Saturday, October 30, 2010

In short: The Abomination (1986? 1988?)

Somewhere in rural Texas, mechanic Cody (Scott Davis) lives a quiet life with his mother. All could be well, if not for Mom's obsession with the TV show of preacher Brother Fogg (Rex Morton). Somehow, Fogg has the old lady convinced she's dying from a lung tumour. Mum doesn't seem to have bothered with going to a doctor to get a more grounded diagnosis, and now seldom leaves the house.

Surprisingly, Fogg isn't completely wrong about the woman's state. One evening, while Cody's out driving around with his girlfriend, Mom pukes up a tumour-esque lump of flesh, which she proceeds to throw in the garbage. I have to say, most tumours I have heard of don't pulsate like a beating heart and even fewer do what this particular specimen does when Cody is home, namely creeping into the man's mouth while he's sleeping the sleep of the innocent.

Soon, it turns out that the tumour is the biblical Abomination (which turns all things desolate, as Cody will inform us repeatedly). Abby, as the film unfortunately never calls the thing, puts a mind-control whammy on Cody, who then proceeds to kill various people and feed them to his new master. The Abomination soon grows large enough to move under Cody's bed, later to take over the kitchen cabinets, the toilet and the washing machine.

Obviously, Cody will have to get more food.

I had read rather nice things about Bret McCormick's The Abomination, so I went into this one with expectations of one of the more weird and moody pieces of gore movie making, but I was gravely disappointed by the film's lack of exactly these elements. Sure, the set-up is weird (but is going to be explained away in a very annoying piece of off-screen dialogue of the "it was all the hallucination of a violent maniac" type in the end), and the big monster in the kitchen cabinet effect - as well as everything else we get to see of the film's truly disgusting yet still rubbery looking monster - is extremely neat for a film of this type, but that's about all The Abomination has going for it.

The film's pace, even once Cody has finally begun his killing spree, is just completely wrong. There are too many long stretches of nothing at all happening, and when something is happening, it happens so damn slow that it is difficult to bring oneself to care about it. This particular problem is further aggravated by the fact that McCormick uses certain scenes up to three times. I'm sure if you liked the murder by the graveyard the first time, you'll surely love it after its second repetition during the course of ninety minutes. Right? Well, or you just might get bored out of your mind. Even worse is that all those long dragging moments of slowness and repetition bury the high weirdness factor the film's mad religious underpinnings could provide under a sea of molasses; McCormick seems unwilling or unable to do anything with his madder ideas.

The complete absence of a plot besides "abomination appears, Cody kills people, rinse and repeat the killing for the rest of the movie" makes the whole experience of watching The Abomination quite a chore. A neat looking rubber monster and a bit of gore alone just aren't enough to let the movie resonate with me.


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