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WEIRDO FLICKS: 'The Abomination'

by Eli Kroes

You might not be familiar with the term 'Z-Movie,' but if you grew up in the 90's, chances are you've seen one. They're the beyond-low-budget monstrosities that teased you from the walls of the mom-and-pop video store. Usually, the films themselves could never live up to the pictures on the videotape boxes (because this was way before your fancy 'Digital Video Discs' and 'Blu-Rays') but occasionally you'd find something truly unique. 'WEIRDO FLICKS' will clue you into some movies which 'unique' doesn't even begin to describe... 

'The Abomination' - 1986, Directed by Bret McCormick

Okay. This one was really weird. Imagine a David Cronenberg-style body horror ('The Fly,' 'Shivers,' 'Videodrome,' etc.) made by some backwoods rednecks and you sort of have an idea of this oddball film. For one thing, when a horror film is written, directed AND produced by the same guy and stars members of his family, it's pretty obvious it's going to be strange. However, it's also usually quite bad which isn't the case here.

Filmed in rural Texas (I think), the backwoods-vibe is really heavy, and ups the creep-factor tenfold. Pretty much all low-budget horror films which take place in Texas have this going for them (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, anyone?) but it wouldn't be a truly great no-budget splatter flick without those props. Since there are no credits, I'm going to assume that Mr. McCormick came up with these truly disturbing pieces himself. Basically the main character's whole house is taken over by some weird evil that spews from every cupboard, closet and door.

There's also quite a bit of religious mumbo-jumbo throughout, as the story revolves around the main character's dislike of his mother's favorite TV program--a demented preacher. When she coughs up something she thinks is a tumor (and therefore as evidence that her preacher's program works) it goes where else but in the trash. It's alive, however, and crawls into the main character Cody himself. Then he has to kill people to feed it. Okay, maybe it's not the most groundbreaking storyline ever conceived, but put that together with these demented props and backwoods atmosphere and you have a truly original homemade film.

Worth seeing if you liked the gritty vibe of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or if you like David Cronenberg. It might not be as 'smart' as one of his films, but it's definitely just as weird. Oh yeah, and this McCormick fellow felt it necessary to write the film under the name of Bando Glutz, and direct it under the name Max Raven. Huh.

VHS photo by Toby Hudson.