Is “bestselling” one of those words, like “natural”, or “inspired by a true story”, that can be used without any regard for the actual meaning? Because I was surprised to find out that the series of novels that this film is based on is bestselling, when I’d lay good money on the fact that Eric Brown’s Bigfoot-themed adventures have topped no sales charts, anywhere (with the possible exception of “self-published fake creature novellas, to members of the Brown family”, and even then only just).
If you’re not buying my from-the-off negativity, it seems that the stars of the film feel the same way I do. C Thomas Howell tweeted at his fans not to buy this movie, due to unspecified “post-production problems”, and one of his co-stars sent a message to her friend praying that she was cut out of the finished film, so bad was it. But it’s probably not that rubbish, is it?
Oh, god, we’re in Boggy Creek! ISCFC readers may remember our coverage of “The Legend of Boggy Creek” and “Boggy Creek”, plus MST3K did “Boggy Creek:…and the Legend Continues”. Despite the original films not being set in Boggy Creek – no town of that name exists, as far as I can tell, and the first two films are set around Fouke, Arkansas – there’s been a virtual torrent of rural Bigfoot movies released since the death of original director / producer Charles Pierce in 2010, and they’re all set in Boggy Creek, because imagination is the endangered species in this decade.
After starting with the introduction and killing of 6 of the biggest douchebags you’re ever likely to see (well, one of them survives), I thought there was half a chance this film would turn out okay. But it gets bad quickly. The Sheriff, despite this being a giant monster in the woods thriller, has a voiceover which feels lifted straight from a film noir, with the strong suspicion it was put in to fill in the holes in filming. The eagle-eyed among you may wonder why he’s not wearing a proper sheriff’s hat, too.
Top billed C Thomas Howell as crazy (but ultimately decent) redneck Zeke doesn’t show up til over halfway into the 75 minute movie, and Judd Nelson, as the drug addicted doctor who suspects bigfoot attacks, is barely in the movie at all. There’s a local news anchor who becomes an investigative journalist, and admittedly I don’t watch a ton of TV news but do those people exist any more? Aren’t all the TV stations owned by corporations who don’t want to upset other corporations? Oh, and there’s a bigfoot attack at a local drive-in cinema that barely anyone seems to notice. Perhaps ten feet tall monsters are commonplace in their neck of the woods.
If that’s not enough to worry you, let’s talk technical shortcomings. Daylight turns to night in seconds, and I think there was a microphone providing “room tone” that was on the fritz, as it kept cutting in and out. The Sheriff has a chat with his daughter near the beginning, and for absolutely no reason the two of them aren’t ever shown in the same shot; it’s not like one of them’s a big star who they could only afford for half a day’s filming. The music that plays over the end credit sounds like – if you can believe this – an even worse version of Kid Rock, a band called the Moonshine Bandits. Oh, and one of the cars has a Rand Paul sticker in the window, indicating that someone involved in the making of this film is a raging Tea Party asshole.
Perhaps the sole decent thing in this film is C Thomas Howell. From the cusp of the A-list in the mid 1980s, he must have made a few bad decisions or annoyed the wrong people, because he’s not really headlined a film that looked worth a damn in over 20 years. He’s made some smart TV decisions recently, though, with fantastic recurring roles on “Criminal Minds”, “Grimm” and “Southland” so perhaps he does films like “Bigfoot Wars” for a laugh now. I’m at a loss as to any other way to explain his amazing performance in this, one of the wildest overacting jobs in years. If only the rest of the film was as much fun as him.
Obviously, avoid this film like the plague. Bigfoot annoys me. They’re exactly as real as zombies, vampires and unicorns, but with the other three there aren’t a thousand awful TV programs with under-educated fools with guns trying to track them down. If only someone would put critical thinking on the curriculum in US schools. But yes, terrible film.
Rating: thumbs down