Attack of the Sabretooth (2005)
By: Craig Villinger on March 7, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Sony (Australia). Regions 2, 4 & 5, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 5.1, French DD 5.1, Italian DD 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1. English. Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish Subtitles. 88 minutes.
The Movie
Director: George Miller
Starring: Stacy Haiduk, Brian Wimmer, Nicholas Bell, Robert Carradine
Screenplay: Tom Woosley
Country: USA
As any killer creature feature enthusiast will tell you, there is an inherent thrill in seeing man pitted against a living being that he wouldn't normally come in to contact with during his day-to-day routine, and it's all the more sweeter when that being happens to possess a nasty set of fangs! The saber-toothed cat has been extinct for around 10,000 years, but thanks to modern advances like cloning filmmakers can now arbitrarily resurrect any creature they see fit and put it in a situation where it can snack on human victims – and although it might not be completely necessary, the whole scenario can be neatly wrapped up in a plausible scientific explanation. Voila!

Smarmy rich bastard Niles Green has sunk everything he's got into building a Fijian island resort called Primal Park, which he thinks will be the biggest money making venture in history as it will offer us something we've never seen before – cloned saber toothed tigers! Not really the most earth shattering attraction in my opinion since we've been able to see regular old tigers and lions in zoo's since birth and haven't been overly excited by the prospect, but at any rate Niles has organised a shindig on the island to wow potential investors, and as you would expect, the spinning blades are covered with faeces not long after the first champagne cork is popped. In this case, the problems arise when a group of archetypical American college students disable the resorts security system so they can steal a few trinkets for their fraternity treasure hunt, and the consequences are predictable – the Sabretooth's get loose, people die, and you the viewer will find your faith in killer creature features shaken once again by the sheer ineptitude of the whole affair!

Attack of the Sabretooth is basically a lousy Jurassic Park knock-off with big toothy cats filling in for scaly dinos, but while Steven Spielberg had a lot of money and a lot of talented people at his disposal, the director of this particular film, George Miller (no, not the George Miller who directed Mad Max), was working with a direct-to-cable budget and a bunch of people who may not have been experts in their field. The script is just awful, and is loaded with dumb characters (the first victim dies after wandering into the Sabretooth enclosure to retrieve a wind swept nudie mag!), inane dialogue, and enough gratuitous padding to send even hardcore creature feature enthusiasts to sleep before the half way mark. Not even a cast of recognizable and moderately talented actors, including former Superboy and Sequest DSV hottie Stacy Haiduk, Aussie TV regular Nicholas Bell and Revenge of the Nerds star Robert Carradine (who clearly couldn't care any less about his role), can add respectability to this clunker. Occasional attempts to inject some playfulness into the affair – including a bizarre Spinal Tap inspired sub-plot involving one characters disastrous history with men and a couple of splatter gags – just make the end result look even more ridiculous.

Of course, the above faults don't necessarily matter as you don't go into a movie called Attack of the Sabretooth expecting superior wordsmanship and characters that might be able to calculate the square route of pi in their head – most of us are there for the kitties, but it is my sad duty to report that the main attractions in this movie are very, very sucky. For the most part the Sabretooth's are rarely seen (fans of weirdly coloured creature POV shots rejoice - there's plenty of that here), and when they do manage to get some screen time they are of the non-convincing CGI variety and look more like ghostly apparitions than menacing flesh and blood entities. Their attacks do occasionally produce a few satisfyingly splattery moments, but the gore effects – as competent as they are except for a ridiculous decapitated head that bears absolutely no resemblance to the actor it was supposedly knocked off of – are too scarce to offer this feature any sort of redemption. Much like the Smilodon itself, the world would be a much better place if bad movies like Attack of the Sabretooth became extinct.
Attack of the Sabretooth is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. The transfer is perfectly serviceable – colours are rich, and there are no major blemishes or imperfections, although some of the darker moments do look a little fuzzy. Considering this film was shot for the sci-fi channel, the overall visual presentation is surprisingly adequate.
The English 5.1 track is everything you'd expect from a made-for-cable feature: Dialogue is always easy to understand, and music and sound effects come though clearly, but most of it comes through the front speakers, with the full 5.1 channel soundstage rarely utilized. French, Italian and Spanish 5.1 tracks are also provided.
Extra Features
Nothing, not even a bunch of trailers for other releases.
The Verdict
When it's not boring, it's just plain stupid, and there's no reason at all for you to subject yourself to this snoozer. Avoid it, as you would a real saber tooth cat were you to ever cross one's path.
Movie Score
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