Bigfoot Wars (2014)

bigfoot wars s - Bigfoot Wars (2014)Starring Holt Boggs, C. Thomas Howell, Judd Nelson

Directed by Brian T. Jaynes

Just how frigging awful is Bigfoot Wars? Here’s a tweet from the film’s most prominent star, C. Thomas Howell:

Tommy recommends not buying #BigfootWars – sorry to anybody who purchased in advance. Post production problems, he’s heard.

And another:

Tommy sends his apologies – #BigfootWars had post production issues. He hasn’t seen it yet but has heard bad things about how it came out.

And here’s a tweet from a supporting actress to one of the film’s co-stars:

@holtboggs lol still trying to act like this didn’t happen. Was hoping to get cut post production. #manipulated

I did not know about these tweeted warnings before plunking down my hard-earned money to watch the cinematic fiasco that is Bigfoot Wars. Sad thing is, had I seen those tweets, I still probably would have watched anyway. Alfred the Butler was right: Some people just like to watch the world burn.

So, uh, post-production problems, you say? Hmmm…

A prominent citizen is murdered and a local woman gets dragged screaming into the darkness by something inhuman. Roll opening credits. Cue news report about something that took place before this incident that features the woman we just saw getting dragged away being interviewed without a care in the world. Less than five minutes in, and we already have scenes out of order.

A carload of teenagers are attacked by multiple Sasquatches. Two make it to the vehicle and engage in the classic cliché of having trouble getting the car to start. Teens in car and teen outside being ripped apart by monsters are in broad daylight. Back to the teens in the vehicle – still daylight. Friend being killed – still daylight. Back to car – now dusk. Back to the murdered teen – still daylight. Back to the car – getting darker. Back to the teen – still sunny. Car finally cranks and speeds off into the night. Another teen runs through the woods for her life – pitch darkness. You don’t often see day-to-night continuity errors this glaring in modern filmmaking. I prefer to believe it just took them so long to get that car started day turned to night.

Meanwhile, the sheriff of this podunk town is forced to narrate this Bigfoot variation of Humanoids from the Deep as if he were a hardboiled detective starring in a 1940’s crime noir. The Maltese Sasquatch? Even has a scene where it appeared the director told him to walk in slow motion down a hallway as he provides voiceover of his inner thoughts; try to pay no mind to the people walking past him at normal speed. His voiceover narration even manages to step on his actual dialogue upon entering one particular scene.

The sheriff’s daughter is dating a guy who attempts to date-rape her in a convertible at a drive-in (obvious makeshift setting, never see the screen and the cars are clearly parked on grass) surrounded by plenty of other people and vehicles. Little notice even when a hulking Bigfoot appears next to their car, drags the boyfriend out screaming, murders him while she screams, and then drags her screaming off into the night. Can’t blame this on post-production issues.

Someone running for their life inadvertently steps on a landmine that explodes with the force of several firecrackers sending the person ass-over-teakettle in less than spectacular fashion. Cut to that person on the ground now soaked in blood and missing several limbs. Did he fall apart upon hitting the ground?

Soooo much more where that came from I could point out. Generally not a good sign when the most memorable aspects of a motion picture are its glaring continuity errors, bewildering editing choices, and simply baffling directorial decisions. Though the Sasquatch costumes are pretty spiffy in a 1970’s drive-in sort of way. See. That’s a positive. I’m scrounging, people.

Director Brian T. Jaynes must have a thing for horny Sasquatch flicks given back in 2010 he also helmed the similarly themed Boggy Creek. With that film he tried to make something a bit classier and scarier than this effort, though I personally found it to be a disappointing bore.

Can’t say I was ever that bored watching Bigfoot Wars. Not only has Jaynes set out to make a more straightforward b-movie this time, he’s crafted the type of unintentionally Ed Woodsian train-wreck cinema we don’t often see in this era of intentionally bad b-movies. It never quite hits the right notes as an exploitation flick, but its wrong notes are truly something to behold. With a little more warring and a little less monologuing, Bigfoot Wars could have been the Deadly Prey of Sasquatchploitation.

Bigfoot Wars is adapted from the Eric S. Brown’s book series. Having not read any of them, I cannot say how faithful the film version is. I’m guessing not very. Despite having about half a dozen books to cull from, the movie version is so thin on plot it clocks in at 72 minutes in length (despite being billed as 94 minutes, not that I’m complaining about the lack of that additional 20 minutes) and still has time to frequently cut to Judd Nelson for a series of tepidly comic relief moments involving his pill-popping country doctor that add nothing to the plot.

The town of Boggy Creek has a big(foot) problem. A sudden rash of Squatch attacks would seem to indicate the legendary man-monsters have come out of hiding to play their very own version of “fuck, marry, kill,” only in their version substitute “marry” with “eat.” Things turn personal for the sheriff with a checkered past when his own daughter becomes potential breeding stock.

There’s surprisingly little sex or nudity for a movie about Bigfeet kidnapping and raping nubile young women. Jaynes must be saving all that for his next stab at Sasquatchsexploitation, which I can only hope will be an adaptation of the “Cum for Bigfoot” book series.

In Boggy Creek nearly every man looks like a meth tweaker, nearly every woman a truck stop hooker. The film certainly captures the seedier side of the dirty South to such a degree that a visit to a trailer park nearly brought the film into Gummo territory.

No one achieves quite the white trash perfection that C. Thomas Howell does as the gun-toting, sledgehammer-swinging, pot-smoking, booze-drinking, tattooed survivalist who has never been able to get anyone to believe him about the town’s Bigfoot problem until now. Howell’s a hoot, totally owning every scene he’s in. Well, except for the scenes where he speaks softly and I’m left to assume post-production issues rendered much of his dialogue in those scenes unintelligible. Unfortunately, one of those scenes includes the telling of the back-story that explains everything that is going on and why.

Somewhere in heaven, Ed Wood and Bill Rebane are giving Bigfoot Wars two thumbs up. Not sure Tommy would agree.

mobF - Bigfoot Wars (2014)

1 out of 5

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Written by Jon Condit

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