SAVAGE: Movie Review

Savage Movie
Review by Michael Pickle,

If you like a good monster movie with genuine indie appeal then you're likely to enjoy the upcoming release of the lively Bigfoot film SAVAGE from the burgeoning low budget genre production company Fearmakers.

A limited budget goes a long way when you have a clever and imaginative script, such as an AACSB accredited online MBA, or a spirited and eclectic cast and impressive directing from first time feature film director Jordan Blum. It's obvious on only a handful of scenes that this is an ultra low budget feature.

I quickly fell in love with the many interesting characters and their carefully woven stories that were just intricate enough to still leave room for the many subtle nuances as well as heart-racing and well filmed action sequences and gory kills. On many scenes I couldn't tell whether the gore and kills were used sparingly because of lack of budget or for dramatic effect and character development. By the time the film was half way through I was having too much fun to care.

A forest fire is raging through Bear Valley National Park, but that's not the only thing the locals have to worry about. The local legend of a giant Bigfoot-like creature spotted back in the '60's is more than just a legend. The fires have driven the wildlife out of the area which just so happened to be the creature's food supply and he's pissed off. Dale (Shane Callahan), a Scientist and ardent believer of the myth, hires local wacko Bigfoot hunter and all around ignorer of personal hygiene, Jack (Martin Kove) to help him track down the beast and prove it's existence. Meanwhile, Park Ranger Owen (Tony Becker) looks for answers as to who started the fire and why the firemen keep disappearing.

Amidst the chaos, Owen runs into dysfunctional couple and criminals on the run Richard and Gabrielle (Anna Enger) whose arrest doesn't seem so important when he's faced with rapidly spreading wildfires and a mounting death toll. In a race against time; Owen tries to restore order to the park and save his pregnant wife who is in the path of the giant, bloodthirsty mythical creature.

It's movies like this that keep me searching through the indies to find something fresh and fun that doesn't insult my intelligence, but doesn't assume I'm in on the inside joke either. SAVAGE delivers in a way that many low budget horror features don't. The story is involved and branches off into strong side stories that flow so well that you somehow get to know all these people and invest in all their lives without distracting from the fact that this is a monster movie. Bigfoot doesn't make an appearance in every scene, but it's menace hangs in the air and saturates every other story building tension throughout. This makes the appearances of the creature that much more exciting.

It's not super gory, although it will certainly make even those in RN to BSN online programs a little squeemish, but it makes up for it with a strong sense of character and style that gives you both cheap thrills and subtle magic. For instance; Park Ranger Owen sits on his quiet, peaceful porch in the morning gazing at his majestic view and sees a hawk fly across the meadow. His first instinct is to grab his binoculars and revel in the beauty of nature. Later on in the film the domineering wise ass criminal Richard sees a hawk fly by and his first instinct is to grab a gun and try to shoot it. Many things like this don't call attention to themselves, but show us what's in a character's heart better than lengthy dialogue.

Another of the subtleties I simply have to mention is not only the genuinely heartwarming relationship between Owen and his wife (played by Lisa Wilcox of Nightmare on Elm Street 4 & 5), but the radio-only relationship between Owen and the sweet Southern voice of Dispatch Operator Mary (Catherine Trail). This is another layer of the film that doesn't call attention to itself, but just doesn't happen in these types of movies. Their short conversations as Mary reports the unfolding story to Owen not only strengthens his character, but brings realism and originality to Owen's dilemma and provides another character who is in your heart before you realize she's there. As a lover of original indie horror I eat this stuff up.

There are some things about SAVAGE that seem typical at first, but a mixture of actor performances, writing and great camera work make it anything but typical. You have your typical monster hunter played with an air of confidence and questionable morality by Mr. "No Mercy" himself, Martin Kove from the original Karate Kid. His back story and interaction with the resident good looking science geek, Dale, make for some of the more witty and engaging scenes in the film. Dale, in an example of a casting bulls-eye, is no slouch himself. Shane Callahan portrays him with heart, courage and coolness that I'm not used to seeing in characters like this.

