Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot (1977)

By using documentary-style elements such as a narration track filled with facts and figures, plus a linear storyline tracking the drudgery of a scientific exploration (think Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom), executive producer/story author Ronald D. Olson creates an immersive but unpersuasive illusion that Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot is a re-creation of something that actually happened. Presumably, this fakery was used to obfuscate the paucity of, for lack of a better word, “money shots”—Sasquatch only has about 10 minutes of screen time in the entire picture, most of it in flashbacks that Olson uses to illustrate old stories the movie’s characters share with each other while sitting around campfires. The bulk of this picture comprises dull footage of explorers venturing into the wilds of British Columbia to search for Bigfoot. Supervised by scientist Chuck Evans (George Lauris), the group of explorers includes such clich├ęd types as a gruff mountain man, a skeptical big-city reporter, and a stoic Native American. After meandering through pointless interludes—frolicking with raccoons, tussling with mountain lions—the group reaches a valley believed to be Sasquatch’s lair. Then, in the final scenes, the explorers set up surveillance equipment around the valley and endure a nighttime assault by an unknown number of creatures. Director Ed Ragozzino relies on quick cutting and silhouettes to create a low-grade sense of danger, and composer Al Capps provides a Jaws-style motif that rumbles on the soundtrack whenever Bigfoot appears. (The monster is primarily depicted through point-of-view shots, another rip-off from Jaws.) Getting to the climax requires a great deal of stamina on the viewer’s part, and the payoff isn’t nearly worth the trouble—because by the time the picture concludes with a silly theme song (“There in God’s country, he just wants to be left alone”), mediocrity has given way to monotony.

Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot: LAME


The Mutt said...

Thanks for this Bigfoot marathon. I've been waiting all my life for a good Bigfoot movie. I'm still waiting.

How can this be so hard? Kids in the woods. A monster. The grizzled hunter. It's got everything!

The closest they have come is The Legend of Boggy Creek. That one scared me good. But it is not really Bigfoot.

By Peter Hanson said...

For what it's worth, I actually wrote a Bigfoot movie that I humbly believe has the potential for greatness or, at the very least, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night awesomeness. It's in development, which means it will emerge sometime between soon and never. So I've done my bit!

Craig said...

Since this movie was filmed in 1974 and released in 1977, it could not have copied the camera technique from Jaws which was released in 1975.