not wholly convincing. Most of the non-convincing thespianing comes from the actor playing Berg, who stinks up the screen worse than the legendary stench of the film's mythical missing link. Speaking of the missing link, he's pretty chintzy and covered in bald spots. I thought for a while that maybe the Bigfoot was desperate to keep the DNA equipment in the forest because it might've had some Rogaine in it. On the region 1 DVD, there's a still gallery that has nine pics of the Bigfoot. In them, it's quite clear the Sasquatch was intended to look like the result of Chewbacca mating with a bald chimp. At one point, a character mentions yowies. I couldn't help but feel that Rumble, or fuck, even Nap or Ditty, would've made better monsters.

Most of the film's attempts at humour are completely unnecessary, but there is a well-done insult about no longer purchasing books. I also liked a bit set in day where a guy mentions urban legends, then it cuts to night and he's still arguing their existence. Of course, this scene goes on to explain why Bigfoot has turned up with an ultimate 'Who knows what's out there?' response, which was silly.

Sasquatch: The Untold might've been an okay Bigfoot movie, except the director has some bizarre delusions of grandeur. If Larry Fessenden was a woman (just bear with me, here), and was raped by Dario Argento, but the trauma of the sex act caused the developing foetus to lose all sense of point and originality, that conglomerate of sperm and eggs might very well grow up to be Jonas Quastel. Quastel tries so hard, so very hard, to inject style to impress us with his FIRST movie. But the movie is much better when all the crappy camera work and effects are turned off and Quastel just allows the story to run its course. Granted, some of the stuff looks cool, but because so much fails, the film just comes off as DESPERATELY trying to be stylized. Given the quantity of the camera goof offs, saying some of it works is like saying a couple of jokes in a Naked Gun movie almost made me laugh. Like I said, if the beginning with the plane bugs you, turn the movie off. It just gets worse and worse from there. The audience is given Bigfoot POV shots, complete with glowing white objects. Why are they glowing? I don't know, maybe heat is reflecting off the snow? The glow results in annoying 3-D type lines and rays, which makes what's going on even more befuddled. There's also a teary, Blair Witch inspired goodbye video. A flashback collage awash in white. Slow mo more inappropriate than anything in a Sammo Hung movie. Evil Dead wannabe cam, sped up and weirded out, creating a set of odd, montage like shots. Ghost like effects, which are something akin to slow mo with digitized tracking of movements. Revolving camera. Missing frames when Henriksen walks from one side of the screen to the other. That was a bit weird, 'cause there's not a walk anymore, he just blips around the screen. Bigfoot moving faster than a speeding bullet, yet looking incredibly lame. One of the stupider tricks is the fading out that's done WITHIN A SCENE. I'm not sure what the plan was there? Did they want a strobe like effect? As is, the image just dissolves to an alternate angle within the same scene, and that's dumb. Maybe all this camera crap was meant to cover up the poor Sasquatch makeup, but if so, too much of him is still shown, so I guess they needed even MORE.
Sasquatch: The Untold is presented at 1.85:1. The print contains grain, spicks, and specks. Otherwise the image is sharp and well produced.
The audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The levels seem to leap around a bit, and occasionally background noise or the score can make dialogue tough to understand. Otherwise this is a passable mix.
Extra Features
The oh-so-relevant trailers for Strange Bedfellows and Supersize Me.
The Verdict
Don't be like me. Do NOT get this. For any reason. Ever. And especially don't get it twice. If you must watch a Bigfoot movie, track down Night of the Demon. Hell, even Harry and the Hendersons would be preferable to Sasquatch: The Untold.
Movie Score
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