We’re right in the thick of November sweeps, which means that most, if not ALL SHOWS are airing RIGHT THIS SECOND. How on earth can a human being be expected to stay on top of everything? Relax, you can’t. Nobody can. We didn’t choose this life. This life chose US. Fortunately, we’re in this together, guy. We at TV.com want to help you lighten your burden by filling you in on the items you may have missed while you were off watching GOOD shows. So here’s the latest installment of “We Watched It For You,” featuring Syfy’s most recent “original” “movie”!
Rage of the Yeti was made last Friday afternoon by a couple of interns at Industrial Light & Magic as a gag gift for their supervisor, Ron. Ron had a good laugh, tossed the DVD-R onto a pile of burning cash, and they all went out for Zimas. What I’m trying to say is, Rage of the Yeti is not a very good movie. However, it’s easily twice as good as Morlocks, the last Syfy Original I watched for you. Both films feature the talents of Syfy mainstay David Hewlett, but he directed this one as opposed to simply starring/grimacing like he did in Morlocks. Rage of the Yeti actually stars David Chokachi, whose biggest role prior to this was probably Baywatch. Because I spent most if not all of the late ’90s as a gay teen, I can attest that Cody Madison was probably one of TV’s greatest characters of all time and might have actually turned me gay? Not sure, I’ll get back to you on that. Oh but also! Hey look it’s Yancy Butler, which made this flick a bit of a Witchblade reunion! (And because I know you’re gonna ask, no, this classic scene was not recreated in Rage of the Yeti.)
So anyway, the story began in medias yeti (filmmaking term) with some people in parkas who were already being hassled by Yeti.
So, the Yeti CGI was probably about as impressive as a Geocities animated .gif. The creatures themselves resembled a cross between the Cloverfield monster and, I don’t know, Magilla Gorilla? A big deal was made about how their fur could turn them invisible, but it was usually hard to miss the floating cartoons lurking in the distance.
Yancy Butler was one tough cookie. Which was not to say she had the keenest instincts. Also a couple of times I closed my eyes and she sounded like Anne Ramsey from The Goonies. (Maybe quit smoking, YB? Can I call you YB? Oookay sorry.) WHOA WATCH OUT!
So yeah, it was a bad day out on the tundra. Meanwhile, a HORRIBLE, spinning CGI globe magically whisked us to Europe for some reason!
Meet our two heroes, David Chokachi and Other Dude! They were basically spies-for-hire or something. They stole art on behalf of billionaires, and also occasionally busted into zoos and shot tigers. I don’t know.
Fortunately, the dudes were in the employ of the RICHEST MAN ALIVE. And the richest man alive gets what he wants, including the cell phone numbers of faceless goons.
So yeah, luckily, unseen rich benefactor dude got these two out of their standoff, and recruited them for an Arctic recovery mission.
Meanwhile back in the Canadian wastelands, the remaining survivors spotted a rescue plane, but the people in it were NOT as nice as they looked.
Haha “giant book.” Ladies and gentleman, he’s referring to the Codex, an ancient Chinese zoology textbook that contains information about Yeti. Or something. I’m not sure. It was made of parchment and the cover was Bedazzled, it looked like Cleopatra’s Diary or something. So yeah, these people had bad intentions, but fortunately this happened immediately:
Yetis are such rascals!
This was pretty cool:
But then WHOOPS! Dude got too cocky:
Anyway, somewhere the rich dude had assembled his rescue team. I’m not even really sure what this scene was about. It had something to do with the enormous fiberglass gun David Chokachi was carrying around with him.
WHAT? They just showed him some internet video of a portly dude on a green-screened beach firing the gun and falling on the ground while bikini babes looked on. If someone EVER hands me a phone and this video comes on, I’m just going to drop the phone directly into a mud puddle. To this guy’s credit, there probably wasn’t a mud puddle on the cargo plane, so whatever.
Oh, shh be quiet. It was director David Hewlett’s big scene!
So yeah. I mean, not like it’s important, but that frozen shipwreck in the first scene was a British research vessel that was carrying Yeti and a book about Yeti. This incredibly rich dude wanted the book about Yeti. That’s basically it. There were jokes mixed in here too, I think.
At this point I forgot which country the characters were supposed to be in. Minneapolis?
Yancy Butler killed this Yeti with the ol’ kick down a support beam and allow ceiling rocks (?) to crush it trick. The oldest trick in the book, basically!
