Sunday, April 6, 2014

THE LEGEND OF BIGFOOT (1976) movie review

Legend of Bigfoot, The (1976) d. Harry Winer (USA)

“The film you’re about to see is authentic. It records the last 10 years which has changed my life. I stumbled on something I could not believe at first, but soon realized it had significance on me and everyone around me, which could not be ignored or underestimated.” Less a horror movie than a pseudo-documentary starring great outdoorsman and renowned tracker Ivan Marx who, after initially belittling such foolishness, finds himself obsessed with proving the existence (or not) of the mythical sasquatch.

Compiled primarily of wildlife footage that only tangentially supports Winer and co-screenwriter/editor Paula Labrot’s narrative, the film works its way up the Pacific coast all the way up to Alaska in search of (get it? Like the Leonard Nimoy TV show?) our quarry. Along the way, we see squirrels frolicking, bears fishing, coyote cubs chasing chickens, moose bucks in combat, and occasionally, a glimpse of a guy in a hairy suit.

There is absolutely no live sound or dialogue – the entire 75-minute affair is dramatically narrated by Marx whose querulous intonation of “Bigfoot?” is endlessly used to hilarious effect. Winer’s earnest, awe-struck approach clearly attempts to replicate the success of Charles B. Pierce’s Legend of Boggy Creek, but comes up short of any scares or truly engaging scenes, and the shots of the titular beasts evoke no sense of wonder since the fuzzy ones hardly resemble the 8-foot, 500-pound creatures Marx breathlessly describes.

Not a total miss, but hardly legendary.

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