31 Days of Halloween — Day 11: Assault of the Sasquatch (2009) — by Dr. Shock

assaultofsasquatchEditor’s note: Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker is a host on Horror Movie Podcast and the Land of the Creeps horror podcast. He is also the mastermind behind DVDInfatuation.com, a movie review blog where he is watching and posting one review every day until he reaches at least 2,500 movie reviews. Follow Doc on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation.

When it comes to film adaptations of the Bigfoot monster, the pickings are a little slim. The Legend of Boggy Creek is perhaps the most notable of the bunch, and I did enjoy recent entries like Willow Creek and Eduardo Sanchez’s Exists. I would even toss Snowbeast and Abominable into the mix (the Yeti is a distant cousin of Bigfoot’s, right?), but aside from these few there’s not a whole hell of a lot to choose from. A 2009 micro-budget horror film from director Andrew Gernhard, Assault of the Sasquatch probably won’t make its way onto anyone’s “Top 5 favorite Bigfoot Movies” list, but it’s not a total loss, either.

Terry Drake (Kevin Shea), a wily, one-eyed poacher who hunts bears for a living, makes the discovery of a lifetime when one of his traps snares the legendary Sasquatch (played by Jason Criscuolo). After tranquilizing the monster, Drake loads it into the back of his truck, only to be arrested moments later (for poaching) by Officers Ryan Walker (Greg Nutcher) and Krystle Morin (Cristina Santiago). Not realizing there’s a sedated Sasquatch inside, Ryan drives Drake’s truck into town while his partner transports the prisoner. Unfortunately, the nearest precinct is one that’s scheduled to be closed soon, and is manned only by a skeleton crew: Detective George Cassesse (Hank Torrence), Officer Jameson (Cuyle Carvin) and Secretary Amy Steel (Andrea Sáenz).

Over the course of the evening, two more people will make their way to the near-abandoned station: Ryan’s daughter Jessica (Sarah J. Ahearn), who agreed to meet here father there; and newly-arrested prisoner Talen Colletti (Alex Exum), who had a previous run-in with Officer Ryan years earlier and is looking for revenge. The real trouble comes, however, when the Sasquatch wakes up, and breaks free. Though somewhat confused by (and curious about) it’s new surroundings, the infamous monster is also pissed off, and intends to take its anger out on those responsible for bringing him to this strange place.

With its story of an under-manned police precinct besieged by outside forces, Assault of the Sasquatch owes more than a little to John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (like that 1976 film, the cops and criminals have to team up in order to survive), and some of the characters are fairly interesting (I especially liked Sáenz’s Amy Steel, a former stripper who was taken in by Detective Cassesse a few years earlier, yet still knows how to defend herself when the chips are down). Also, while it’s certainly not the most impressive-looking Bigfoot I ever saw (that honor would go to 1987’s Harry and the Hendersons), the title creature in Assault of the Sasquatch is convincing enough at times.

The problem is it isn’t very scary, and there’s never a moment when we believe this Sasquatch is an invincible threat (bullets seem to slow it down, and in one of the movie’s better scenes, Amy Steel kicks its ass in a fistfight). The film also has some comedic sequences that center on the creature, including one where it peers through a widow and watches a pretty young lady strip. In addition, Assault of the Sasquatch features a few side stories that go absolutely nowhere, like the Ryan / Colletti feud and, worst of all, a couple of geeks (Shawn C. Phillips and M. Kelley) who get video footage of the Sasquatch, then spend the rest of the movie trying to track it down again (coincidentally, they’re charter members of the I.S.S., or International Sasquatch Society).

Things do get wild at the end, and the overall pace of the movie is quite good. But if it’s a Bigfoot film you’re after, there are better ones out there.

— Dr. Shock

Links for Dr. Shock:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVDInfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

E-mail: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com
Voicemail: (801) 382-8789
Subscribe to Horror Movie Podcast free in iTunes

6 thoughts on “31 Days of Halloween — Day 11: Assault of the Sasquatch (2009) — by Dr. Shock


    Day 11 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Full disclosure – I’m not a fan of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series. Admittedly, I’m also not a hater of the series either. I’ve watched a grand total of four episodes (First four) and that was a full year ago. Despite how big of a deal Buffy was to horror in the late 90’s during those troubling days when there wasn’t a whole lot to talk about horror wise, it’s never been a series I’ve felt much desire to watch. Oddly enough, this is now my second time watching the movie. Although I am a fan of the movie, I can understand why any fan of the TV series may be put off by the film. It sounds as if Joss Weadon’s original vision for the film was massively altered to make it less serious horror and more light hearted comedic. Personally, I dig the comedy though.

