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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This ultra cheap flick is hard to resist since it obviously doesn't
take itself seriously so why hate it because it's low budget? Bored?
Well, okay you probably have me there but lovers of bad films will
undoubtedly find a place in their collection for this silly effort.
Story takes place somewhere in the forest where we see a biker gang
head through a small town before embarking on a hiking trip but Rick
(Christopher Mitchum) and his girl Chris (Judy Jordan) venture off by
themselves for some necking. They come across a burial ground and find
a hairy creature buried in one of the plots and then suddenly are
attacked themselves where Rick is knocked unconscious and Chris is
*****SPOILER ALERT***** Rick wakes up and heads to the nearest town to try and find help but the local police don't believe him and it takes two traveling salesmen who say they are interested in lending a hand. Jasper B. Hawks (John Carradine) and Elmer Briggs (John Mitchum) believe his story and think that if they can capture one of the sasquatch's then they will be rich. The creatures have Chris tied to a stake along with another pretty woman named Joi Landis (Joi Lansing) and they figure out that Bigfoot wants to mount them and get them pregnant because a smaller and more human looking creature (Jerry Maren) keeps sniffing about. Joi is taken up the hill as a prize for the biggest Bigfoot (James Stellar) so that he can mount her but Chris, Jasper, Elmer, and the biker gang will soon be there to help.
This film is written and directed by Robert Slatzer who had directed a couple of biker flicks before but the budget for this film is so small that he couldn't even get any cool looking motorcycles. It's easy to pick out the silliness here and I'll start with Carradine's character who recites famous lines from other films like "Go away kid, you bother me", "It was beauty did him in" and ultimately "Beauty and the Beast" as he looks up and down at the beautiful Lansing. I also couldn't help but notice that Bigfoot knows how to tie knots! Who else tied the women up to those stakes? Lansing is a pilot but after parachuting out she takes her suit off and is wearing almost nothing and Jordan who is in the forest (nowhere near any beach) is supposed to be on a hiking trip but is wearing a bikini. How convenient for viewers! Chris Mitchum gets into a fistfight with one of the creatures and it turns out that the sasquatch can fight better than most heavyweight contenders. The local police are totally inept and when the sheriff learns that a girl has disappeared he spouts "Go on home and go to bed" while his deputy in the background is polishing the barrel of a gun like it's a gay phallic symbol. The biker gang in this film has to be the dullest bunch of wimps I have ever seen as they wear nice looking and ironed clothes. Their hair is neatly trimmed and when Mitchum is about to head into the woods with sexy Jordan he's warned to play nice! This gang is so timid and boring that a bunch of insurance salesmen at a convention would be more wild than these boy scouts. The motorcycles they ride are nothing more than medium sized Yamaha's whom I think helped sponsor this film in some way. The highlight of the film aside from gawking at Jordan in her bikini is watching the beautiful and busty barefoot Lansing who when not tied to a stake is either in the clutches of Bigfoot or running around the woods trying to escape. She appears to always be on the verge of falling out of her skimpy outfit but alas, it never happens although there are several eye popping shots of her considerable cleavage. Lansing was a popular "B" movie starlet who unfortunately would die of cancer less than two years later before this film was ever released and she was stunning to look at. Both John and Christopher Mitchum are related not only to each other but to the great Robert Mitchum and along with them a few other familiar faces pop up like cowboy star Ken Maynard who has a poster of one of his old films behind him in the store. Besides Carradine the cast has Jerry Maren (Cousin Itt), Haji (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!), and character actor Doodles Weaver as the forest ranger. I've always found low budget efforts like this fascinating to view and along with the bad furry suits and horrible sound stage forest settings it's still a film that knows what it is and clearly doesn't take itself seriously.
Well, that was the quote on my video box by someone from THE POST. So,
judging by that rather anonymous endorsement, I knew I was in for a real
treat. Not to mention the box artwork, which features a large, vaguely
ape-like creature tossing a motorcycle (yay! a hybrid biker/monster flick!)
Toss in John Carradine, and the blurb "America's abominable snowman...
breeds with anything!", and you've got yourself an epoch du frommage. The
uncomfortably long (and silent) travelling scenes, the paper mache sets, the
unbelievably bad bigfoot makeup(or shall I say BigFEET?), the
dinner-theatre-style acting, wonderfully inane script - all a testiment to
the ultra-low budget that this "classic" drive-in flick flaunts in spades.
Demands repeated viewings.
