The Abomination Blu-ray Review

Written by Robert Gold

Blu-ray released by Visual Vengeance

Directed by Bret McCormick (as Max Raven)
Written by Brett McCormich (as Bando Glutz)
1988, 90 minutes, Not Rated
Released on September 25th, 2023

Starring:
Scott Davis as Cody Lee
Jude Johnson as Sarah
Blue Thompson as Kelly
Brad McCormick as Ike
Suzy Meyer as Shawn
Rex Morton as Brother Fogg

Review:

Cody Lee lives in a small Texas town with his mother, a religious hypochondriac who believes only televangelist Brother Fogg can heal her. Cody tells her she needs to get out more. When not suffering from intense nightmares or working his day job, Cody hangs out with his girlfriend Kelly and their friends Ike and Shawn. One night, mom places her hands on the television for healing and throws up a tumor which she tosses in the trash. The tumor sneaks into Cody’s bed and before long he coughs up his own tumor. The tumors grow into oversized monsters driving him to kill his friends and family in increasingly violent ways. Can Cody break the spell before everyone he loves is dead or the monster turns its sights on him?

The Abomination is a low-budget gorefest that starts off with a bang as our protagonist shares a nightmare that is presented as a four-minute highlight reel of every bloody moment we will see over the next hour and a half. The decision to spill all the beans right off the bat is a bold move that will grip audiences by the throat, but is also something of a letdown, as we know everything that is going to happen.

Written (under the alias Bando Glutz) and directed (under the alias Max Raven) by Bret McCormick (Repligator) and shot on Super8 film, The Abomination is an interesting idea and contains a number of clever gore effects, but struggles to reach a standard 90-minute runtime and recycles a fair amount of footage via “dream sequences”. This shortcoming aside, the feature is well-directed and acted and moves at a deliberate pace to an over-the-top finale.

The cast is up to the challenge, particularly Scott Davis in the lead as Cody Lee, and Blue Thompson as his girlfriend Kelly. The two play well off each other and make a believable couple. Jude Johnson plays Cody’s neurotic mother Sarah and her scenes are particularly entertaining as she invests all of her faith in televangelist Brother Fogg (Rex Morton). Brad McCormick plays Cody’s friend Ike, joined by Suzy Meyer as his girlfriend Shawn, and both are likeable. The performances are uniformly natural, though the audio has been looped for the entire film.

The ultra-low budget lends a charm to the picture, particularly the make-up effects by Dark FX, which never appear realistic, but are highly entertaining. There is a lot going on in this story that is never really explained but plays well as a stream-of-consciousness nightmare. There is some dream logic, but as far as we know, there really is a monster controlling Cody and eating people. The Abomination is a well-made but not altogether successful movie, but it is entertaining and would make for a fun evening with friends and adult beverages.

Video and Audio:

Presented in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the movie was shot on Super8 film and edited on ¾” tape. There is a disclaimer at the beginning of the disc regarding limitations of source material, but the picture looks better than I expected. There are some dings in the original negative, but over all this is the best the film has ever looked.

A Dolby Digital 2.0 gets the job done with clean, easy to understand dialogue free from hiss, pops or other distortion.

Optional English subtitles are included for anyone in need.

Special Features:

There are two audio commentaries, one with director Bret McCormick, Rob Hauschild and Matt Desiderio of Visual Vengeance, the other with Tony Strauss of Weng’s Chop Magazine. Both tracks are informative and entertaining with the edge going to McCormick’s for insight and production stories.

In the feature length interview Monster Kid Movie Maverick (2022, 74 minutes), director Bret McCormick talks about his life and career, getting into film and the movies he made.

In Abomination Chow (2022, 7 minutes), actress Blue Thompson reflects on her time making the film and her relationship with the director.

Actress Victoria Chaney sits for an untitled interview (2022, 5 minutes) in which she shares her memories of the shoot.

Producer Matt Devlen interviews the film’s original VHS distributor Michael Jack Shoel (Donna Michelle Productions) in an untitled segment (2022, 15 minutes).

The Abomination – Filming Locations Tour (2022, 13 minutes) takes viewers to “Poolville, Texas: The Other Hollywood” for a look at where The Abomination and Ozone were filmed.

There are two reels of Super8 outtakes and raw footage curated by producer Matt Devlen. (part 1 runs 29 minutes, part 2 runs 18 minutes).

Behind the Scenes “The Stairway” (1 minute)

Behind the Scenes “Tumor Test” (2 minutes)

A behind-the-scenes image gallery plays as a slideshow (3 minutes).

A text-based interview with “The Abomination” is also included.

Two early Bret McCormick Super8 films (6 minutes) titled “Water Fun with a Monster” and “Adventures of Super Spy” are here for your viewing pleasure.

Trailers for this and other McCormick titles are included in a trailer archive.

The disc comes with a six-page booklet featuring an essay by Tony Strauss.

Also included in this release is a “Stick Your Own” VHS sticker set.

Grades:

Movie: Cover
Cover
Video:
Audio:
Features:
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

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Robert Gold
Staff Reviewer
Robert's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
Other articles by this writer

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