Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Once again I’m going Squatching and bringing you a grouping of Bigfoot, Yeti, and Sasquatch related horror to seek out and enjoy. These films come in various flavors of quality, and while I’ve covered Bigfoot films in two previous columns here (where I covered NIGHT OF THE DEMON, DRAWING FLIES, CURSE OF THE BIGFOOT, HOWLS, TROMA’S BIGFOOT, LOST WOODS, and SWEET PRUDENCE & THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF BIGFOOT!) and here (where I looked at SASQUATCH BIRTH JOURNAL, BIGFOOT 1970, LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK, CLAWED, SAVAGE, THE SASQUATCH GANG, and THE WILDMAN OF THE NAVIDAD!) , there seems to be no end in the amount of Bigfoot films to plumb. With the release of DEAR GOD NO! a while back, the newly released BIGFOOT with Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams, and the upcoming BIGFOOT COUNTY and SEXQUATCH, I figured it was high time for another Squatch column. But fear not, this won’t be the end--with THE LOST COAST TAPES and EXISTS from the makers of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT on the horizon, it looks like there will definitely be more Bigfootin’ here at AICN HORROR in the near future. So sit back and enjoy this pack of hairy horrors!
NOW LET’S GO SQUATCHIN!!!
(Click title to go directly to the feature)
SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED (1974)
THE CAPTURE OF BIGFOOT (1979)
DEAR GOD NO! (2011)
Advance Review: SEXQUATCH (2012)
Advance Review: BIGFOOT COUNTY (2012)
And finally…COLONEL MARCH: THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN!
SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED (1974)aka MUTILATED, SCREAM OF THE SNOWBEAST
Directed by Michael Findlay
Written by Ed Adlum & Ed Kelleher
Starring Alan Brock, Jennifer Stock, Tawm Ellis, Michael Harris, Darcy Brown, Jack Neubeck, Tom Grail, Luci Brandt, Ivan Agar as Laughing Crow!
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug
Since this film has been out for such a long time, I’m going to be discussing spoilers here in this review. SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED is one of those films I’d heard about for ages, but never seen. Now that I have, I understand its cult status, but this is far from one of my favorite Bigfoot/Yeti films…mainly because Bigfoot doesn’t really appear in this film.
Professor Prell is a bit of an eccentric around campus with his belief in the Yeti. Due to recent sightings, he has convinced some grad students to come out into the forest with him to search for the elusive beast. When one of them, Keith, goes out to dinner with the professor, he is introduced to a dish called Gin Sung. On the trip, the rest of the campers dine on the dish while preparing for the hunt. Soon the hunt begins without them as a giant hairy creature picks off the grad students one by one until Keith and his girlfriend Karen are the only ones left and the mystery is revealed as to who and what the beast really is.
Though we are lead to believe this is a Yeti film, it fits more in line with films like BLOOD FEAST and BLOODSUCKING FREAKS with its attention to cults and ritual. Though contrived, I’m sure the shockeroo ending got a start or two out of filmgoers at the time. Now, it feels like a perfect MST3K film with hokey dialog and characters, including a mute Native American man-servant named Laughing Crow who gives new meaning to the words unintentionally comical.
Though SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED tries to terrify, it ends up being a Scooby Doo episode. The dark tone stays throughout and there’s an amazing sequence early in that involves a bath, a knife, and a toaster that makes the film peak too early. Still anytime Laughing Crow was on screen, this one is sure to entertain and the last line of the film, "Mr. Henshaw — white meat or dark?" definitely leaves it on a pitch black note.
Though not necessarily a Bigfoot film, according to some skeptics, it could be the most accurate portrayal of Bigfoot in a film since they believe sightings to be a man in a suit anyway.
THE CAPTURE OF BIGFOOT (1979)aka THE LEGEND OF BIGFOOT
Directed by Bill Rebane
Written by Ingrid Neumayer, Bill Rebane, John F. Goff
Starring Randolph Rebane, Stafford Morgan, Katherine Hopkins, Richard Kennedy, Otis Young, John F. Goff, George 'Buck' Flower, and Janus Raudkivi as The Legendary Creature of Arak!
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug
For the most part, THE CAPTURE OF BIGFOOT is a dud of a film. Easily forgettable, the title of the film gives away the most unique aspect of it, that being that Bigfoot is captured here…at least for a little while.
To be more accurate, I believe the beast in this film qualifies as a Yeti since its face is pinkish and its hair is white. Still, the beast is set off when its young is killed by a hunter and begins wreaking holy hell on a small woodland town. The locals fight back with good old know how and shotguns, backed by a moustache twirling millionaire who wants to capture and exploit Bigfoot in a side show.
