A certain shambling man-beast with oversized lower extremities was so prevalent in ’70s pop culture that he permeated not only fiction and nonfiction films, but also sensationalistic schlockumentaries that combined fabrications with facts. For instance, The Legend of Bigfoot purports to contain real footage of a Sasquatch, but the footage is so obviously juiced that only the most gullible viewers could be swayed. Presuming, of course, that any viewers can stay awake long enough to see the money shots. Overall, The Legend of Bigfoot is a tedious compendium of G-rated animal sequences, tied together with florid narration by the man who shot the images, Ivan Marx. Marx explains that he was working as an animal-control specialist when he started hearing rumors about Sasquatch sightings. He then spent months trying to find the elusive monster. So, about 25 minutes into this interminable record of his search, Marx includes a blurry shot of a silhouetted shape moving behind a tree line.
Emboldened to get an even closer look, Marx keeps investigating, eventually becoming annoyed at his own lack of results. Thus, we’re treated to the following petulant voiceover: “I took a job up in the wilderness near Vosburg, Washington. I had to photograph a cinnamon bear in its natural habitat. You want a bear? Here’s a bear. Piece of cake. I always got what I set after. Except bigfoot.” The shots of the cinnamon bear are crisp, and in fact all of the images except those of the actors pretending to be Sasquatch are fine; the problem is they belong in some Disney nature documentary, not this supposedly thrilling journey into the unknown.
Director Harry Winer, tasked with shaping Marx’s underwhelming footage, clearly had no choice but to pad The Legend of Bigfoot with nonsense. (For instance, we spend several minutes watching cute fox cubs cavort around Marx’s ranch.) Eventually, Marx gets another eyeful of monsters during the movie’s lifeless climax, triggering this narration: “I began to shake all over. I could barely keep hold of my camera.” And what’s featured in the accompanying shot (which, it should be noted, is perfectly steady)? That would be two silhouetted actors in bigfoot costumes washing their bodies in a forest stream. Whatever, man.
The Legend of Bigfoot: SQUARE