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Published by David Carter on 2015/12/10 (512 reads)
Directed by Travis Bain
Review by David Carter
Released by MVD Visual
Running Time: 93 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 2.0 Stereo English
Region Code: 0, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 1:1.85
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: Alternate ending, Behind the scenes, video blogs, shorts
Trailer Online: Yes
Every continent (except Antarctica) has legends of large, hairy humanoids roaming the outskirts of civilization. North America has its Bigfoot/Sasquatch, Himalayan Asia has the Yeti/Abominable Snowman, and even South America has the Mapinguari; all of which have reported sightings dating from antiquity into the present day. Australia is home to a number of unique creatures so it should come as no surprise that they have their own Bigfoot-esque character roaming the jungles: the Yowie. The Yowie joins his brethren from other lands in coming to the world of horror movies in his big screen debut – THROWBACK.
Would-be treasure hunters Jack and Kent are combing the outback jungles in search of the legendary treasure of bandit Thunderclap Newman. Many have searched and come back empty handed – or not at all – while looking for Newman’s loot, but the pair has some inside knowledge that they think will lead them straight to it. Their tip pans out and they find the stash of gold but their alliance ends abruptly after that when Kent smashes Jack in the back of the head and leaves him for dead. Unfortunately for Kent, Jack hid the loot from him and now Kent has to start the search over from scratch.
Jack survives and crosses paths with ranger Rhiannon and warns her that a furious and gun-toting Kent is frantically searching for him. Soon thereafter Kent gets the drop on them both but gets a surprise of his own when the trio narrowly escapes an attack from the legendary Yowie. Each is now faced with the predicament of being the first to find the gold, escape from the others, and avoid being eaten by the Yowie; a daunting task, to be sure.
THROWBACK joins a long line of Bigfoot/Yeti cinema that peaked in late seventies and early eighties. Giant hominids are hot on the small screen these days, and THROWBACK is at the crest of what is sure to be a new wave of Bigfoot-centric horror movies. Analyzing it in terms of what has come before it, this film takes a different approach to the Bigfoot film, adding in elements of survival horror not seen in previous entries. Bigfoot cinema was traditionally influenced by 50s’ monster films or slasher cinema, but THROWBACK shows more of the influence of zombie cinema and TV shows like THE WALKING DEAD. This is especially evident in the interactions between Jack and Kent, who behave very much like the perpetually stressed out survivors in zombie movies. The addition of an extra threat in the form of Kent makes things more interesting as it helps keeps the tension high without overusing the Yowie.
THROWBACK’s DVD from MVD Visual looks outstanding. This is one of the best photographed films – indie or mainstream – that I’ve seen in a while and the disc captures it well. The DVD also comes with several bonus features, including an alternate ending and a few video blogs. These feature filmmaker Travis Bain, who went the man-in-a-suit route with the Yowie. I feel it was the right choice because unless you’re working with a multi-million dollar budget, CGI effects will just look subpar. The suit has a nice nostalgic quality to it, which I feel is what Bain was going for with the film, even hinting at it through the title.
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