There's a vastly superior movie out there called The Ninth
Configuration, written and directed by William Peter Blatty. In that
movie about an insane asylum dwells a character named Frankie Reno who
feels compelled to do an all dog production of Shakespeare. Now, should
Frankie ever film the fruits of his labor, I'm convinced it would yield
a better movie than Bigfoot.
We're talking about a film whose production appears to consists of "whatever can fit in the back of a pickup truck" filmed at what I'm assuming was a breakneck pace to get a product in the can and distributed to America's drive-in theaters (maybe 'drive-thru' is a more appropriate term.) What I'm trying to say is, I hope minimal time and resources were dedicated to this movie because the technical merits are so abysmal that the clearly deteriorating print from which the incorrectly framed DVD was made may actually be an improvement to the original projection over 30 years ago. I wish I were exaggerating.
Seriously, it defeats the purpose of a serious critical analysis (want proof, check out the cheesy DVD cover art). Instead, dear reader, I present the "fun" aspect of Bigfoot.
I enjoyed how Joi Lansing piloted a plane that, not surprisingly, crashes but not before a leisurely conversation with air traffic control while grips stand outside the obviously grounded plane and shake it back and forth to simulate mid-air turbulence. I giggled with condescending glee seeing this pilot parachute out, descend, and then cut to her on the ground wrapping up her chute (my guess is the budget couldn't afford the ladder to simulate a landing.)
Let's not forget the masterful camera-work of the motorcycle gang riding through the woods shots designed to instill an uneasy, slightly nauseating sensation, by vigorously shaking the frame as if as if the cameraman was sitting in the bed of a truck that had no shocks! And there's a brilliant moment in the "party" montage where it looked like someone dropped the camera.
What brilliant economical editing too! Why show the plane taking off? Crashing? Or Joi landing? And the quick cuts showing the editorial equivalent of nothing to show the plane going down (I guess).
Oh, and when Bigfoot's henchmen (littlefoots?) kidnap the pilot and the bikini-clad girl (what's her name?) these two women are tied to barely visible saplings, so their surprisingly calm conversation comes across as two high-school broads hanging around the cafeteria gossiping. "So, which of the furry guys who kidnapped us do you think is the cutest?" Wait, it gets better, the bikini clad-babe (maybe it was the pilot in her whatever the hell that outfit's supposed to be) gives us a quasi-scientific run down of what these creatures are.
A little bit later, glorified monkeys checkmate the rescue party in a battle of wits, the rescue party is tied to saplings next to the girls where they all uncannily resemble disgruntled company lay-offs waiting in line at a soup kitchen.
How 'bout John Carradine's car which the hare could outrun even if the tortoise gave him cement shoes and broke his legs. What am I saying? The tortoise could take an ice-pick to the hare, push the corpse down a hill and the dead body could outrun that car (not to mention require less maintenance to keep running.) Speaking of John Carradine, I hope you like ham and cheese with your turkey.
And I learned a very valuable lesson from Bigfoot: contrary to popular myth, dynamite does not actually require a fuse. It only requires a moron to throw it and boom!
I have a theory that films like Bigfoot are made as a self-help tool to make suicidal filmmakers feel better about their work. Even the most talentless hacks can watch it with the comfort of knowing, "well, I can do better than that. Maybe life is worth living."
My dad had a pair of Cinemacanica 35mm projectors and he bought this film.
If he paid more than a nickel for it he was over charged. Then again,
movie was so bad that he decreed that if my brothers or myself acted out
line, then the perpetrator would be sentenced to watch this
Needless to say I watched this film many times and my father wore out the print. Maybe he did get his money's worth out of it. Heck! I bet my dad would gladly have paid a thousand dollars for this as much as he made me watch it.
By the way, this movie caused terrible trauma for me. I've never been able to watch another movie with Christopher Mitchum. He has to be the worst actor of all time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This so-dumb-it's-numbing Sasquatch cinema stinker holds the dubious
honor of being possibly the first-ever American movie made about the
legendary Bigfoot. Alas, it's also one of the worst-ever movies ever
made about Bigfoot.