When George “Buck” Flower is the most talented actor you’ve got in a film, you know you’re not in for a fine example of the dramatic arts. Old “Buck” plays what he always does--the town drunk--And does so with his usual flair. But his chops are better than most of the rest of the cast, including a sheriff who likes to impersonate John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart at the most inopportune occasions.
By far one of my least favorites in the Squatchploitation entries, the film does have some unintentional laughs like when the baby Bigfoot is shot and when a Native American walks in on panel to save the day and then disappears for the rest of the film. THE CAPTURE OF BIGFOOT is only for those who want to say they’ve seen every Bigfoot film out there. It’s relatively bloodless and the amateur acting makes this one painful to sit through.
But if you’re curious or maybe a glutton for punishment, I have the whole gol-durn movie here to watch!
But don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
ABOMINABLE (2006)Directed by Ryan Schifrin
Written by Ryan Schifrin & James Morrison
Starring Matt McCoy, Haley Joel, Christien Tinsley, Karin Anna Cheung, Jeffrey Combs, Natalie Compagno, Paul Gleason, Lance Henriksen, Tiffany Shepis, Michael Deak as the Abominable!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
I had heard good things about Ryan Schifrin’s ABOMINABLE. The director/screenwriter/comic book writer wrote THE DEVIL’S HANDSHAKE and elaborated on the characters in a short last year called NO REST FOR THE WICKED, so he was a writer I was familiar with. Though most of the stuff you’d see on a Saturday afternoon on SyFy I wouldn’t wish on my least favorite uncle, ABOMINABLE proved that every now and then, those types of films can work.
Schifrin incorporates a few elements that elevate this film above the level of most Bigfoot films. Shades of REAR WINDOW come through as Matt McCoy, who replaced the Guttenberg when he left the POLICE ACADEMY movies, plays a writer in a secluded cabin in the woods. Because of an earlier accident, he is confined to a wheelchair and resorts to watching the world happen around him through a pair of binoculars. When he starts seeing a hairy beast roaming the woods around his cabin, he tries to convince folks he’s not crazy, but of course, they don’t believe him and finally think the crippled kook has lost his marbles.
Enter a quintet of buxom babes renting out the cabin next door, and Schifrin plays up the creepy voyeur vibe a lot with the women skeeved out when they see him toting around binoculars. And with Tiffany Shepis being one of the babes, I don’t blame McCoy for getting a little peepy tommy. This sets up some nice scenes filled with tension as McCoy serves as the audience, shouting out when he sees the creature looming in for the kill and can do nothing about it from his wheelchair. Schifrin does this just enough times to make it believable. One more scene of McCoy screaming with binocs up to his face would have teetered into parody, but it stops shy of that.
Schifrin has assembled a nice cast of genre greats. Jeffrey Combs and Lance Henricksen appear for a memorable scene in the woods facing off against the beast. Dee Wallace makes an appearance as a frantic Dee Wallace. And THE BREAKFAST CLUB’s Principal Vernon himself, Paul Gleason, plays a sheriff who doesn’t believe in Bigfoot with a level of arrogance and swagger the late great character actor did so well.
The best thing about this film is the monster itself. This full body suit and articulated head makeup/costume is fantastic. Bigfoot’s mouth extends like a serpent’s and is filled with crooked dirty teeth. Even the eyes are set further apart, giving it an otherworldly look, though I couldn’t help but think of Big Enos Pat McCormick from SMOKEY & THE BANDIT fame every time I saw the beast. The film stands out as one of the best looking practical effects Bigfoots I’ve ever seen.
There’s a lot to like with ABOMINABLE. It’s got lots of gore, as Bigfoot likes to tear out peoples’ throats with his teeth and swallow heads whole. There’s Tiffany Shepis in a shower scene, of course, and a sophisticated take on the Bigfoot story that harkens back to a Hitchcockian classic. With all this going for it, ABOMINABLE is anything but.
New on DVD!
DEAR GOD NO! (2011)Directed by James Bickert
Written by James Bickert
Starring Jett Bryant, Madeline Brumby, Paul McComiskey, Olivia LaCroix, Nik Morgan, John Collins, Shane Morton, Rusty Stache, & Nick Hood as the Bigfoot!
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
Though this film is as wicked at they come, there is one redeeming quality that would make me recommend it to readers of this column: everything with Bigfoot in DEAR GOD NO! is rock solid gold. When I first started watching this film, I was wondering if it was taking itself seriously. Was this one of those biker films, filmed by a biker, not knowing how ridiculous he is making bikers look by filming them doing this stupid shit that they think is cool? But as the story went on, the seriousness of the crimes the starring biker gang commits made me forget all of that and DEAR GOD NO! became something more akin to an I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE or STRAW DOGS. But just when I started to settle into the fact that this film is going to make me wince at the atrocities that are put upon the bikers’ victims, muther fuckin’ Bigfoot shows up and that’s when DEAR GOD NO! gets amazing.
