Well, we have come to my second favorite letter that movies start with, the letter “S”. There are two reasons why this is one of my favorite letters, which we will get to later, but if there is a third reason, it would probably be Sci-Fi/Syfy original movies. Today’s movie happens to be one of those movies and is actually one of the first of those types of movies that I purchased. I remembered watching this movie years ago and was amazed to see John Rhys-Davies in it. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Sabretooth.
The plot: At a genetics lab called Science Frontiers, a janitor is working on cleaning up the labs late at night when he realizes that the cage inside the room did not close and he is killed by the animal inside. The next day, Casey Ballenger, assisted by her ex-boyfriend Trent Parks, is leading a group of junior guides (Leon Tingle, Lola Rodriguez, and Jason) on a training excursion in the woods. At the same time, a flatbed truck is carrying the animal from the lab to another location and as he stops for gas, the driver gets a call from Catherine Viciy, the scientist that cloned the animal, who is impatient for him to arrive with the animal. That night, the driver dozes off behind the wheel and ends up wrecking the truck and the container carrying the animal falls off the truck and breaks open. When the driver goes to check the container, he finds it empty and, hearing growling coming from the woods, runs back to the truck but the animal attacks it and kills him. At a mountain home, Anthony Bricklin, a wealthy businessman, is watching video Catherine is showing him of a baby sabretooth tiger that she had clones and when she says it is full grown, he is in shock as she had earlier said that it would take 6 months. Catherine tells him that her growth accelerator works and that they can use it to quickly grow new organs for people and Bricklin imagines the money he will be able to make. They are soon joined by Kara Harmon, who is there to study the sabretooth but since it hasn’t shown up yet, Catherine and Bricklin decide to see if they can find the driver, believing he might have stopped for something to eat. At the same time, the sabretooth attacks and kills a couple just outside of their home. The next morning, Bricklin and Catherine drive past the wreck and Bricklin worries that the authorities might have found the animal but Catherine says that the place would be crawling with reporters if they had. Trying to figure out what to do, Bricklin decides to call in Bob Thatcher to track the animal, though Catherine is reluctant to do so. Bricklin calls Thatcher and lies about what kind of animal he is hunting but tells him they need it taken alive. Meanwhile, Casey and the others are still hiking along the mountain when Leon starts goofing off and almost falls off of a cliff. Trent and the others manage to pull him back up but they don’t notice the sabretooth watching them at the bottom of the cliff. Thatcher leads Bricklin, Catherine, and Kara in hunting the sabretooth and as he finds the sabretooth’s trail, he starts doubting Catherine’s story about the animal. They come to the home of the couple that was attacked and Thatcher and Bricklin head inside and find the remains of the man. Thatcher tells Catherine to use his satellite phone to call the police but Catherine takes the phone and tosses it into the woods. As she is about to head back, her foot is grabbed by the girl, who is severely mauled and begging for help but Catherine quickly shakes her leg free from the girl’s grasp and heads back to the house. When Thatcher asks about the police, Catherine tells him the phone is gone and must have fallen out on the trail somewhere. That night, Casey and the others are passing around a bottle of tequila and playing truth or dare when Casey decides to go to sleep and Trent and Lola go for a walk. Meanwhile, Thatcher and the others have made their own camp and Thatcher decides to see if he can pick up the sabretooth’s trail. Kara and Catherine argue over whether they should tell Thatcher the truth about the animal when Kara is attacked by the sabretooth and dragged off. Meanwhile, Trent and Lola stop to sit down and Lola kisses Trent, then takes off her shirt and tells him to catch her. As she is running through the woods, she sees the sabretooth feeding on Kara and screams and runs away from it. Trent finds her and she tells him what she saw but he thinks she is overreacting and she heads back to the camp still frightened. When she gets there, Casey asks Trent what he did and he says she saw an animal and freaked out. In the morning, Casey is trying to get Lola to