Director: Brian T Jaynes
Starring: Larry Jack Dotson, Audrey Ellis Fox, Holt Boggs, Billy Blair .USA. 1h 15m
In the seemingly inexhaustible Bigfoot Indie Movie sub-genre, Bigfoot Wars has a many thriving backstories (originating from Eric S Brown’s book series) but doesn’t appear to do anything outstanding with the subject matters. It tries to offer a crazy alternative idea to most bigfoot mythologies that points; not only to the existence of Bigfoot but that there is a community living on the outskirts of a small town, that once threatened, will turn on the local human population until the one or the other is extinct.
Holt Boggs stars as Sheriff Jim Taylor, a dutiful officer loving father who struggles to find his feet when the carpet is swept out from underneath him when a spate of violent animalistic murders shakes his sleepy little town, Boggy Creek. The movie opens with the violent (offscreen) murder of the mayor, then some teens are slaughtered by a unknown beast while “partying” and camping in the woods, but the locals aren’t all that shocked, as a local news reports reveals that a majority of town folk believe that Bigfoot and aliens are all real and out there waiting to be discovered.
The local doctor is played by a seemingly high Judd Nelson and it’s clear that he turned up to sit down and get paid, but at least he does add some puppish energy. In Between dicking around he does confirm that attacks aren’t from a bear but that’s what is going on the official paperwork and he really unnerves the Sheriff who is already beginning to get weirded out but the recent events.
Not only does Jim has to worry about protecting his woke town, but his wayward teen daughter is determined to get herself into as much trouble as possible while playing with the neighbourhood bad boys, when her antics forces her to cross paths with furry howling monsters, and just to add an extra layer of weirdness Jim has to rely on Zeke (C Thomas Howell), a cantankerous wild hillbilly as a guide into the wilderness. Zeke’s daughter is one of the survivors who was rescued from the grasp of a hairy hominid but her medical condition is in question.
At some point during the movie the Sheriff Jim, his wild guide Zeke, a TV reporter with mud on her face and her cameraman, and local hood (Billy Blair) all manage to find themselves basically knocking on Bigfoots door and the film begins to churn on with it’s titled BigfootWar!!! Without getting into all the grit, there’s explosions, rocket launchers, and for me the highlight of the movie is when Howell beheads one of the beasts and walks around with it as a trophy because he gives no fucks.
As hokey as the story is, in some minor ways it really works but you’ve got to be able to grasp some non connecting conspiracy ideas that don’t make sense or link but the premises revolves around a concept that the Bigfoot community are going through a crisis and need some help but are going about in a strange way. Sadly with all the intriguing and complexity, the presentation of this dull movie just isn’t up to scratch. The acting is a bit weak, there’s no atmosphere and it just feels a bit bare bones all round. When C Thomas Howell is the best actor in a feature after the 90’s then you know that no one was really bringing their A Game.
There is a decent pace and Jaynes isn’t afraid to lay on heavy gore and some violence but with limited effects I feel the film would have benefited from just facing up it has nothing amazing in their effect box but just do you best and fans will love you for trying, rather than reining it in leaving the movie lacking a bit of sauce. It’s inoffensive and watchable but that’s where the compliments end for this woody adventure.
On reflection and after watching this film twice, I do wonder if Bigfoot is doomed, has the story of the forest giant gotten to the point where it’s just so cliche, such a big joke, that it only exists in low budget movies and fan efforts, but then looking back at the extensive bat catalog, hasn’t it always stood that way?
R:The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972), Willow Creek (2013),
L: Bigfoot A-Z
5s: C Thomas Howell
A: A Short Introduction to Bigfoot and B Movies.