Director: Travis Bain
Screenplay: Travis Bain
Starring: Shawn Brack, Anthony Ring, Meleanie Sarafin, Warren Clements, Vernon Wells
Running Time: 91 mins
BBFC Classification: 15
Following an effective prologue, set in 1825, where prospectors panning for gold in N.E Australia are set upon by something Yeti-like, Throwback flashes forwards to modern day Australia and two pest exterminators who are taking to the same bit of bush in search of the legendary lost treasure of the bushranger ‘Thunderclap Newman’.
On finding the long-lost ‘Thunderclap’ booty Ken shoots at his mate Jack, obviously with plans to keep all the stash to himself. Jack runs off with the gold, hides it in a river and then bumps into a female ranger, Rhiannon, just before they are caught by the now deranged Ken. But Rhiannon and Jack manage to escape from Ken and a jungle set chase sequence ensues, with an Australian version of the Yeti thrown in for good measure!
At some point throughout the proceedings, Aussie genre legend, Vernon Wells turns up playing McNab, an ex-cop who is investigating some disappearances in the area, after being suspended from the force. He seems to sense that Ken is up to no good and arrests him, resulting in one of the more interesting and tense sequences in the film. The Yowie (Australian Sasquatch) also provides a little more interest when it turns up and the film then becomes a fun, if rather daft, monster movie from that point onwards.
Personally, I found Throwback to be a rather frustrating watch in that it had the potential to be an excellent little monster movie, but was sadly hampered by it’s low budget, a fairly weak script and some pretty dire acting by Shawn Brack, who plays the lead, Jack. However, Throwback still remains a likeable film, one that is nicely shot, features some great locations, and has enough humour in it not to take itself too seriously. For example, there’s a nice line in Aussie descriptive wit when one character exclaims: ‘Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ’, upon seeing the Yowie.
Throwback features some pretty trite and tired dialogue though, and there are some inconsistencies, such as why Ken is so surprised to see the Yowie later on in the film when he’s already encountered it much earlier…
On the plus side the filmmakers wisely keep their Yeti-like creation in the shadows, for the most part, probably to hide the rather obvious fact that it’s really one of the cast or crew wearing an ape costume. The later close-ups of the Yowie’s facial features aren’t too bad though. The film’s score, written by Richard Band, is also pretty effective, and it was nice to see the very cool Vernon Wells, back in an Australian film.
Throwback has been released on DVD and is being distributed by Monster Pictures. Special features on the disc include:
An alternative, tamer, ending, which doesn’t involve dynamite; several ‘behind the scenes’ featurettes (all approx. 5 minutes long), which are fairly typical production diary stuff; two deleted scenes; trailers for the film and for four others on the Monster Pictures label; Famous Monsters Film Fest video blogs (5 minutes x4), where the two main filmmakers video their experiences in travelling over to the USA and attending the festival; Famous Monsters Film Fest Q & A, where Vernon Wells upstages everyone else with his funny, tall stories; radio interviews promoting the film (x 6); and two short films, also directed by Travis Bain, which are actually pretty good.