Then there's your typical monster movie hot chick. Actress Anna Enger, in her feature film debut, portrays Gabrielle with just the right mixture of strength and vulnerability to the point that, by the end of the film, she's so much more than just a hot chick. A notion that seems impossible when she first appears on screen. Gabrielle seems typical at first, but her run-ins with the beast are the best and most exciting scenes in the film. Especially the superb chase scene that showcases the ability of director Jordan Blum to film a chase through the woods that is just as frenetic and vividly believable than films with a much bigger budget.

This is one of those films that is so easy to write about that I could go on for a few more pages, but alas; attention spans are short these days and you would benefit much more from watching it and giving it a chance than reading me ramble on about it. Besides, I don't want to talk it up too much. It's not the greatest monster movie in history, but it is really good for what it is.

I can't speak to your sensibilities, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film and can't wait to add it to my Horror collection. If you care more about good characters, an uncharacteristically rich story, and imaginative giant monster attacks than you do about big budget gloss then you might just enjoy this as much as I did. If you're a movie snob and can't look past the budget constraints then maybe you won't appreciate the beauty of this film. I do.

Send your horror news scoop to press[at]

Like us on Facebook:

Recent Horror Movie Reviews

Detention (2011) Review
We Are The Night Review
Hate Crime (2012) Review
Dead of Night Review
The Violent Kind Review
Piranha 3DD Review
Funeral Home Review
DeadHeads Review
Playback Review
House Of Flesh Mannequins Review
More Brains! A Return to the Living Dead Review
The Mutilator Review
The Psycho Legacy Review
Halloween II: 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Review
Full Tilt Boogie Review
Nightmare City Review
The Divide Review
Penumbra Review
Hellraiser Revelations Review
Entrance Review
Asylum Blackout Review
Mother's Day Review
Dead Pit Review
Them Review
Anguish Review
Snow White: A Deadly Summer Review
Snow White: A Deadly Summer Review
Theatre of the Deranged Review
Grimm Season One Review
Kids Go to the Woods…Kids Get Dead Review
Trilogy of Blood Review
Kill Devil Hill Review
Intruder Review
Malevolence Review
A Horrible Way to Die Review
Halloween II (Rob Zombie) Review
Final Destination 5 Review
The Killing of Jacob Marr Review
Stake Land Review
The Reef Review
Cowboys and Zombies Review
Necromentia Review
The Ward Review
The Caller Review
Bereavement Review
Kidnapped Review
The Hills Run Red Review
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Review
Home Sweet Home Review
Super Hybrid Review
Dead Hooker in A Trunk Review
30 Days of Night: Dark Days Review
Paranormal Activity 2 Review
Cannibal Holocaust Review
The Woman Review
Dylan Dog Review
Medium Raw Review
One Dark Night (1983) Review
Groupie Review
The Tingler Review
Dolls Review
Detention Review
Bitter Feast Review
Camp Hell Review
Scream of The Banshee Review
FEARnet's Twisted Comedy Review
Just Before Dawn Review
Carriers Review
Mangrove Slasher 2 Review
LEWIS Review
The Task Review
cathARTic Review
Matrimony Review
Fright Night II Review
Yakuza Weapon Review
Hobo With a Shotgun Review
Plague Town Review
The Defiled Review
Goblin Review
Primal Review
Heartless Review
Pieces Review
True Blood: Season 3 Review
Murder Party Review
Hell Night Review
Skin Eating Jungle Vampires Review
I Saw The Devil Review
Red Riding Hood Review
Drive Angry Review
Blood Night Review
Dismal Review
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Review
The Faceless Review
Fertile Ground Review
Slaughterhouse Review
Amityville 4 Review
Aftermath Review
Savage Review
Ninjas vs Vampires Review
Swamp Shark Review
The Loved Ones Review
Black and Orange Review - Novel
Terror Vision Review
Vanishing on 7th Street: Movie Review
JAWS Review