    While the horror might be light, the comedy is gold. I was having fun from the very beginning of the film when the opening song contains the line of “Leggo my eggo”. Multiple characters can be relied on for a slew of one liners that sadly doesn’t receive enough love. Even when things get serious and the threat of death is a real concern, everyone is still willing to throw out some memorable joke. Pee-wee Herman, himself, Paul Reubens shined as Amilyn, the main henchman for the evil Lothos. Between losing his left arm while riding on top of Pike’s car and his seemingly never ending death scene after being stabbed with a wooden stake by Buffy, Reubens was hilarious. Kristy Swanson as Buffy also upped the fun factor with her valley girl portrayal.

    Due to covering it earlier in the month, Silence of the Lambs was fresh on my mind while watching Buffy. Believe it or not, I actually consider Buffy to be a stronger pro-female film than Silence. Buffy never feels the need to hit the viewer over the head with it’s stance to the point where it becomes an annoyance. For the Buffy character, she starts off as this valley girl flake that is more concerned about the hottest clothes rather than even understanding the world around her. Over the course of the film, she not only finds inner strength to do some good in the world, but it’s not something that comes to her over night. There’s even a point a little over midway into the movie where Buffy’s first attempt at fighting Lothos is a complete failure and she only lived because he wasn’t ready to kill her. Even her blossoming relationship with Pike is treated with respect. It’s not a big deal to either one of them that Buffy is far more capable of handling herself against vampires than he is. Pike has this great line near the end that sums up this positive treatment of a female lead, “Buffy, you’re the guy. You are the chosen guy.” In that moment, it’s no longer that Buffy is the the chick vampire slayer, she’s simply the guy that saves the day. There’s some equality there where gender is no longer an issue or something to point out.

    The fun factor of the movie was further increased by the cast. There’s so many notable stars than the viewer is constantly surprised by who shows up next. Some of the ones that stood out to me the most are the minor characters. There’s Hillary Swank in her film debut as Buffy’s bitchy friend, Kimberly. In only his second film, David Arquette plays Benny, the Evil Ed type character of the former outsider turned vampire. There’s an appearance from a star of my favorite horror movie, Halloween 4, Sasha Jenson (AKA Brady). Perhaps the most noteworthy appearance is by Ben Affleck as a basketball player.

    If there’s a significant flaw of the film, it’s the lack of delivering big moments when it comes to kills. Lothos especially went down without much of a fight when you would think that the main villain would be a far more challenging for Buffy. If I were to guess, I’d say these disappointing deaths is tied right into Joss Stone’s original script being changed in order to make it more of a comedy than horror. I would have also liked to have a little clearer idea of why Lothos didn’t kill Buffy in the middle of the film. They allude to the idea that Lothos and The Slayer are forever connected and apparently Lothos wanted to turn Buffy, but it’s just not explained well enough. I guess in order to be a bad ass vampire, Buffy had to become a fully bad ass vampire slayer first? Even if Lothos was just toying with Buffy, I would have been okay with that as well. Just make Lothos’ actions crystal clear.

    Overall, if you’re looking for a horror movie, Buffy The Vampire Slayer is probably not for you. To me, it’s the type of comedy film you use to trick a friend or significant other into watching something sorta horror without it being fully horror. I love the tone and humor of the film. Kristy Swanson’s Buffy is a very likable character and the pro-female message of the film is highly underrated in my eyes. Forget Clarice Starling, it’s all about Buffy NotYetNamedSummers. Who knows, maybe re-watching and enjoying this movie will finally cause me to sit down and watch the Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV series and not randomly stop after four mere episodes.

    Rating: 6.5/10

  2. Day 11: Under the Shadow (2016)

    Rating: 9.5/10 (must see!/buy it)

    Note: This film is very reminiscent of The Babadook, both in theme and tone.

    — — — — — Contains spoilers — — — — —

    What I liked:
    – This film can be interpreted literally or metaphorically, and it works beautifully either way.
    – The sound design is intense and unnerving.
    – The story builds on itself progressively, with an increasing sense of dread and oppression.
    – This is an effective horror movie that manages to be scary without resorting to jump scares.
    – The one real “jump scare” in the movie is damn effective.
    – The film is not just a scary movie, but a thoughtful commentary on the effects of war and a spotlight on strained relationships.
    – The film transitions seamlessly between the real life horrors and the seemingly supernatural.

    What I didn’t like:
    – I found the ending to be a little abrupt and unsatisfying.

    • Sweet! Glad to see this being reviewed Dino! I really enjoyed this at Sundance. Looking forward to it being reviewed on the show! I feel pretty similarly about it.

  3. Day 11 – Shin Gojira

    For me, definitely the best Godzilla film since the original. Astoundingly unique filmmaking while creating new exhilarating destructive and jaw dropping Godzilla scenes. This film is genuinely good. Not just silly monster movie good. It’s 75% smart political satire, and 25% bad ass monster. It’s definitely a must see for 2016, and a must own if you’re a Godzilla fan. 9/10

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *