Review

Review

FEARNET Movie Review: 'Bigfoot'

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The Syfy network is well-known by now as an outfit that loves wacky monster movies. The Asylum is a production company well-known by now as a low-budget assembly line of "studio rip-offs" (if you're being nasty) or silly "mockbusters" (if you're being nice). On their own, each company does an admirable job of keeping your Netflix queues and your Saturday nights filled with monsters, disasters, and laughable dialogue presented by gimmick actors who aren't taking the movies all that seriously. Combine the power of Asylum and Syfy? You have an epic goofball stupid-fest that's half a monster movie and half a 1970s TV reunion.

The last time these companies landed a casting coup as wacky as Bigfoot, we were treated to a Tiffany / Debbie Gibson match-up in Mega Python vs. Gatoroid. This time around it's Barry Williams (aka Greg from The Brady Bunch) and Danny Bonaduce (aka Danny from The Partridge Family) as, get this, a former pop-star turned obnoxious tree-hugger and a radio DJ / concert promoter who seems to have an inordinate amount of political pull within the sleepy little town of Deadwood, South Dakota. The reunion of former TV kid stars is about as scintillating as you'd expect: Barry and Danny provide terrible banter, flaccid in-jokes about their careers, and frankly terrible performances, but hey, it's not every day you get to see Greg Brady vs. Danny Partridge vs. Bigfoot.

Ah yes, the Bigfoot. (Frankly I'm amazed that the companies responsible for words like Sharktopus, Gatoroid, and Piranhaconda settled on "Bigfoot" for this movie. Why not Megafoot?!?) Regarding the titular creature, well, he's certainly unlike any Bigfoot you've seen before. Measuring in at anywhere from 18 to 40 feet in height (the special effects are not exactly consistent), this Bigfoot feels like a cross between The Hulk and King Kong, and while his antics are indeed plagued by CGI work that ranges from amusing to atrocious, the plain truth is this: Bigfoot is pretty damn painful during its dialogue scenes -- but when director(!) Bruce Davison lingers on the creature's maniacal rampages, there's actually some fun to be had here. Several of the monster attacks are sort of redundant, and some of the effects seem to be recycled a few times, but there's certainly some ambition here for such a basic and low-budget affair.

Warts and all, this Bigfoot movie certainly does give you lots of Bigfoot, and he's easily the most murderous Sasquatch I've ever seen on screen. (He kills hundreds of people, easily, and he really does love to bite the heads off of the supporting characters.) Unfazed by the inconsistent effects, Davison gives us Bigfoot rampaging down highways, demolishing concerts, and climbing all over the presidential faces of Mount Rushmore. Hell, if you're going to do a cheap and simplistic Bigfoot romp, you might as well embrace the silliness and dole out lots of carnage. 

That's about as kind as I can be to an otherwise cheap, clunky, and frankly amateurish b-movie: the monster is given a lot to do. It's not high praise, but it's better than a lot of similar flicks can claim. As an added bonus you'll also get your typically cardboard characters, but they'll be played by folks like Sherilyn Fenn and Bruce Davison (the cops), Howard Hesseman (the mayor), and Alice Cooper (the rock star who doesn't last very long). None of the actors look particularly thrilled, but since they're all playing second banana to a man-eating Bigfoot mega-beast, it doesn't really matter all that much. On the (very) sliding scale of Syfy/Asylum product, Bigfoot is one or two points ahead of their regular schlock. The story, the acting, the editing, you name it, Bigfoot is a cheap, silly mess. Focus mainly on the outlandish monster moments, and you'll probably wring a few chuckles out of this one.

Frankly I think the gimmick casting hook does more harm than good where b-movies are concerned, but I guess there are tons of Brady Bunch / Partridge Family fans out there who simply had to see two of their teen idols clomping their way through a monster movie. The two Bigfoot leads suck all the energy out of the affair, and only the giant, frizzy-haired Super Sasquatch is on hand to deliver some goofy oomph and amusement.

 

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