Monster Movie Monday: Yeti (2020)
Matthew Turner | On 06, Sep 2021
Director: Jamaal Burden
Cast: Katrina Mattson, Amy Gordon, Robert Berlin, Brandon Grimes, Victir Ackeev, Timothy Schultz
Where to watch Yeti online in the UK: Amazon Prime
In the mood for a creature feature? Amazon Prime has a veritable menagerie of monster movies, so we’re working our way through them, one killer beastie at a time. Welcome to Monster Movie Mondays.
This low budget creature feature is terrible in a number of ways, but if all you want from a monster movie is to see an abominable snowman commit jaw-droppingly gory acts of violence, then Yeti is the movie for you. It’s directed by Jamaal Burden, a man who seemingly knows nothing about directing actors, creating atmosphere or telling a coherent story, but everything about making you want to throw up while a Yeti rips off a man’s face.
The plot, such as it is, involves a team of scientists travelling to a remote snowy location, in search of a fabled plant that will change the face of modern medicine. While investigating the disappearance of a previous expedition, they discover a terrifying Yeti (Timothy Schultz), who’s determined to protect both his terrain, and the secrets of the flower.
The main thing to be said in Yeti’s favour is that at least they went for the man-in-a-suit option, rather than some cheap-looking CGI monstrosity. That said, the Yeti costume is hilariously awful – the face mask never seems to move and the body often just looks like some poorly concealed foam padding with a few wispy bits attached. On the plus size, Yeti actor Timothy Schultz definitely has presence, as well as a fun habit of sneaking up on people.
Burden’s direction is so wildly inept that you often wonder if it’s meant to be deliberate. In an early scene, the Yeti drags an injured body away from another character, and not only does said character not see the Yeti (who can only be metres away), he also shoots randomly in every possible direction, only for the Yeti to then appear directly in front of him.
The pacing is terrible too – there’s a lot of tedious wandering about and zero tension, especially considering they’re all being stalked by a bloodthirsty Yeti at any given moment. On top of that, Burden completely fails to establish a sense of space, so that it’s impossible to tell where anyone is, in relation to each other.
The script by JD Ellis isn’t any better – the dialogue is either painfully on the nose (“You’re the real beast!”) and peppered with random leaps of logic (such as a character suddenly declaring that the newly discovered Yeti’s blood will be worth more than the flower) or ridiculously over the top, eg. a character maniacally shouting “I did this to you!” at the Yeti. There’s also a frankly nonsensical bit of exposition where a scientist claims they are all somehow in the past, an assertion that is promptly dropped and has no impact on the film whatsoever.
The acting is dreadful, with only Katrina Mattson (as expedition leader Sarah) emerging with her dignity intact. Fortunately, the Yeti kills all the worst actors first, single-handedly improving the film as it goes along.
Despite its flaws, the afore-mentioned gory moments are unquestionably worth seeing, if you like that sort of thing. The Yeti starts small, repeatedly smashing a man’s head into a tree until there’s nothing left of it, but then he moves onto pulling off actual limbs. On one particularly gruesome attack, the Yeti really goes for broke, ripping off one limb and then ripping off something else for good measure. Suffice it to say that it isn’t hard to see where all the money went, as there’s enough of the red stuff sloshing about to fill the lift in The Shining. Abominable.
Yeti is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.