Brandon Jay McLaren
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22nd Mar 10
Losers On A Plane sadly survive a plane crash and go mano a mano with what looks like the unholy offspring off Brian Blessed and Gail from Coronation Street . Typical viewer douses eyes in pure acid in well intentioned bid to avoid watching any more.
Although there are vivid signs that at least someone, somewhere was taking the piss, Yeti is a particularly useless entry in the on-going Sy-Fy Channel cycle of nature-attacks type creature features, many of which are released on DVD in the U.S. as the “Maneater” series and boast the kind of colourful, gruesome DVD cover designs they WISH they could aspire to. This one is directed by Paul Ziller, whose C. V. is full of similar CG-laced monster flicks like Swarmed and Snakehead Terror, both of which are actually fairly serviceable. One of them features Tim Thomerson being a total bastard, which straight away makes it more fun than Yeti .
Efficient B movie maestro Mark L Lester (he made the awesome 80’s Class Of 1984 and its robot-teacher sequel) gets the kind of “story” credit you would probably kill your gran to delete from your resume. That story involves a college football team, their bitches and their coach getting caught up in a laughable CG plane crash en-route to Japan that strands them in the Himalayas. This happens minutes after some of the characters have referenced the events of Alive. And who said post-modernism was dead?
The only familiar face among the stranded is frequent horror movie sex pot Crystal Lowe, whose name is misspelled Chrystal Lowe in the titles, though a more serious oversight is the spelling of the title itself as “Y-e-t-i“ rather than “S-h-i-t-t-y”. She keeps her clothes on here due to the weather and thus deprives us of some movie-rescuing boobies. Those boobies are currently appearing in Wrong Turn 2, Final Destination 3 and Black Christmas for all you connoisseurs out there.
Twenty minutes in, the title creature is shown in a full daylight close-up, revealing itself to be a man in the ropiest possible Yeti costume and possessing more than a passing resemblance to what you would imagine Esther Rantzen would look like first thing in the morning after a cocaine bender. For some reason, when the Yeti springs into action, it becomes a stupid, running, bouncing CG blur that flies through the air to cartoonish effect, not dissimilar to the bouncy green jelly bean that ruined Ang Lee’s Hulk (well, that and the fact that it was BORING!). Does anyone responsible for these movies ever stop to look at just how pathetic their low-budget CGI actually is? Wouldn’t a guy holding a retarded child’s picture of the monster have more impact?
But wait! That’s not the only peril awaiting these cardboard cut-outs! There is the more immediate matter of how to survive in the sub-zero wilderness on just three energy bars. While everyone blames bears for the increasing death-count, food becomes an issue. Their only decent meal initially proves to be a squirrel (“two to a leg”), though it looks like chicken to us, followed by the inevitable moral dilemma - a quandary that most significantly leads to the question “How do we cook it?”
Far too many of these bastards survive all the cannibalism, cheap computer avalanches and Yeti-rampages. There are laughs to be had along the way, some of which, in undue fairness, may well have been intentional. It’s the first movie in history where a character with a broken leg uses his chum’s severed arm as a splint. Characters stand frozen in terror when confronted by the Yeti and try foolish things like throwing snowballs at it. At one point, said Yeti beats someone with their own freshly ripped-off legs. A girl’s head is squished like a grape by its big hairy foot. And in an arguable highpoint, the snoring Yeti falls asleep on a potential victim. It’s that kind of movie, folks.
1st Apr 04 Influenced by the American short story The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs, Dead of Night is an early 70’s US b-horror film written by Alan Ormsby (Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, Deranged) and...