Welcome to Cult Corner where we dive through the bargain bins to determine if a movie is trash or treasure. Today’s pick… Jonas Quastel’s Sasquatch.
Sasquatch, also known as The Untold, should probably be renamed The Unwatchable. It’s a relatively straightforward film that doesn’t have a whole lot that’s going on. When a plane crashes out in the wilderness, a team of “experts” lead by billionaire Harlan Knowles heads into the forest to look for survivors and recover a secret prototype that was on the plane. Oh, and maybe there’s a Bigfoot running around attacking people. Maybe.
The characters and cast here are bearable. Genre legend Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Pumpkinhead) leads the film as Harlan Knowles, and while he’s always a joy to see he feels a bit like he’s sleepwalking through this film. He’s much quieter and more understated in his performance than some of the other cast members who loudly argue for the duration of the movie. It sort of works, and provides a good contrast, but you also just get the feeling that he’s only there to collect a paycheck and then leave. He also has the most noble goal out of the group, as one of his main motivations to go out there is to try and find his daughter, who was on the plane when it crashed, making him at least a bit more likable than everyone else. Ironically the rest of the characters are actually just there to collect a paycheck.The rest of the cast spend most of the movie arguing about whether or not Bigfoot is real. One guy is a total skeptic, and despite any evidence to the contrary just refuses to believe in “any of this crap.” On the other hand we have another character who believes in the creature 100%. This is the kind of thing that you’d expect to be in any movie like this in some capacity, but while it’s usually just a passing argument that happens once or twice, here it becomes almost like a main plot thread. I say this because almost nothing happens in this movie, so our focus lies solely on the characters and their bickering back and forth. This is the cardinal sin of low budget b movies. Having characters argue about almost nothing is not a substitute for actual plot or action.
The only time this movie gets remotely interesting other than the last 15 minutes when the Sasquatch finally shows up is when they find the plane’s wreckage, which really just looks like some scraps of metal lying around in the forest. Knowles’ daughter left videos for him to find and essentially left a vlog of her supposed last moments on Earth. Him watching her last words as she accepts that she’s going to die is actually kind of touching and provides a nice heartfelt moment that is sorely lacking in the rest of the movie.
Bigfoot doesn’t show up until the very end, and when it does, the makeup is…alright. It looks pretty decent though the face has kind of a Dr Seuss thing going on. More importantly, the events at the end of this film are completely nonsensical. While a better or at least a more interesting horror film would have the Sasquatch picking characters off one by one until we whittle it down to just Henriksen and the beast, this movie just has him run off on his own and spin in circles while yelling out into the forest holding a gun. The other characters just…leave. They don’t get killed or picked off, the just disappear. This problem is twofold because without the Sasquatch doing anything for the rest of the film there’s no real sense of danger, and on top of that, having most of the cast just walk off set and never return provides no closure and just makes you scratch your head.
Visually, this film is generally competent, but there are some weird moments sprinkled throughout that just don’t jive with everything else. Anytime we see something happen at night, it’s like the film quality just disintegrates. It feels like you’re watching a YouTube video switch from 1080p to 360. The movie just gets grainy and hard to see. A lot of these scenes are flat out blurry and seemingly out of focus. There’s also a lot of weird choices that they made during editing that make no sense. There’s a scene early on of a girl undressing that’s set to adult film music where they had the shot spin in circles. First off, the girl isn’t undressing slow or sensually. She’s doing this super casually because she’s about to go to bed. There shouldn’t be anything sexy about this scene. Second, what’s with the spinning? It’s clearly done in post because the entire frame spins and the best way I can describe it is that like it looks like a photo spinning over a black background. You can see outside of the frame. I just have no idea what this was supposed to be. There’s also a chase scene at the end where they decided that warping the screen would be a good idea so that everything is stretched out. It doesn’t add anything other than making it harder to watch. Then there’s the random “fade to black” moments. These aren’t even transitions from one scene to another. They cut from a camera angle to another within one scene by fading to black. So weird.
Sasquatch is just not a great film. Nothing happens for most of the runtime, the end is total nonsense, and there are plenty of moments of weirdness sprinkled throughout. Unfortunately, none of this weirdness does anything for the watchability of the film, and you’ll likely end up bored to tears by the conclusion. Again, this film also goes by the title The Untold, and maybe this story would have been better left that way. Skip this one.
Here at Cult Corner we cover the weird and obscure. Given the low budget that these movies often have we feel the need to recognize that entertainment value and quality aren’t always synonymous. That’s why we have opted for the “trash or treasure” approach in lieu of a typical rating system. After all, Troll 2 is incredibly entertaining but it’s no 8 out of 10.