A gang of bikers go on a rampage. They kill a cop. They kill a kid. They kill a strip bar full of old men and strippers wearing Nixon masks. When they accidentally let a couple get away from them, the gang tracks the couple to a house in the woods where a scientist and his shrew-like daughter live in solitude. What they don’t know is that the house in the wood holds terrible secrets, but when they begin to raise some hell and do some raping, they find out the hard way that there are much hairier things in the woods than their chins.
The crimes here are heinous. The rapes are not as resonant, mainly because we don’t get to know the women as well as we did with I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, but still, the scene where the bikers rape, kill, and disembowel a pregnant woman is hard to stomach. If anything, these scenes make you cheer all the more when Sasquatch shows up.
Now, I know saying that Bigfoot shows up is a spoiler, but since it’s written on the cover, I don’t really feel bad talking about it. Though the tone shifts back and forth from deadly serious to camp, the film really finds its place when Bigfoot appears. The gore is upped ten notches, and so is the comedy, as the bikers are caught completely unaware and a situation they thought they had a steel-toed boot on is all of a sudden ripping out their innards and lopping off heads. The final scenes of DEAR GOD NO! will have you out of your seat and cheering, I guarantee.
I recommend this film for the last half hour alone as all sense and reason is thrown out the window. Everything from ultimate gross out gore to Nazi science, Nixon strippers, all kinds of gnarly biker violence, deviant S&M, a hick conspiracy nut, and of course Bigfoot are the mismatched ingredients that make up this odd little movie. Not for the squeamish, and most assuredly if your girlfriend/wife/whatever is preganant not for her, but for the Bigfoot moments alone, DEAR GOD NO! is downright fantastic.
New on DVD from The Asylum!
BIGFOOT (2012)Directed by Bruce Davison
Written by Bruce Davison
Starring Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Bruce Davison, Sherilyn Fenn, Howard Hesseman, Andre Royo, Alice Cooper, & CGI as Bigfoot!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
Agh, you know. All right. I’m going to be kind of kind to this film and say that I did walk away from it having a bit of fun. That is not saying this straight to Sunday afternoon SyFy marathon rate film isn’t a stinker, but it rolls around in that stink proudly, so I have to admire it for that.
Danny Bonaduce takes time away from his permanent gig on I LOVE THE 80’s to star as a shock jock setting up a big concert which boasts everyone from Devo to Sting, but because of a winter storm (and because they had the good sense to stay out of this movie) only Alice Cooper shows up. But someone else crashes the party. And that’s…
Barry Williams, aka Greg Brady, who plays a dedicated and hammy tree hugger who is against Bonaduce chopping down trees for his outdoor concert. But someone else crashes the party…and that is…
Sherilyn TWIN PEAKS Fenn and Bruce WILLARD Davison (who wrote and directed this film as well) as a pair of police officers conflicted between siding with Bonaduce who is an ass, but on the right side of the law, and Williams who has good intentions, but he’s a smelly hippie. But someone else crashes the party…and that is…
Howard Hesseman, who looks quite dour to be out in the cold throughout this film and definitely needs his Dr. Johnny Fever shades to cover the lack of enthusiasm he has toward his agent for booking him this role as the mayor of the town. But someone else crashes the party…
Who could it be?
It’s a fifty foot tall Bigfoot!
That’s right Bigfoot has been elusive all these years because he’s a 50 foot tall giant ape! Though it makes for some fun scenes of monkey rampaging, this film feels more like a KING KONG movie than a Bigfoot film. Here, for no reason than disliking loud noises, Bigfoot overturns rowboats, helicopters, ATV’s, and stomps on people waiting in line for a portapotty. Plus he likes to bite people’s heads off like they were grenades in a giant monkey war!
Nothing in this film can be taken seriously. Most of the overqualified supporting cast seem downright pissed to be in it, while Bonaduce and Williams actually do a decent job of carrying the film, surprisingly. Cut rate CGI doesn’t help things, as the beast is blurry and stiff most of the time, but Bonaduce and the script are balls out in this one which climaxes with Bigfoot climbing Mount Rushmore and a helicopter blowing Lincoln’s face off!
So bad it needs to be watched, BIGFOOT will most likely be playing on SyFy soon or can be found in garage sales and dollar bins across the country.
Advance Review: Showing at the Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival October 17th - 21st in Buffalo, NY!
