Saturday, April 2, 2011

Exasperation: "Aberration" (1997)

"Aberration" has gained a weird cult status, according to some other reviews I have read on other sites. Do not believe them, this is an awful awful film.

Pamela Gidley is Amy, who arrives at an isolated cabin in the woods. She is packing a whole lot of cash, and a whole lot of cute. The cabin has not been used in years, and we find out she used to go there as a child. She cleans the place up and she and her trusty cat make themselves at home. She frequents the general store of nice Mrs. Miller (Helen Moulder), and she meets Marshall (Simon Bossell), a field researcher.

Marshall is investigating why all the wildlife in the area is disappearing. He is collecting bags of what can only be described as goop, and begins suspecting a new species of animal is eating everything in the woods. This corresponds with Amy's discovery of goop in her cabin, which she blames on mice. As Amy gets some heavy duty rat spray, her car conveniently breaks down, and she heads back to the cabin with Marshall. A convenient blizzard blows upon the film. The screenplay and acting blows so far, so why not a blizzard? Our "heroes" discover weird neighbor Peterson being eaten alive in his own cabin, and blow the cabin up. This starts one very long set piece as the couple finds time to bicker cute in between killing some awful lizard puppets.

And then there's Yuri. Yuri (Valery Nikolaev) is Amy's former boyfriend who arrives demanding his money. They fleeced a few people in Chicago, and Amy split with the dough. Yuri brings a four wheel drive, a couple of guns, and an attitude. Perfect monster lizard bait. He is dispatched. The couple then blow up the cabin.

Amy and Marshall, still bickering, flee in the four wheel drive which breaks down in a field because of the lizards. So they blow it up. They flee to Mrs. Miller's store, taking a lizard with them, and blow it up. The viewer pours lighter fluid on his television during the end credits, and blows it up.

Although set in the United States, this was shot in New Zealand, and it shows. Amy and Marshall are the most unpleasant couple I have ever had the disservice to cheer for. Director Tim Boxell spent all of his money on the gore effects, so for every disgusting bloody lizard stomping, there is a horrible puppet lizard effect.

Dumb ideas are introduced, then dropped. Amy loads a super soaker with poison, then it is never used. Where did it come from? Why is the gas still turned on to a cabin that has sat vacant for over a decade? Why does Mrs. Miller keep referring to living in a small town, when she and Peterson seem to be the only occupants and her store the only building? Where did the dang lizards come from in the first place? Much is made of the lizards able to spray poison from their mouths, yet this only happens twice!

For ninety three minutes, this is one long dull boring film. (*) out of five stars.