Monster-Slasher Movie Trash: THE ABOMINATION (1986) Review
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 12:01PM
James Oxyer


Obscurity is an odd little two-way street. There are a lot of movies that strive for greatness only to see their ambitions squashed, grinded into a fine powder (like cocaine), and spread across the world for only a few to fine. I, and if you’re reading this, you too, come across these kinds of movies nearly every day, so it’s really something special to come across a movie that strives to be that powder from the start. I can’t say for sure that this was the intention of the sophisticated minds behind The Abomination, but I’m going to wager it was. This is the definition of a film that thrives on obscurity. Any serious VHS collector dares not say that title above a whisper, because the power contained within the dusty plastic of this particular VHS tape is too rare to even comprehend. Yes, this film’s major claim to fame is just how hard it is to find on video. And I’ll admit it: I’ve yet to grace my eyes upon an actual, physical copy. But I have seen the movie, even though the experience probably isn’t even close to comparison to watching it on a VCR.



Cody isn’t living the good life. He lives in the middle of nowhere with his only forms of interaction coming from his girlfriend, his two other friends, a jerkwad of a boss at the auto shop where he works, and an overly religious mother obsessed with a TV evangelist named Brother Fogg. On top of that, his mom is thoroughly convinced she has a tumor in her throat, despite the doctor confirming she’s perfectly fine. One night, after a particularly holy Brother Fogg sermon, she actually coughs up a bloody tumor! Naturally, she tosses it in the trash can and goes about her business, but the tumor isn’t content with that! The tumor makes its way over to a sleeping Cody, crawls in his mouth, and it’s all over from there. Because this isn’t a normal’s THE ABOMINATION, a parasitic creature that takes over Cody’s mind and forces him to kill everyone around him so he can feed them to it and create more abominations. Can these ungodly creatures be stopped?

What an apt title for such a weird-ass movie. There are a lot of strange films on this site, but The Abomination is a movie that seems to defy description. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it so-bad-it’s-good? Is it fun? Is it unwatchable? The answer is, really, all of the above. But the thing is, despite its multitude of ambitions, when you get right down to it, if you’ve watched the trailer (or even if you’ve seen the artwork), you’ve seen the movie. What is to be gained from the movie, at least. This is most definitely an Evil Dead inspired backyard attempt at “throw some guts at the camera and see if we make a classic” filmmaking that seemed to define a lot of the best eighties trash horror. The whole film as the aura of sitting on your porch on a muggy July day and not wanting to go inside because the AC’s busted. Not necessarily a good thing, but at least it’s something.

The Abomination is equal parts crazy-ambitious and lazy as hell when it comes to the plot. I was taken aback by how ambitious the initial setup was, complete with monstrous tumors and heavy religious overtones resulting in a frenzied mix of gory slasher movie and ultra-gory monster movie; you just don’t get a lot of those anymore. However, despite the filmmakers having the right idea in mind, the execution feels really sluggish. This might be due to the padding (if you didn’t learn from the Night of Horror, you’ll know I just love driving montages), inconsistent tone (one minute it’s trying to be disturbing and nasty, the next there are loud farting noises coming from a bathroom; granted, it’s still nasty), and a narration throughout as Cody recounts his story that really isn’t necessary. I don’t want to say it’s boring, but it is. I know that I found myself going into a braindead trance while watching it, along the lines of when one views Boardinghouse, but I also found my attention continuously drifting to other, non-abominable things. The film also opened with a very catchy synthesizer score that reeked of fun ahead, and better yet, it plays over an opening dream sequence/montage of EVERY GORE SCENE THAT HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE. Seriously, it goes on for 3 ½ minutes and you get to see EVERYTHING. And then they copy and pasted the montage to make the trailer! It’s like they acknowledged they made a bad movie and to make it up to the viewer, they put a Cliff’s Notes Abomination in the beginning so we didn’t have to sit through another half-hour of trash (it would have made my life if the tape stopped after those three minutes and a text screen reading “There you go” appeared).

Where The Abomination really excels is in the gore department. The effects range from “wow those abomination monsters sure do succeed in impressing me” to “is that supposed to be an arm stump or a loaf of bread,” but the bloodshed is plentiful no matter what the effects are like. The final few minutes are 100% composed of Cody feeding the abominations a plethora of guts and it is, to put it elegantly, bitchin’. The other gore scenes are all awesome, and the mayhem includes everything from a pitchfork impalement to a chainsaw decapitation. Aside from the gore, the only other things to praise are a few laughable bad moments here and there. The voiceover-doctor’s narrating skills are monotonous to the point of a droning synthesizer (which there’s already enough of here). Cody’s boss’s hair (facial and otherwise) is a sight to behold, and really gets to cut his acting “chops” when an abomination in a cooler snacks off his hand to hilarious results. And then my favorite, how the sole trait that distinguishes “Good Cody” from “Evil Cody” is that Evil Cody is rocking some radical shades (as seen on the artwork), because with the guy’s acting, there’s no other way you can tell the two apart!

This doesn’t feel right. Reviewing this movie at all. I really feel like I’m trying to cut heads off a Hydra, and I’m only digging myself into a deeper hole with every word I write. This movie was made for VHS obscurity. Sorry The Abomination; that’s pretty much all I’ve got for you. If you saw that artwork and immediately felt a deep yearning to see the madness displayed there, then I’d say to definitely seek a copy out. If the artwork simply piqued your curiosity and you read on to see if this is a diamond in the rough, it’s not; proceed with caution (although if you are looking for a diamond in the rough that bears a lot of similarities to this one, check out The Deadly Spawn). As previously mentioned, The Abomination is an infamously rare VHS tape that was also released on an OOP DVD alongside Ozone! Attack of the Redneck Mutants, and it also got a limited edition VHS re-release by Massacre Video (which is also OOP)! In other words, if you want to own a non-bootleg copy of The Abomination, you’re screwed! It isn’t too hard to find it on sites like YouTube, so if you’re a true trash-horror aficionado, give it a watch. It’ll be a one-time watch, but a watch nonetheless. It may grow on you, but then again, so do tumors.

The Verdict: The Abomination is a genuine abomination of surreal homegrown splatter filmmaking complete with droning synthesizers, library music, monotone acting and direction, and oodles of gore. It’s fun, but at the end of the day, it’s more fun telling people you’ve seen it than the actual process of seeing it.

Score: 5/10


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