Year of Release - 2005
Rating – R
Director – Ryan Schifrin
Running Time – 94 Minutes
Distributor – Anchor Bay
Abominable, Ryan Schifrin’s feature length directorial debut, is a tremendously fun throwback creature flick. Incorporating elements of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and monster-on-the-loose hysteria, Schifrin manages to strike a fun and likable balance. Schifrin also serves as the film’s writer and he doesn’t overwhelm us with stupid characters and nonsensical set pieces. Instead, we’re presented with characters we can identify with and an over the top b-movie epic concerning a monster on a blood hunt.
While all of the stereotypes that one would expect to see are present and accounted for (busty nubile coeds, country bumpkins, you name it) Schifrin manages to inject his own unique spin on a familiar story, creating a gory, late night creature fest that’s actually worth your dollar. Even though it’s always over the top in its execution Abominable remains an enjoyable treat and best of all, it’s never annoying or pretentious.
A script like this could have proved to be a disaster on film, if placed in the hands of a less than capable director that is. Schifrin manages to pull it all together with a final product that’s nothing short of a professional and sharp looking genre flick. Added to this are the impressive gore effects (and plenty of ‘em) along with the title creature himself, and while I had my doubts going in, I’m pleased to say that the creature effects are well done and quite effective.
Genre vets Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), Dee Wallace Stone (The Howling) and Lance Henriksen (Aliens) all stop by for an appearance, as does independent scream queen fave Tiffany Shepis. They’re not just familiar faces though; they are integral parts of the story and memorable characters. Their spots in this film were obviously valued, and it shows that they haven’t appeared solely for marquee value. They’re having as much fun as we are.
DVD extras include a feature length audio commentary, comprehensive behind-the-scenes documentary, outtakes/deleted scenes, trailers, Shadow (Director Ryan Schifrin’s short student film) and more. With so many choices, it’s nice to see an up and coming genre filmmaker really hit the mark his first time out. Schifrin is certainly one to watch out for, and Abominable on DVD is definitely not to be missed.