This latest entry into the unendingly cheesy—yet undeniably fun—Maneater Series, begs the question what if a batch of rugged college football players and a few sexy female friends survived a deadly airplane crash in the Himalayan mountains only to discover that they are now being hunted by the legendary abominable snowman?
That’s right; it’s ALIVE with a snow monster! Replete with all the key plot points of the 1993 film about the incredible true story of the 1972 Uruguayan Rugby team, YETI has a horrible plane crash, survivors struggling as they wait for a rescue, the terror and unyielding hunger that ultimately drives the teammates to consume the flesh of their fallen counterparts and to top it off, distastefully adds in a hairy Himalayan beast to further complicate an already nightmarish situation.
It boggles the mind that screenwriter Rafael Jordon and Director Paul Ziller (SWARMED) never considered the implications of transforming this story into fodder for a campy movie of the week. What’s even more disheartening is that despite all my better senses, I found YETI, once again, to be a lightweight, enjoyable uber-dorky monster movie courtesy of the Sci-Fi Channel.
Sure, the film has plot holes large enough to fly a pair of airplanes through. Let’s start with the fact that while the fuselage and innumerable other totaled parts of the smoldering wreckage are burning all around them; the cast of characters spends 10-minutes of the film searching for matches and bemoaning the need to start a fire! Seriously! Also, prior to the spectacular crash sequence (are you catching some sarcasm there?) the plane flies into a hellacious storm of black clouds and lightning crashes. But, despite the doom and gloom weather outside (and a few shaky camera angles for good measure) the interior of the plane’s cabin seems about as bright and sunshiney as a Johnny Nash song. And…. don’t forget my favorite part, which involves the rescue team—led by 21 Jump Street alumni Peter DeLusie (who despite being close enough to see the survivors of the plane crash through his binoculars) decides to make camp for the night, leaving just enough time for the monster to attack the few remaining football players, which provides us with a head-stompingly good death sequence for WRONG TURN 2 actress Crystal Lowe.
Still, despite all the problems with the script and, once again, a barrage of bizarre digital effects work, these Sci-fi Channel originals (and all the films in the Maneater Series) have their hearts worn out on their Saturday Day Morning Cartoon sleeves. These films are candy coated nuggets of Velveeta love and you’d have to be a pretty cold-hearted genre fan to nitpick the idiocy of a film that presents itself in any other way. Yeah, the blind optimist in me still thinks that one day, I’m gonna stick in the next HIVE or BLOOD MONKEY and it’s gonna turn out to be better than JAWS, but the reality is (and you know this as well as I do) that it’s never gonna happen. So, since we’ve cleared that one up, just sit back and relax, grab a cold beer, some beef jerky and a fuzzy pillow and thank your lucky stars that you’re home on the couch and not trapped in the snow with the fury of the YETI!