SEXQUATCH (2012)Directed by Chris Seaver
Written by Chris Seaver
Starring Tobe Lerone, Steven Deniro, Chip Rockcastle, Savanna Ramone, Anne Marie Nouvo, Francine Mitchell, Dutch Hogan, Peter Lieberman, Chris Seaver, Varla Darling, Nick Peron, Nichole LaRoche, P.J. O Pootertoot, Spamuel L. Jackson, & Rod Bollo Skin as Stink Fist the Sexquatch!
Find out more about this film here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
Ok, folks, I will level with you.
If you’re looking for high class, high production, and high values, just…just keep scrolling down and ignore this review. SEXQUATCH has none of that going for it. It’s raunchy, lowbrow, and poorly put together and those who usually frequent the site and snub their nose at this sort of thing; they will most likely do the same to this one. At 59 minutes, the film definitely sneaks in and out like a bandit, but some of the scenes were so unfunny and poorly executed that it seems like the running time is much longer.
That said, in a crude, crude, crude way, SEXQUATCH made me chortle every now and then. Not all the time, mind you. But a few beats, some of the one liners, some of the wordplay shows that the guys behind this film are funny people capable of pulling off some clever things. The fact that one of the cast members continually states he dreams of being the President of Showbusiness someday. The fact that the Sexquatch speaks in a faux-British accent. And the fact that the cast bursts out in a Ska song after discovering their friend’s dead and raped body. All of that made this low budgeteer watchable and even, at some times, enjoyable.
The cast is made up of a cadre of non-actors and amateur actors who seem to feel as if screaming the lines makes for a convincing performance, and there are a couple of alterna-gorgeous girls to ogle at here, especially the punky delicious Varla Darling as she struts her indie chick goodness proud and loud and sparkles in every scene she’s in (she did all the gory make-up effects too). Though amateur, the cast seems to be having a blast making this one and doesn’t seem to mind the level of schlock and sleaze it’s exuding.
Though low to no-brow entertainment occasionally gets a bad rap, from meager beginnings all of your favorite filmmakers have sprung. I hope the filmmakers expand on all that worked in this film and try to shed those amateur hinderings with the next film they make. With some funny lines, some smokin’ hot indie chicks, loads of gross-out humor and gore, and a really fantastic Ska soundtrack, I’ve definitely seen worse films. As is, this story of a giant hairy beast that rapes and kills and then rapes again is going to be an acquired taste for most.
BIGFOOT COUNTY (2012)Directed by Stephon Stewart
Written by Stephon Stewart
Starring Stephon Stewart, Davee Youngblood, Shy Pilgreen, Sam Ayers, Don Scribner, and ??? as the Bigfoot!
Find out how to see this film on Tugg here and on Facebook here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
One can’t watch BIGFOOT COUNTY, one of three higher profile Bigfoot films set to be coming out in the next year, without thinking of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. In many ways, it follows the same story structure with a trio of amateur filmmakers setting out to interview someone who had an encounter with Bigfoot and getting lost in a neverending forest inhabited by a mysterious beast. Some might discredit this film for basically being THE BLAIR SASQUATCH PROJECT.
But those detractors would be missing a damn fine film.
I’m not growing sick of found footage films. I am sick of watching bad ones. And this one most definitely is not a bad one. To start off, the acting in this film is pretty top tier as director/writer/cameraman/star Stephon Stewart plays himself, a driven and personable filmmaker who hears a 911 call about Bigfoot and is compelled to investigate it himself. Davee Youngblood plays Stephon’s brother David, who is a skeptic, but loves and supports his brother. Rounding out the trio is Shy Pilgreen, David’s plucky girlfriend who is equal parts endearing and annoying as she makes the trio late by sleeping in and packing her bags slowly. The three amateur filmmakers share enough time interacting with one another throughout the first 35 minutes of the film to allow for us to both get to know them and form a bond with them. In doing so, when they are put into peril, I found myself more invested once they get lost than I ever did with Josh, Heather and Mike in BLAIR WITCH.
Once the trio do get lost, things definitely get intense. The night scenes are pretty fantastically choreographed with some nice hand held camera work that catches snippets of action well without feeling staged or panned over too quickly. There are a few scenes in particular, as the campers hear noises in the woods followed by an encounter, that made me almost jump out of my seat.
The film takes a bizarre turn toward the end which I won’t reveal. It definitely amplifies the danger factor and ensures that Bigfoot isn’t the only danger in the woods, but it feels a bit heavy handed, especially since the camera recording the events is left behind for authorities to find.
That said, as far as Bigfoot films go, BIGFOOT COUNTY is a sure indication that the quality of these films seems to be taking a turn for the better.
And finally…here’s the entire episode of the 1950’s British television series COLONEL MARCH focusing on the Abominable Snowman starring Boris Karloff! Enjoy!
See ya next week, folks!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in late 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released March-August 2012. Also look for Mark's exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-80 which begins in August 2012.
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