The Australian Abominable Snowmen (1996)

Australian Abminable Snowmen is the second and final venture into Doctor who for Butchgro films and it upsets me really that outside of potentially doing commentaries for these two short films that its very unlikely I’ll ever be able to talk about a Butchgro production again.

I have a genuine soft spot for these movies. they genuinely seem to have come from a place of admiration for the TV show they’re remaking. the cast seem very positive about it and as far as I can tell they’re proud of what they were able to achieve back in the early/mid 90’s.

These films are not masterpieces. I’d be being disingenuous if I were to say these were high quality master works. They are however very joyous and very entertaining. I can smile along and enjoy these films while feeling the fun the cast and crew were having when making these films. And these were dedicated fans. in this film alone they travelled many miles just to find authentic snow for a handful of shots to illustrate the outer border of the monestary. When the filming finished/juddered to a halt they both sat through over 12 months of solid graft editing in order to ensure that the movie would be finished. EvenĀ  if there would only ever be a handful of people who’d ever actually even see it. This was nearly a full decade before youtube would become a thing you have to imagine so they made this film knowing that, other than there small circle of friends, noone may actually see this.

Since releasing these two reviews I have recieved some very kind words both from David Butcher (Who reiterated him and Grants full intent to remaster and re-release these two movies (Which I sincerely hope they do) and members of the gallifrey base message board who seemingly had little to no idea that this movie even existed in the first place.

I dont want to sound egotistical but im glad I did my bit to ensure that this movie got seen again. And if your a veteran of the cult and strange cinema genre I highly recommend you check these two films out. There weird wonderful a a genuinely fun experience to zone out to. a definate watch from me!

 

(While Snowmen is entertaining “Ausweb” will always hold a special place in my heart)

Australian Web of Fear (1992)

David Butcher is a lovely man. I really cannot reiterate that enough. “Australian Web of fear” spent a rediculous amount of time in total obscurity for me. For a number of years all I knew about it was that it was either made in australia or featured an all australian cast and that it was produced by “Butchgro” films. A company that I could only find the barest of bare information on. In fact; before speaking to David for the first time the accumulated 6-7 years of reseach I had done on this film had led me as far as being able to identify that this was indeed made in Australia at some point in the early 90’s or late 1980’s and that whoever “Butchgro” were they’d also done a version of “The Abominable snowmen” though at the time I only had access to “Web”.

A bit further down the line I eventually got my hands on both movies but for the best part of 5 years I did wonder whatever had happened to the lads at “Butchgro” did they maybe make even more Doctor who fan films that hadnt yet surfaced? Maybe there was a treasure trove of movies. Maybe they rebranded and were making movies to this day! I seriously thought of everything except the most obvious thing. Facebooking there names. In 2017 I did that just on a whim and was able to get in touch with David who was lovely, warm and up for talking about a movie he made well over 20 years previously! He informed me that since his film making days he pretty much spends his time these days prop building and that he’s actually appeared in Doctor who magazine multiple times and also in a Documentary that went out around the 50th anniversairy of the shows first episode while dressed in an “Earthshock” era Cyberman costume that he himself built!

Australian Web of fear to me is a wonderfully fun little film. the passion the cast and crew must have had to see this finished is nothing short of awe inspiring. it may not be the prettiest film to look at but I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it, at the point of writing this the video currently sits well above 300 views; which may not seem like a lot. But to me that 300+ people who’ve been introduced to Butchgro films catalogue and I feeel like I’ve done my bit to raise awareness in that sense.

I’d still love them to make another movie at some point in the future…whether its an original work or whether they ever choose to go through with there original plans to adapt “Fury from the deep” the idea of a 21st century Butchgro production really puts a smile on my face. David didnt rule it out either! he said it was somewhat unlikely but thats not a catagoric no! so for now I’ll live in hope.maybe one day I’ll get my hands on a cleaner copy of this movie than the “n’th” generation copy I currently have. that in itself would be a treat! but for now im quite happy to squint along to this version knowing that at least I have a copy of this movie in my possession!

 

(I still say my favourite sequence in this movie is the battle in the park where the yeti gets knocked into the water…they really couldnt have done it any better than they did)