Thursday, December 9, 2010

Smallfoot : Primal

What's so special about a big, hairy thing in the woods?  The myth of Bigfoot has perplexed and intrigued people for over fifty years.  Why?  It's just a big, hairy ape in the woods?  There are tons of bears out there, but nobody seems to care about them.  I guess it's because it's something that we can't say.  That or because Harry and the Hendersons is so damn funny.  Bigfoot has been the subject of many films, including The Legend of Boggy Creek, Night of the Demon and Abominable.  Of course, there is also a VHS release called Bigfoot highlighted in VHS For the Win a few weeks back.  Today's film- as you probably guessed- is also about Bigfoot.  It's very low-budget, appears to be shot in Canada and has an overly-complicated plot for what it is.  You weren't expecting high-quality here, right?  Get out your exploding gas can for my review of...
The film begins with a silly bit of flash animation showing some woods and fire.  It amounts to nothing, so let's move on.  A trio of people are hiking through the woods and they fall into three, lazy categories.  We have Bitch Girl, Lazy Girl and No Speakable Personality Guy.  They stop because one of the girls- guess which one- is complaining about being tired.  She goes off by herself as a goofy-looking monster chases them.  Yes, they show you the monster in the first five minutes.  Normally I'd not complain, but this one looks like shit!  On the plus side, you save me the trouble of caring from here on out.  The group gets split up and the monster kills them.  It kills them in a mix of P.O.V. shots and hyper-speed Editing that makes that infamous Pokemon episode appear to be moving in slow-motion!  When you see the exact same effect on the second kill, you really know what you're getting into.  We jump ahead some time and see another group of people out in the woods.  They're being sent out by an oil company to stake out some land.  Of course, the leader is not supposed to tell the others that.  In the film's second plot, we see a young couple end up at a cabin in the woods.  They're there to meet the girl's brother, who has his own sub-plot to go over.  When will you start dying again?
The group of hikers wanders around for a bit and looks at animal samples.  During all of this, nobody dies.  Dammit- I came for the deaths!  The other plot involves some awkward conversation between the brother and sister & an obvious delay before they set up the final plot.  This is the cinematic equivalent of someone just sitting still and not talking until he feels like it.  Jumping back to the more interesting plot, a couple splits off to do 'couple stuff.'  Yeah, you know what I'm talking about!  Unfortunately, Bigfoot shows up to kill the mood...and both people.  It's here that we get some decent blood effects.  You couldn't shell out enough money for a better mask, but you did find room in the budget for Karo Syrup!  Priorities, priorities.  In another sub-plot within a sub-plot, we learn that one of the people in the group is the younger brother of the leader.  The only point of this plot: to bring a gun in.  Yeah, the guy put a gun in his backpack, since he was afraid of the outdoors.  Yeah, what good reason did you have for taking him out there again?  The group meets up again and begins to look for the missing people.  Bigfoot goes all 'Sam Fisher' on their asses and attacks.  How do you not smell that again?
After the initial attack, chaos reigns- leading to a lot of running.  Seriously, there is more running in this film than Chariots of Fire!  In the aftermath, one of the hikers is dead by Bigfoot hands and the black guy has been shot by the brother.  That's why guns are bad, mmkay?  The group runs off, but gets attacked again.  They manage to chase off the Bigfoot, but only after it kills one of the women.  Back in the other plot, we finally get the whole point of it: the sister wants her brother to come home for her wedding.  It's a nice, emotional sub-plot, but it also amounts to nothing.  You'll see why.  The remaining people from the hiking group run into a group of drug dealers, some people that are only there to pad out the run-time.  Guess what?  Bigfoot kills them too.  After the younger brother dies, the remaining two make it to the cabin and our plots finally tie together.  Gee, it is only over an hour into the film!  The older brother busts out an AK, since apparently Park Rangers have those.  He wounds the Bigfoot after calling in for a rescue chopper.  Pointless P.O.V. shots from the chopper to prove that you rented one for the win!  Bigfoot survives several bullet wounds and being set on fire, before finally going down to another shot.  Oh yeah, the Park Ranger dies- see what I meant.  One CG (seriously, why is it CG?!?) helicopter rescue later and this film ends.
This movie sucks!  A killer Bigfoot should be enough plot to fill in a movie.  Of course, that's not enough for the filmmakers here!  Oh no, they need lots of useless padding and sub-plots.  Why?  These actors are not good, so why would I care about them or their sub-plots?  This acting is seriously bad, folks!  The real meat here is the monster and boy, is it soggy!  The actual suit looks alright, but the mask is fake as all hell.  If it were touched up or covered in something, it might work.  The thing is scary-looking in the right light, but it's also clearly a mask.  No matter how great your mask may look, it's still pointless if it's a badly-disguised mask.  It's pretty much the same thing as any of the CG work in the low-budget Syfy Channel films.  Sometimes they look interesting, but they're obviously CG.  There's not much to recommend here.  It's a bad movie.  There are some laughs to be had, but you'll have to be a really strong supporter of bullshit.  It just might lead you to drink...a lot.
Next up, I finally tackle a movie that MGM seems to not want me to rent.  Screw you- I'm seeing Marc Singer fight an alien with a dog!  Stay tuned...

For more Sasquatch fun, check out Squatchfest over at Screen Grab with J. Astro.  It's furry fun.

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