describe what she saw but thinks she might have overestimated the size of it. As they continue hiking, they come across a cave and Leon and Casey decide to look inside while Jason lays down outside and Trent and Lola head off on their own. Inside the cave, Leon and Casey find some cave drawings on the walls of the cave but as they are leaving, they find a mountain lion at the entrance to the cave. Leon manages to scare it off with the torch he was carrying and they head outside to see Jason had hidden on some rocks when the mountain lion ran out of the cave. Meanwhile, Lola tries to kiss Trent again but Trent turns his head, as he still has feelings for Casey, and the two head back to rejoin the others. Thatcher picks up the guides’ trail and notices the sabretooth is following them so he plans on following the guides to warn them. That night, Jason leaves the camp to use the restroom but is attacked and killed by the sabretooth. Casey and the others hear his screams but realize they won’t be able to find him in the dark and so they build up the fire and keep watch. In the morning, they split up to go look for Jason, with Casey and Leon going one way while Trent and Lola go another with plans to meet back in 20 minutes. Casey and Leon find the toilet paper Jason had but encounter Thatcher, who tells them Jason is dead and has them lead him back to their camp. Trent and Lola encounter the sabretooth and they try to run for it but the sabretooth kills Lola. Trent makes it back to camp and tells the others what he saw and Thatcher tells them to head to a nearby mine and hide while he goes and kills it. Thatcher gets the animal in his sights but before he can shoot it, Catherine tries shooting it with a tranquilizer and misses, scaring the sabretooth off. As they argue about what to do with the sabretooth, the sabretooth returns and attacks them, killing Brinklin. The sabretooth then heads to the mine and Casey and Trent try hiding inside while Leon tries fending off the sabretooth with a pair of knives but the sabretooth kills him. Managing to find a narrow crevice to hide in, Casey sees an opening at the top and is able to climb out but Trent is too big to fit. Thatcher and Catherine reach the mine and Casey sees them and gets Thatcher to help her rescue Trent. Thatcher loads up a tranquilizer but can’t fit inside the opening to use it so he hands it to Casey, who manages to use it on the sabretooth. When the sabretooth goes down, Trent is able to escape and Thatcher tells Catherine to take Trent and Casey down to the lake while he deals with the sabretooth. As the sabretooth emerges from the mine, Thatcher tries to shoot it only to discover that Catherine had taken the bullets out of his rifle. Thatcher manages to escape but his foot is caught in a trap and injured. Casey and Trent head back to help him and Thatcher hands Trent his knife and tells him to cut a few saplings down to use as spears, then they head off to find Catherine. They soon find her at the edge of the cliff and Catherine says they are trapped. When Thatcher says he still plans on killing it, Catherine pulls out the revolver she stole from him and threatens to use it. Trent manages to knock it out of her hand but not before she fires a shot and hits him in the shoulder. When the sabretooth appears, Catherine tries to get it to run but it attacks and kills her instead. Trent, Casey, and Thatcher climb onto some rocks and use their make-shift spears to fend off the sabretooth and eventually, Thatcher is able to kill it by jabbing it in the stomach with the spear when it leaps at him. As they make sure they are ok, Casey and Trent start kissing and Thatcher jokes about not minding him as they stop and help each other to get down from the mountain.
This was a fairly decent movie but a little boring at times. The acting was good, with David Keith (Thatcher), Jenna Gering (Casey), and Josh Holloway (Trent) doing good jobs in their roles. John Rhys-Davies (Brinklin) and Vanessa Angel (Catherine) were some surprising known names and I thought it added a bit to the movie but they were not entirely necessary. The story was pretty interesting, with the scientist cloning a dead animal and then doing whatever she can to keep it alive. The addition of the guides being stalked was pretty good but the whole romance side story just felt stupid and really a waste. The special effects were on the low end, as the sabretooth looked pretty blocky and off when it was interacting with the actors. Syfy original movies have come a long way since this movie but this can still be a fun movie to watch.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5