2001 - Not Rated - 90 Mins.
|Director: James D.R. Hickox|
|Written By: Tom Woolsey|
|Starring: David Keith, Vanessa Angel, John Rhys-Davies |
|Review by: James O'Ehley
Ever suspected some kind of weird Social Darwinism at work when it comes to horror movies like this?
First, the plot: a killer Sabretooth tiger manages to escape into the Californian woods when the truck driver transporting it falls asleep at the steering wheel.
Recently I read in Bill Bryson’s excellent ‘Notes from a Big Country’ that America is, well, pretty big, and that it often happens that small aircraft would crash in woodlands, never to be found again.
Not these woods: they seem pretty crowded and busy – almost like your average shopping mall on a Saturday morning. People keep bumping into one another and the sabretooth tiger, a GGI special effect that makes Diego from ‘Ice Age’ look photorealistic, doesn’t have to go far to find any victims to rip apart in gory fashion.
Soon the tiger is stalking a group of ethnically diverse campers.
There’s the group leader (Farrah Fawcett hairstyle and the fashion sense of Lara Croft), her ex-boyfriend (spiky-haired hunk), the obligatory Black dude (who makes “Raiders of the Lost Ark” cracks which must have struck the screenwriters as clever at the time - read on to see why), the geeky asthmatic computer hacker, and the dumbshit tattooed girl of vague Latino extraction.
Also in pursuit of the bad CGI effect are the billionaire (John Rhys-Davies, best known to movie fans as Sallah in two of the “Indiana Jones” movies) who funded the entire project to resurrect the tiger, the scientist responsible (Vanessa Angel of “Baywatch” fame), a nerdy female expert on extinct species, and the professional big game hunter hired to hunt down Diego, er sorry, the killer tiger.
Why exactly and how the tiger is resurrected is never really explained.
As is many other things in this movie, like why the people in it act so stupidly. “Hmm, let’s see: we’re in the woods at night hunting a vicious killer tiger that was extinct for extinct for thousands of years. So let me wander off here, after all, it could standing right behi- aaaAAARGH!”
Also never explained is why everybody sleeps in their own luxurious four-man tent at night, but doesn’t seem to carry anything in their rucksacks at day.
Back to the Social Darwinism thing. Ignoring the normal horror movie convention, you get no prizes for guessing who will survive this particular ordeal in the woods. Somehow, not the brainy, definitely not the ethnic minority groups, but the good-looking Aryan types damn it!
Is Sabretooth on DVD worth a rental? I don’t want to brag, but I have seen worse. The clichéd plot may not give viewers much more to do other than predict the order in which the victims will by picked off by the movie’s monster, but at least it moves along at a brisk pace.
We had a few beers before watching it and had a hoot shouting abuse and jokes at the screen.