April 17th, 2017 - Review by Mark Schwab
I actually thought we were done with Bigfoot movies. The track record isn't exactly stellar for the Squatch - the 1967 fake grain-a-thon Patterson/Gimlin footage, the hopelessly inept 1970 John Carradine/Joi Lansing BIGFOOT feature, the dopey 1987 HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS and 2013's mostly forgotten WILLOW CREEK. I wasn't sure there was anywhere new to go with putting a poor sap in a furry suit waving its arms and stomping around in a forest. Thankfully, new director Matt Hausmann does breathe a little bit of life into the subject with his intentionally insane 22-minute short film THE BIGFOOT HUNTERS. Ever wanted to see a Bigfoot do bong hits and shoot heroin? Here's your chance!
We know what we are in for in the opening scene with a bikini-clad young woman screaming through the forest while another character yells out how ridiculous it is to have a bikini-clad young woman in a forest. Meta-awareness box checked. It then quickly transitions (via helpful CREEPSHOW-like comic book slides) to a "Bigfoot Anonymous" group that is providing some type of...support?...for...people who...anyway I guess it doesn't really matter. It works well enough as an excuse to introduce some totally loony, WAY over the top goofball characters who all have some kind of issue with the big-footed dude. People with names like Unleaded Diesel and Remy Winnebago all sporting shit-kicker southern accents. Oh yeah, there's even a character named Shit Kicker and he literally shouts all of his lines at the top of his lungs - that poor actor must have been exhausted making this film but I was impressed with his endurance to go full yell.
There really isn't much plot or storytelling here - it's mostly a series of loosely-connected incidents of the nut jobs telling stories and reacting/interacting with the creature. It plays much more like a proof-of-concept designed to raise money for a feature-length version of itself. What is surprising though is the level of comedic acting on display - it's wonderfully sharp and professional instead of intentionally crummy. The cast is great and even though not all of the jokes land, Hausmann has written plenty of tastelessly good lines that actually made me laugh out loud. The production is competently directed and edited with a clean sound mix and, I must admit, a pretty decent looking Bigfoot creature. If you're thinking about investing some dough in this, your money won't be wasted.
So should a feature version be birthed? Quite possibly. If Hausmann can keep the funny lines coming fast and furious, continue the good production values and tone down the Shit Kicker character (Paul Major seems like a good actor and he deserves more than one gear of just screaming), there will clearly be an audience who can enjoy the whacked-out arena that THE BIGFOOT HUNTERS is playing within. And that is no hoax.