Abominable Snowman

Abominable Snowman

aka Deadly Descent

Written by Nathan Atkins
Directed by Marko Makilaakso

Abominable Snowman
Hey, guys, funny joke, now let me in!

A group of mountain climbers learn that sometimes the mountain climbs you, even if it isn’t in Soviet Russia and also “the mountain climbs you” is a metaphor for huge abominable snowmen that eat you. Sure, that joke makes no sense, but who gives a crap, we got a gigantic abominable snowman eating people, making sense is for losers!

Proud SyFy vets UFO International drop this tale of man vs. beast (Originally titled Deadly Descent), which follows a similar structure as most of the creature features, so it’s all down to details. While not being a bad example, Abominable Snowman is by the numbers, it does what it does and that’s what we got. The things to distinguish it from other creature features is not the monster, but the vast amount of skiing and snowboarding.

Every character is either active military, a vet, or going into the military. This means they drop military terms like candy at a parade. They’re also all experience mountaineers and skiers thanks to the nearby slopes, so those hobby terms are used all the time as well. I’m not experience enough at mountaineering and skiing to know if they were making sense or blabbing a bunch of nonsense, but I shall give them some leeway here. The military aspect defines the characters. They’re trapped in a small town, the only way out is to go into the army and see the world. Everyone’s friends join up, and the only jobs left is bartending for the broken vets who return. A main character Brian suffers from PTSD, as does at least one of the supporting cast. Adrian Paul’s helicopter pilot character returned from war an empty man and got into substance abuse troubles. Other characters argue about whether to reenlist, how it will disrupt their lives vs. the potential benefits and ability to do something interesting. It’s an evenhanded approach that doesn’t take sides, just shows reality. The variety of military characters as opposed to the usually cliche military nut is what I liked best about Abominable Snowman.

Abominable Snowman
Hi, we’re yetis, but usually we disguise ourselves as ellipses!

Director Marko Makilaakso helmed War of the Dead, which ran out of money and sat on a shelf for years. I haven’t seen it. Beyond that, he’s done a lot of documentary work. Writer Nathan Atkins also wrote Super Tanker and Cold Fusion, but before all this he angered a bunch of people who like a terrible movie too much when he wrote the DTV sequel, S. Darko.

The biggest disappointment is that the monster CGI just a few simple repeated movements, and beyond that we rarely see the creatures. As someone who likes lots of monster shots and shots of monsters doing things, this was disappointing. Beyond that, this ski route has seen a lot of snow bunnies slide down it. So in the end, the needle moves back to average but not terrible.

Brian Tanner (Chuck Campbell) – Obsessed Afghan vet who loses a friend hiking the same way he lost a father 25 years ago – via Abominable Snowman attack. Connecting the dots, Brian goes looking for the monster, and ends up finding him! Uh-oh! Chuck Campbell shows up in Jason X.
Nina Tanner (Lauren O’Neil) – Brian’s sister, was going to head off to officer’s training until her bro went missing. Now she has to go all Where’s Waldo and fight a monster that killed her dad.
Rick McCabe (Nicholas Boulton) – Guy sort of with Nina, which makes Brian uncomfortable because his sister is so young. Rick is a natural leader who takes charge of the search for Brian.
Mark (Adrian Paul) – Pilot and combat vet. Mark was in a helicopter crash, where he was accused of being too drunk to fly. Now drinks milk to forget and argues about his reputation.
Abominable Snowmen (CGI) – The fierce creatures of Glacier Peak, eating everyone they meet.
Abominable Snowman
I should’ve had a V8!

Abominable Snowman
Get ready, we both got to get eaten by Yetis before the halfway point!

We open with Brian and friend climbing a mountain, and soon the friend is nothing more than an abominable snowman meal, causing Brian to snap. You see, his father also disappeared in the same area when he was a child, and he caught glimpses of the beast that did it, even as the investigators never found anything nor a body. It ate away at him all this time, until it happened again, and now he grabs a gun and gets a helicopter pilot named Mark to fly him to the area so he can go hunting. Of course, he doesn’t return.

Which worries his sister Nina, who knows Brian has been more unstable since he returned from his tour. She calls in his whole cadre of friends, including her Facebook “It’s complicated” relationship status partner, Rick. The rest of the group includes Stacey and John – a married couple that returned all their presents for cash Stacey eager to reenlist while John wants to start a family, and Erlander – who seems like a sixth wheel until you realize he has PTSD. They agree to go look for Brian, which is complicated by the approaching megastorm (and the ski patrol rescue workers losing two team members due to abominable snowman chomping.) Mark is who they get to take them up, as he knows where he dropped off Brian.

After a risky canyon shortcut by chopper, it’s ski ski ski ski, snowboard snowboard snowboard, as the group looks for Brian. Rick takes charge because he’s a can-do type of guy. Until John gets avalanched! And he had the satellite phone… He’s not dead yet but too injured to move, the phone is missing, and their worry of how to carry him down in the storm is solved when the Abominable Snowman jumps in and grabs John and runs off.

The group finds Brian in an abandoned ski lodge. He freaks out when he finds out people died looking for him. Then the monster attacks and injures Erlander, and they sort of escape except another Abominable Snowman is outside. So the title was a lie, there is more than one! The new plan is to continue barricading themselves in smaller and smaller rooms while Erlander gets more nuts, until he sacrifices himself to buy them some time.

The creatures leave, so the heroes will go all Home Alone and set traps in the house for the monsters. Complete with montage. This could have been awesome, with a long sequence of wacky traps doing hilarious things to monsters, but that doesn’t happen. The Abominable Snowmen just stroll in, one immediately falls into the cellar and the other kills Stacey. Then the heroes lock the door and throw in a grenade by some gas tanks and kaboom! Explosion and monster death.

Hey, there’s still time on the clock, one of them can’t be dead, and he’s not! They ski ski ski, but the Abominable Snowman can run on snow very very fast.

Abominable Snowman
What could possibly go wrong with out search for a mentally unstable man in a blizzard where people are mysteriously dying?
Abominable Snowman
CGI Copter: The Movie!

For once a dude trips and falls as the monster is chasing them, instead of the usual female character. Progress! Rick is the guy who trips, injuring himself and taking a grenade to stay behind. The explosion causes an avalanche, but that doesn’t kill the Abominable Snowman, either. Now Brian tries to stop the monster, while Nina snowboard jumps into the rescue chopper in a crazy stunt. The monster is right behind her, jumping onto the leg of the rescue chopper! Rick is somehow in the chopper as well, and tosses Nina’s grenade into the Abominable Snowman’s mouth, who eats it like a chump and then has his head explode like a chump. You died like a chump, Abominable Snowman! Rick then explains that Mark saw him and picked him up first, and also Brian is dead dead.

So that’s how we stand, characters lose most of their lifelong friends and the only people that mattered to them in this small town. But monsters are dead, and Mark the helicopter guy got the courage to fly again, even though he flew two other times in the film before he saved them.

Abominable Snowman
The Abominable Snowman is about to do that scene from The Lion King.
Abominable Snowman
His gun is exploding!

Rated 5/10 (Tracks, advertising, bartender, dinner, other dinner)

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Abominable Snowman
This PTSD is…abominable!

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