Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. A while back I got wind of a project brewing called MEGAFOOT and set forth to investigate. Turns out it’s about a secret government plot to mix my favorite movie monster Bigfoot with the Terminator. I had a chance to speak about MEGAFOOT and the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign set up to complete the film with writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky. After this sampling of the storyboards for the opening credits (which may be considered NSFW), you can read on for what transpired…
AMBUSH BUG (BUG): Let's start out with you explaining exactly what MEGAFOOT is all about.
ROLFE KANEFSKY (RK): MEGAFOOT is a secret government experiment to create the perfect super soldier. It's a program that has been going on for years. They started with human test subjects but soon discovered that man's DNA cannot handle the serum and would literally explode. However, when the military discovered a family of Bigfoot living in the nearby woods, they realized they found their perfect test subject. And Bigfoot was transformed into Megafoot. Part Bigfoot, Part Cyborg, All Terror! But Megafoot was none too pleased, and during a rampage escaped the compound, killing many before fleeing into the woods. Now, in an attempt to contain the situation, an elite team of soldiers are sent in to capture and, if need be, kill Megafoot before he does any more damage. Unfortunately, the woods are not empty. There is a couple celebrating their anniversary on a camping trip, a group of college kids partying down, and some locals who don't like trespassers on their land. Basically, Megafoot has his share of victims to rip apart, eat, and possibly even reproduce with! The hunt is on in this “Predator”-style action horror film where it's every human and every Bigfoot for himself! It's bigger than big...it's MEGAFOOT.
BUG: There have been tons of Bigfoot films made, but a good Bigfoot film is almost as elusive as the creature itself. Why do you think that is, and how do you plan to prove it wrong with MEGAFOOT?
RK: I know what you're saying. I've seen a lot of Bigfoot movies, and they are usually very disappointing. Well, in my opinion, there are two ways to make a Bigfoot movie. One can be a subtle, suspense-driven way, keeping the creature in the shadows and only hearing him and seeing him in short bursts. LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK is a pretty good example of this. Some of that movie is quite eerie. However, all the songs and montages and narration kind of take away from those suspenseful moments. Now, the other way to make a Bigfoot movie is to go for the gore and creature feature fun of it. That is what the 1981 NIGHT OF THE DEMON, did and the second half of Ryan Schifrin's ABOMINABLE. Both these films have some fun moments as well. The cool thing about all the movies I mention is, at least they did Bigfoot with practical effects. Unfortunately, most creature movies only use CGI today, and I don't think that is ever effective.
With MEGAFOOT, we are going the practical route and trying to take the best elements from some of the films I mentioned but increase the action and gore by about 100%. Our MEGAFOOT is really an action chase horror film. It starts fast and keeps going. Think ALIENS in the woods. There will be suspense and scares, but all the attacks are brutal and deliver the goods. With a name like MEGAFOOT, I want to see a large scary creature stomping people to death and ripping them to pieces. We have embraced the gore, some of the cheesy fun, and ramped up the thrill factor. This is why we have avoided going to places like SyFy Channel or The Asylum. We want to deliver a film we would want to see and the fans are waiting for without being bogged down with the limitation that companies like the ones I've mentioned would put on us. If we can pull this off, I know Bigfoot fans will be happy!
BUG: Who came up with the original look of Megafoot?
RK: The producers. Justin Martell and his partner drew the first sketch I saw. It was very helpful while I was writing the script. I got a clear vision of Megafoot, and that is what Justin Osbourn, who designed our poster, worked off of in creating our fantastic one sheet.
BUG: Are you a believer in Sasquatch?
RK: I remember watching the “In Search Of” and some documentaries about Sasquatch. I found them interesting but growing up the suburbs of New York never really worried about it. So, I wouldn't say I'm a believer, but I like to keep an open mind. People discover new things every day, so you never really know what's out there.
BUG: Who is handling the effects of MEGAFOOT, and what can we look forward to?
