[Review] ABOMINABLE, good soundtrack, fun gore, bad movie

There are good guys and bad guys in director Jamaal Burden’s Abominable, but the real heroes of the movie are Yaya Turner (music), Tony Fabian (Music Advisor) and Alex Ferguson (assistant engineer/music department) who make sure there isn’t a moment of silence in the film’s 78-minute run time. It is through their relentless efforts that audiences get a sense of what’s happening in the movie, even when the script fails them by being needlessly complicated or overly silly. If you lose track of what’s happening or even interest in what’s going to happen next, just listen to the soundtrack. It may not always be a perfect fit for the scenes you’re watching, but at least it’s entertaining.

The story of Abominable begins with a scene of a middle-aged guy running through the snow clutching a blue flower. There’s the sound of Psycho-style strings hacking away over the speakers along with the guttural growls of whatever is chasing the guy. The guy stumbles and falls, something off-camera pulls his body away and we hear the snarl and crunch of some beast feasting. It lasts a little over a minute.

The movie then jumps to show us a team of commando/scientists entering a remote facility where, we assume, the old guy came from. They set up camp while providing some basic character details and plot exposition. Then they divide up to search for the mysterious blue flower the old guy dropped, hunt the Yeti who probably killed him and set up an area where the chopper can pick them up before the big storm arrives and snows them in. It’s a lot to take in, but luckily these details are the only plot points you will need to follow through to the end of Abominable. There are a few odd twists thrown in along the way, like the fact that the area they are searching is part of a time vortex where past and present meet to create old snow or something like that, but such details are mere distractions that aren’t followed up in any significant way.

So, with the soundtrack blaring and the story all but told, all the audience watching Abominable has to do is sit back and wait for the Yeti to begin picking the commando/scientists off one by one. And it is in these Yeti attack scenes that we find the best and the worst of Burden’s film. On the plus side, there are a few interesting — and gory — kills. At one point, the Yeti rips off the arm of a commando and, not satisfied that it’s enough to let him bleed out in the snow from the arterial spray gushing from his shoulder, the beast puts his fingers in the commando’s mouth and rips his jaw off. It’s pretty gnarly. There is also a scene where the Yeti pulls off a guy’s face that will make gore fans happy.

Now for the negatives. The Yeti itself looks pretty bad. You can tell when he bends his torso that it’s a guy in a loosely fitting rubber suit; if that’s not enough, there is another scene where the Yeti is beating a guys head against a tree and you can clearly see the cuff of his Abominable Snowman jacket where his arm stretches out. Such silly shortcomings can be entertaining, but only if the movie itself has a sense of humor about its cheapness, even if the humor is unintentional. There’s no such joy found watching Abominable.

This April comes face to face with stone-cold terror, Abominable on DVD and Digital April 14 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

  • John Black, Abominable
John Black
John Black still remembers his first horror movie, sneaking in to a double-feature of Horror House with Frankie Avalon and a Boris Karloff film he can’t remember the name of but will always remember for giving him his first glimpse of cinematic nudity as one of the actresses moved from the bed to the door without putting on any underwear! (Fond family memory: That glimpse, when discovered by his parents, cased John’s mom to call the theater and yelling at the manager for letting her son see ‘such filth’.) Luckily, John was more impressed by the blood and horror than the bare haunches and quickly became a devotee of the genre.

John has been a professional movie reviewer since 1987, when his first review – of a Robert De Niro film called Angel Heart – appeared in the entertainment section of The Cape Codder newspaper. He’s been writing about film ever since, primarily now as the entertainment editor at Boston Event Guide. Hardly a day goes by when he doesn’t watch at least one movie, which is how he thinks life was meant to be.