To Catch a Yeti (1995) — Meat Loaf dines in Bigfoot hell

“Wesley wanted a monster with a horrible temper and a thirst for blood!”

Justin’s rating: This little piggy went screaming off to a much better movie

Justin’s review: If you ever wanted to ensnaring me — call it To Catch a Mutant — then all you’d need to construct a honey pot is the promise of two or more ridiculous elements existing in the same cinematic structure. Two or more weird things in your film? I’m there, sticking my head right up into it, even if it’s the worst thing in the world and the jaws of an inescapable runtime clamp down over my neck. I can’t resist.

Don’t judge my honey pots, because you’ve got yours and they are equally disturbing. I’m just saying this so you’ll understand why I’ll hear “Meat Loaf was in a movie about a fun-sized Bigfoot” and promptly shove everything off my schedule to watch it.

Meat Loaf is Big Jake Grizzly (that’s “Sir Grizzly” to you, and don’t you forget it!), a trapper who goes to the fake movie Himalayas and almost instantly spies a very small bug-eyed muppet. Through obesity and slapstick, Grizzly and his sidekick Blubber lose the yeti to some hikers, who inadvertently bring it back with them to suburbia.

Discount Jerry Seinfeld is the lucky one who infects his family with this fuzzy ball of charm. It’s probably not the best time, as his wife is suffering brain damage that makes her slip in and out of a fake British accent and his daughter is obsessed with baking pies. But they Harry and the Hendersons it up in the whitest of all white homes, teaching the yeti what it means to love and be fake American, while Meat Loaf tries to find them and yetinap his way to fame and fortune.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from To Catch a Yeti, it’s “parents of spoiled kids have no compunction against grabbing unknown animals as pets for their prodigious progeny.” While Seinfeld and his Semi-British Wife are cool letting a future pandemic brew in their living room, we discover that Meat Loaf is actually working to get the creature for the rich jerks’ bratty son.

Mind you, when they set him to this task, everyone kind of assumed that the yeti was massive. If this had happened, I can only imagine how an eight-foot primeval slab of fur and muscle would respond to an entitled kid. Probably would eat his face, and that’d end up being a movie that would go down in legend.

If the flat acting here doesn’t impress you, the absurdly fast pacing will. This movie does not truck with suspense or build-up. Everything happens almost the second the notion comes into view. Yeti spotted in minute three. Captured minute five. Expedition comes home minute seven. And so on and so on. For example, you know that movies like this will pull a cheap card from E.T. and nearly have the creature die only for the kid to help make it better. But in To Catch a Yeti, this happens in the first rather than the third act. Honestly, I started to get worried they were front-loading too much of the genius of this film. How would they be able to go the distance!

The answer to that is a fierce cat-and-mouse game between Grizzly and Amy, the little girl who’s become the yeti’s adopted mother. They all go to New York, and Kevin McCallister waves to them as they pass by to do hijinks. There’s also a good chunk of time spent staring at the oversized and slightly repulsive feet of this monster. Hey, whatever gets us to the end credits!

Every once in a while, I find myself curious and fearful what Canada might be up to. With all of that land mass and a surplus of bears, it concerns me. Then it releases movies like To Catch a Yeti and I breathe a sigh of relief that the arms race has yet to reach a crisis point.

Didja notice?

  • What is this opening with the guy on the screen looking up at visions of donuts?
  • What’s with the fake folk song growling on and on?
  • The “Himalayas” look like a rather tame neighborhood park filmed at a low angle
  • Yetis eat pinecones and love to sled/ski on their giant fish
  • Where’d the hikers park that plane? And how’d he pack a tent with a living, moving yeti still inside of it?
  • Yes, let’s keep feeding the strange creature all sorts of junk food. “I know what I’m doing!” says the daughter who knows absolutely nothing.
  • “It’s a ‘he’ mom.” “How do you know?” “I looked!” WHAT.
  • Yetis need to be force-fed ice cream to keep them cool. And sleep in the airtight fridge.
  • What matte lines? This is flawless special effects!
  • This family owns the only fridge in the world that doesn’t burn out when you leave the door open all night, every night!
  • French maid wears French maid outfits. Of course.
  • Amy storms upstairs, packs, runs over to a bus station, and goes to New York City… all in the time that it takes the parents and the one cop to finish their conversation
  • HAHA Meat Loaf throws the jerk across the room
  • Well they found their kid pretty dang quick
  • US Customs doesn’t need no identification!

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