Bullet Points: Throwback
It doesn’t take much for me to get invested in a movie if all the pieces fall into place. I heard the words “bigfoot” and “Australian Outback” and I was bolted to the couch. I had never heard of the term “Yowie” until I read about Throwback but a quick internet search told me that Yowie is just another term for the creature known as Bigfoot. I love a good bigfoot movie, people. Harry and the Henderson’s is an all-time classic and I can’t watch Strange Wilderness without nearly pissing my pants but with all the good bigfoot comedies out there, I was past due to watch a bigfoot movie where he’s more likely to pull the arms and legs off of someone’s body instead of pulling them in for a hug.
Synopsis: Jack (Shawn Brack) and Kent (Anthony Ring) are a couple of pet exterminators who are out on the hunt of a lifetime: they’re searching for the lost treasure of a legendary outlaw of the 1800s. Unfortunately for them, a wrench is thrown into their plans when they run into the mythological creature known as Bigfoot (or Yowie). Now instead of swimming in gold like Scrooge McDuck, they’re running for their lives from the hairy beast who is hell-bent on protecting his turf.
- Yowie, That’s Gotta Hurt: The beauty of a movie featuring a creature like the Bigfoot as a killer is that we haven’t seen that dynamic much on screen. It gives the film plenty of opportunities for some arm-severing action but the super low budget keeps it from fulfilling most of my wishes. The Yowie is played in more of a Jaws-style way. It’s rarely shown and when it is, it’s brief and blurry as hell. In fact, it’s closer to the real Bigfoot than any of the other movies on the subject.
- Not The Brightest Bulb: Jack and Kent find the treasure pretty quickly. They either had a really detailed map explaining where the stuff was or they got extremely lucky. Either way, it isn’t long before the lust for gold sends Kent into a murderous phase and he spends the rest of the movie trying to kill his one-time friend. Well, they aren’t really friends, according to Kent. They were coworkers. I’m sure there is no one out there that would kill any of their coworkers instead of splitting a vast treasure with them, right? Let’s just say that Kent’s actions in the movie make him one of the dumber humans running around Australia.
- Wells Done: All of the actors who were cast were local theater actors because of the long shoot and the next-to-nothing budget. The one exception to that is a cameo by action legend Vernon Wells. He plays a man by the name of McNab. He was a detective who lost his badge and is camping out in the woods in the hopes of finding out what is happening with all of the missing persons in the area. It’s good to see Vernon in something other than a re-watch of Commando or Road Warrior, and his short cameo definitely lends the film some added action street cred.
- Girl Power: The only lady in the film is a park ranger named Rhiannon played by Melanie Serafin. She stumbles upon the men running from the creature and soon finds herself in a very hairy situation….The best thing about Melanie is that she is probably the least inept character of the whole bunch. She doesn’t make any ridiculously stupid moves like Jack and Kent, and when push comes to shove, she’s not the kind of girl that is going to run away screaming.
- Ape Shit: It’s easy to watch Throwback and want more out of the creature work. It’s clear from the start that the film is on a shoe string budget and the glimpses of the creature are as quick as can be for most of the film. The camerawork is what it needs to be to keep the audience from giggling over the parts of the suit that look like it was purchased at a Party City. There are several times where the Yowie reaches for something and I could have sworn I could see inside his gloves but as long as you’re not expecting some Stan Winston level creature work then you shouldn’t be screaming for your money back.
- Budget: I know I keep mentioning that the movie was made for dirt cheap. IMDb says it cost only $4,000 Aussie Dollars. Google tells me that is roughly $3,000 USD so remember that as you’re watching and make sure you BUY THE DVD! Some of the good things that I could see from the film that are directly related to the small budget was that the cast did a very fine job with the material. At no point did I ever throw anything at the screen or call anyone a “cheap community theater actor”. Director Travis Bain did more than a phenomenal job with the small amount of funding that he had. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open for any new stuff from the man.