Outside, David Chokachi and his team parachuted in and immediately got to investigating where the rescuees were. So, not to sound like a jerk, but most of the first hour of this movie was unwatchable. It was basically just this:
For an hour! I mean, cool, that stage looked expensive. Show it off. Cover it in CGI snowfall, whatever. But these actors must’ve shouted themselves hoarse in ADR. I’m not even sure their physical parts weren’t played by hired laborers. Oh well, at least they had the decency to color-coordinate their outfits like the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers once did. Good enough.
Things were NOT looking good for the former team.
Is now a good time to mention that David Chokachi was genuinely good in this thing? The script actually had a number of pretty funny pieces of dialogue and David Chokachi got to say basically all of them. This isn’t just late ’90s speedo nostalgia talking, he was actually really funny in this! Chairman Hollywood, please employ this guy way more often.
Anyway, because this was an 80-minute movie without any real structure, there were a number of sequences of just people walking around and then getting attacked.
That about sums up most of the outdoor section, which was most of the movie. Also, did I mention it was mostly just shouting over deafening Arctic winds and frequently whited-out visuals? Very pleasant!
FINALLY the rescue mission met up with the previous crew (minus the dozen or so people who’d been dragged to their doom). It was time for everyone to share meals, unwind, warm up, and also get some more exposition going. Specifically, were Yeti more like polar bears or gorillas?
Upon hearing that there were actual live Yeti roaming the area, the rich dude reacted like any rich dude would while sitting on a CGI beach.
Again, because the WHOLE movie couldn’t consist of running around in snow, there was this weird subplot where they decided to CATCH a Yeti? Good plan. A perfect plan, basically. I mean, they’d get paid, but still.
These faces said it all.
In other news, two of the people were working for the same evil organization that’d sent the evil plane earlier.
David Chokachi and his life partner started putting their plan into gear, which included building a tranquilizer gun from scratch. Most good plans involve building tranquilizer guns from scratch, so it wasn’t surprising.
AND THEN it was GO TIME!
The whole thing was a disaster, and not just because THREE of the dudes abandoned this blonde lady so that they could steal the big old book and ride off on snowmobiles. Also this happened:
Poor blonde lady!
Anyway, the three traitors ran out of gas and decided to go scope out some mysterious snow formations.
In a sobering bit of tragedy, one of the dudes found his wife, who’d gone missing in an earlier scene. She’d basically just walked off, which, fair enough.
And then the Yeti came back! Because they lived there. These were their houses. That they lived in. Ignore the tiny doors, just trust me.
ANYWAYS, the three traitors got ate up. But because the bloody blonde lady had a punctured lung, David Chokachi and his buddy had to go after the the traitors to find the First Aid kit the traitors had stolen, and suddenly THEY TOO were chillin’ in the Yeti village.
But just when they were about to become overtaken by tons of Yeti, they had a quick ‘n terrible idea.
Oh, what lovable troublemakers! Avalanches are the coolest!
So then the rich dude sent a CGI helicopter to come rescue our heroes. Unfortunately things did not go according to plan.
So it was definitely Plan B time. It involved Yancy Butler running out and retrieving the crashed helicopter’s battery and inserting it into a snow tractor. WHAT? Nevermind. That’s what she did. Forget about it. She did it though.
But even the most perfect Plan B’s don’t always work out.
Time for PLAN C!
So yeah, they killed all of the Yeti! Chalk up another one for the human race!
But oh no, why was the ice suddenly shaking and cracking??
Oh, it was David Hewlett with his brand-new submarine. By the way, that’s totally the coolest trick, telling your friends to meet you on some Arctic ice and then busting up through that ice with your submarine. Just a good, safe entrance that your friends will appreciate. And believe me, they were having a BLAST:
They’d survived the Yeti onslaught, they’d saved Cleopatra’s Diary, they’d un-punctured the blonde lady’s lung, and most importantly, David Chokachi charmed his way back into America’s hearts! Congratulations all around!
Except for me, I’m gonna go lie down. I need to rest up for the next time… WE WATCH IT FOR YOU!
… Do you think the Yeti were just misunderstood?
… Who was your favorite male cast member from Baywatch?
… Couldn’t you just watch a whole SERIES of movies about this relic-stealing duo and their billionaire bestie?
… [Indecipherable shouting over icy winds]?