Future Kill Review
Bad Elements: Crystal Dragon Review - Novel
Daughter of Horror Review
Death of The Dead Review
The Possession of David O Reilly Review
SCREAM 4 Review
Track of The Moon Beast (1976) Review
Hyenas Review
Mongolian Death Worm Review
Black Death Review
World War Z (audio book) Review
Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D Review
The Absent Review
Alien vs Ninja Review
Missing Linx (Comic) Review
Thankskilling Review
Death Spa (1988) Review
Insidious Review
Basket Case (1982) Review
The Walking Dead: Season 1 Review
PROWL Review
April Fools Day (1986) Review
In The Mouth of Madness Review
Machete Review
White Dog (1982) Review
SAW: 3D (The Final Chapter) Review
A Serbian Film Review
[REC] Review
The Devil's Rejects Review
SAW Review
Burial Ground (1981) Review
Hollowed Ground Review
Roid Rage Review
Psych:9 Review
Let Me In Review
My Soul To Take Review
The New York Ripper Review
Burnt Offerings (1976) Review
I Spit On Your Grave (1978) Review
I Spit On Your Grave (2010) Review
Wicked, Wicked (1973) Review
Maniac (1980) Review
Deadline (1981) Review
Death Bell Review
The Rite Review
HUSK Review
Cemetery Man Review
Seconds Apart Review
Buried Review
The Uninvited (1944) Review
Direct Your Own Damn Movie Review
City of the Living Dead (1980)Review
The Forest (1982) Review
JIGOKU (1960) Review
Let The Right One In Review
Lost Boys: The Thirst Review
Near Dark (1987) Review
The Human Centipede Review
Thirst (2009) Review
Night School (1981) Review
Night of The Demons (Remake) Review
The Splat Pack Review
The Maid Review
Hatchet II Review
The Last Exorcism Review
Victim Review
Shadowland Review
Bloody New Year Review
Black Christmas (1974) Review
Splice Review
The Art of Hammer Review (Book)
Doghouse Review
The Blair Witch Project Review
Horror Movie Freak Review (Book)
Lake Placid 3 Review
Paranormal Activity Review
Sella Turcica Review
The House of The Devil Review
UNDEAD Review (Novel)
The Woman In Black Review
Ghost Story Review
Eraserhead Review
Day of The Dead Review
The Woman Review
Night Of The Living Dead Review
Terror at Red Wolf Inn Review
The Theatre Bizarre Review
The Mortician Movie Review
Happy Birthday To Me Review
Mountaintop Motel Massacre Film Review
Frankenhooker Blu-Ray Review
The Necro Files Review
Donner Pass Review
Shark Night Review
Night Feeders Review
New Year's Evil Review
Never Sleep Again Review
Creature Review
Haunting at The Beacon Review
Zombie Review
Chromeskull Laid to Rest 2 Review
Devil's Rock Review
Fright Night (Remake) Review
Area 51 Review
Five Senses (comic) Review
Antropophagus Review
Lightning Bug Review
Never Feed the Troll Review
Alone in The Dark Review
Dead Alive Review
Zeke Review
Laid to Rest Review
The Beyond Review
Monsterwolf Review
Splinter Review
Mirrors 2 Review
Mail Order Review
Snowtown Review
The Dead Review
The Shrine Review
Run Bitch Run Review
Mutilation Mile Review
The Howling Reborn Review
The Human Centipede 2 Review
The Walking Dead Review
The Echo Review
Dream House Review
Yellow Brick Road Review
Baby Blood Review
Halloween 3 Review
Feast Review
The Child's Eye Review
Scourge Review
Martyrs Review
Mothman Review
Wrong Turn 4 Review
The Keep Review
Red State Review
Paranormal Activity 3 Review
Deviling Review
Slugs Review
Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Review
Night of The Hunter Review
Pick Me Up Review
Hillside Cannibals Review
Friday the 13th (1980) Review
The Green Monster Review
The Thing (2011) Review
Night of The Vampire Review
Killer Review
Alyce Review
The Fog Review
Of Unknown Origin Review
The Revenant Review
Exit 33 Review
Rage of the Yeti Review
Let's Scare Jessica to Death Review
Territories Review
Blood Freak Review
Solstice Review
Blood Roses Review
The Haunting Review
Silent Night Deadly Night Review
Silent Night Deadly Night Review Review
Rare Exports Review
Ashes Review
Perfect Witness Review
Santa's Slay Review
Little Deaths Review
Lips of Blood Review
Bill Oberst Jr.
Silent Night Deadly Night 5 Review
Don't Let Him Review
Hell Driver Review