RK: We have a great special effects company attached, but at this time can not reveal the name. However, he has created many great creature suits and is 100% excited to start working on MEGAFOOT. We want to get as close to the poster art as we can by using a huge actor inside the suit, animatronics for the face, etc. The creature design is the key, and we'll be putting a lot of money into that. However, MEGAFOOT is a very effects-heavy film. The opening massacre of the college kids is gory, fun, and over the top. There are some extreme kills in that sequence (that we haven't shown) and throughout the film that should surprise people. I really wanted each death to be memorable. And our finale where Megafoot fights Bigfoot is a battle royale that will have to be seen to be believed. But of course, we have to film it first and to do that we need some funding. Hence, our Indiegogo campaign.
BUG: Why has Bigfoot been so elusive all this time according to your film, and how is it now that the government has captured the beast to experiment on?
RK: Well, that is part of the origin story that will actually be covered in greater detail in the comic that is one of the perks in our campaign. Our film begins with MEGAFOOT's escape from the government compound. Later in the movie, more of the facts of the experiment come to light, but that reveals some secrets that the Colonel and others wouldn't want us sharing at this time.
BUG: I'm getting a SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN vibe from what I've seen of this Bigfoot. Were you a fan of that episode with Andre the Giant as the monster?
RK: Yes, I loved that episode. I was a fan of the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN growing up and I vividly remember the Bigfoot episode. It was so cool. When I first heard about MEGAFOOT, that was the first thing that came to mind. We are planning on giving a little nod to the famous episode in MEGAFOOT that the fans should appreciate.
BUG: What kind of direction does a director give to an actor playing Bigfoot?
RK: “Don't slouch. Be brave and strong. You are Bigfoot. Let them hear you roar and never let them see you sweat.”
BUG: That’s pretty much what I say to myself every morning. Now that the government has combined Bigfoot with machine, could CyberNessie or Robocabra be far behind?
RK: I think that's a question for The Asylum or SyFy Channel. We are just trying to make one really cool, kick-ass creature film here. Scary fun. If we can deliver that, we'll be happy!
BUG: What's next for you after MEGAFOOT?
RK: Well, I've been quite busy and working in almost every genre there is. I wrote a western starring Tom Berenger and Eric Roberts coming out through LionsGate on June 17th entitled DOC HOLLIDAY'S REVENGE, and a horror/comedy about an evil charm bracelet that gets loose in a sorority house entitled DEVILISH CHARMS arriving in May. A family film I wrote called A TIGER'S TAIL is in final post-production as well as ABADDON, a horror fairy tale that reveals the story before the story of “Hansel & Gretel”. Currently, I am writing a CAPE FEAR-type thriller for Reel One Entertainment called PHOTOGRAPHS and trying to get two of my pet projects off the ground: NEVERMORE, a Poe-inspired horror tale, and JUST LISTEN, which could best be described as REAR WINDOW meets REPULSION. Also, hoping to break into television with a cool supernatural show titled WHISPERING FALLS that I have created. So, there are plenty of irons in the fire, and lots of projects on the way coming out throughout this year, so keep an eye out for them and please support MEGAFOOT. I really, really want to make this movie the coolest bionic bigfoot movie you've ever seen!
BUG: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Best of luck. Find out more about this film on its Facebook page here and on Twitter @MEGAFOOTMOVIE . I can't wait to check out the film. MEGAFOOT is currently in the final days of its IndieGoGo campaign and below is the pitch trailer. Best of luck and go MEGAFOOT!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 13 years & AICN HORROR for 4. Mark’s written THE TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, DEATHSPORT GAMES, NANNY & HANK (soon to be an Uptown 6 Films feature film), Zenescope’s GRIMM FAIRY TALES Vol.13, UNLEASHED: WEREWOLVES, and the critically acclaimed THE JUNGLE BOOK and its follow up THE JUNGLE BOOK: LAST OF THE SPECIES. FAMOUS MONSTERS’ LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (co-written with Martin Fisher) will be available soon in trade. Mark wrote/provided art for a chapter in Black Mask Studios’ OCCUPY COMICS. Follow Ambush Bug on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
Find more AICN HORROR including an archive of previous columns on AICN HORROR’s Facebook page!