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Case Number 02729: Small Claims Court

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Sasquatch

Sony // 2002 // 86 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // March 20th, 2003

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All Rise...

The Charge

They found the missing link…and it's not friendly.

The Case

Gadzooks! When an airplane carrying the daughter of a billion dollar company president goes down somewhere in the wilderness, a team of experts is dispatched to find out if anyone has survived. The team consists of Bio-Comp Industries' owner Harlan Knowles (Lance Henriksen, Aliens), an egotistic survival author (Philip Granger), a sexy bombshell (Andrea Roth), a true outdoorsman (Russell Ferrier), a computer geek (Jeremy Radick), and a few other random victims…err, I mean characters. As the team delves deeper and deeper into the woods, they find that they're not alone. Someone—or something—is watching their every step. What could this monstrosity be? And why is it following the group so closely? One by one they will learn what true terror is as they come face to face with…the Sasquatch!

There was a distinct moment in Sasquatch (originally titled "The Untold") when it all fell apart. It was near the middle of the film when a young female hiker strips down and slips into a hot tub naked…in the middle of an uncharted forest! Yes, the filmmakers didn't let something as trivial as "reality" get in the way of having that most important of scenes in the film: the naked Jacuzzi. It's moments like this (and oh so many others) that make Sasquatch a laughable entry into the horror/creature feature genre. If done correctly, I suppose that the idea of old Bigfoot might have been plausible, though with the release of the 1980s comedy Harry and the Hendersons, the idea seems dated and goofy. Sasquatch's main problem is that it has no idea how to stretch an already paper-thin idea into a feature length film (and with the 86 minute running time, the filmmakers barely made it). The expertly bland cast spends most of their time wandering around the woods searching for survivors and yelling at each other that "there's something up here" and "we're NOT alone!" The most recognizable face in the group is Lance Henriksen, who seems to be sleepwalking through his role with monosyllabic exhaustion that reads "just give me my paycheck so I can get home." The rest of the cast is made up of bland actors that either A.) yell and scream when the titular beast attacks or B.) chews on the scenery with such force that you'd think the craft services truck was nowhere to be found (Philip Granger, I'm talkin' 'bout you). As for the actual Sasquatch himself—and if you're watching this film for other reasons, shame on you—he looks like a cross between the Wolf Man , an Amish farmer, and Bea Arthur. Many of the scenes involving the beast are from his point of view, which is a direct rip-off of the POV of the alien in the far better Predator. The effects are chintzy, the creature is uninteresting, and the story incredibly placid. Like the title character, Sasquatch is a movie that most likely won't been seen by the general population, and for good reason.

Sasquatch is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. For a straight-to-DVD title, this doesn't look too bad. However, in comparison to most major releases, Sasquatch is floating at a mediocre level. Though the colors and black levels are generally solid and dark, overall the film retains a fair amount of grain and dirt in the image. Another major flaw I noticed were moments when the picture appeared to be soft or out of focus. Overall fans will be happy to get this film in a widescreen transfer, but the picture lacks true sharpness and detail. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround in English, and is far better than expected for a title of this caliber. Though this isn't an overly bombastic sound mix, there are plenty of surround sounds and directional effects to please most viewers. The mix is free of most hiss or distortion, save for a few spots where the dialogue sounded a bit hollow and thin. Also included on this disc is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround mix in English, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.

Sasquatch includes only one meaty extra feature: a commentary track by writer/director Jonas Quastel, actors Philip Granger and Jeremy Radick, and executive producer Rob Clark. This is one of those commentaries that's filled with little boring asides about the actors and the production, as well as some goofy, self-depreciating jokes about the film itself (many supplied by Granger). If you enjoyed the movie then you might enjoy this track. Otherwise, there's no need to waste your time watching this movie once, much less twice. Also included on this disc are a few cast and crew filmographies, trailers for the DVDs Sasquatch, Infested: Invasion of the Killer Bugs, and Boa, and a short photo gallery of images from the film.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 66

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genre:
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Theatrical Trailers
• Commentary Track by Writer/Director Jonas Quastel, Actors Philip Granger and Jeremy Radick, and Executive Producer Rob Clark
• Photo Gallery
• Cast and Crew Filmographies

Accomplices

• IMDb
• The Communication Powerhouse!








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