A small tribe of Sasquatchs -- one giant bad male, three babbling females, and a homely, noisy "whattheheckisit?"-type hybrid baby critter -- abduct luscious young human babes for unsavory procreative purposes. Everybody involved with this putrid turkey comes out stinking worse than filthy old socks. Bouncy, buxom blonde bombshell Joi Lansing, clad only in a skimpy pink nightie, runs shrieking through the woods with a grunting, lecherous Bigfoot in hot pursuit. Robert Mitchum's no-talent son Chris, trying to look tough with his scruffy beard and bandanna, makes for a pitifully unconvincing biker hero. John Carradine, sporting a hideously overdone Southern drawl and a juicy hamminess that could be made into a dozen cans of Spam, gives an unbearably unrestrained performance as traveling salesman Jasper B. Hawke, who wants to nab himself a Bigfoot so he can make a bundle exploiting the beast to the ninth degree. Robert Mitchum's no-talent brother John grates on the nerves with his insufferably whiny turn as Carradine's sniveling partner. Former cowboy movie star Ken Maynard came out of retirement to do a useless bit as an elderly shopkeeper. Comic actor Doodles Weaver briefly appears as a forest ranger. Such familiar B-picture faces as William Bonner, Jennifer Bishop and Russ Meyer starlet Haji (the latter having a very bad overbleached bouffant 'do day) pop up as members of a sickeningly wimpy chopper gang.
The Bigfoot creatures are stupendously sorry-looking: With their tatty, you-can-see-the-seams brown gorilla costumes, buggy eyes and rubbery, puffed-out monkey faces, they resemble rejects from a fifth-rate carnival freakshow. There's little action, nudity, violence or excitement to speak of (at one point Bigfoot wrestles a portly, out-of-it bear, but even this scene is so maladroitly staged that it fails to alleviate the incessant tedium). But there's plenty of dreadful dialogue ("As a former student of archeology I recognize these markings as having a peculiar significance"). Among the other malevolent cinematic blunders to be found within this beyond bad Bigfoot bogusity are stubbornly stationary cinematography, a hopelessly dated "groovy" semi-psychedelic rock score, a draggy pace, a meandering narrative and, last and definitely least, Robert F. Slatzer's horribly ham-fisted so-called "direction." The absolute pits.
There is no excuse for a movie this bad. Absolutely no excuse
whatsoever. Not merely the fact that it has some good quality cast
names in it (John Carradine, John Mitchum) but because it is completely
treacherous not only to the industry and the art form, but to the
filmmakers themselves. Making a movie like "Bigfoot" is like
constructing the Empire State Building out of cardboard and expecting
people to work in it every day without ever hearing a shred of
complaint. It would also be astonishing that anybody even let you get
that far. It's astonishing here, too.
We all know the cult legend of the Americas' simian wonder. Well, as this movie would like us to believe, there is not just one Sasquatch, but dozens of them. And even though they are described (in the film) as being nine feet tall, in reality they're just stubby, man-sized fuzzballs who carry around clubs and sticks and tie people to trees with...I'm not sure what that was or how they got it. And I don't want to waste my precious brain cells pondering over it.
Anyway, whatever. You've got a fashion model (played by real life fashion model Joi Lansing) who crashes her plane in the wilderness and is kidnapped by some lecherous Sasquatches. Then you have some rowdy bikers. One of their girls, while wandering about the woods in nothing but her bra and panties, is kidnapped by another. Her boyfriend sees the big ape and recruits a pair of goofball con men and they all embark on a mission to rescue their girls from the men in ape suits.
The con men are played by John Carradine and John Mitchum, of all people. These two marvelous talents who were so wonderful in so many movies are the only ones involved in this treacherous production who act like professionals. Though they could have easily just hammed their way through (and nobdoy would have blamed them) they stick through to the end, even though they can't come within a lightyear of saving the movie.
"Bigfoot" looks and sounds as if it were made by a group of bottom feeders who had never seen a movie before in their lives. The photography is grainy and amateur and the audio on the soundtrack is so poorly assembled and recorded that you find yourself constantly adjusting the volume on your TV set. The screenplay is just the same set of words and phrases being repeated over and over again and the editing is absolutely horrendous. There is a horrible shot where Joi Lansing is on the run from a Sasquatch. She runs past us in the foreground and keeps on running until she's against the horizon. Then the Sasquatch appears to follow her. Between that point and the first one, we never cut away or adjust camera speed. Add to the fact that Joi Lansing was apparently trying to imitate Fay Wray in her screams and coming across as irksome. And the scene where she crashes her plane is missing not one, but several key shots so that we don't even get the whole picture of what has happened.
I don't think I even need to touch on the special effects.
This is one of the worst, most unremittingly agonizing and horrible movies ever made. As a person who has been and worked on a movie set and knows the pain and pressures that go into making a film, I find it absolutely appalling that anybody would even proceed and suffer their way through the production of something like this. The business isn't even that much of a money-maker for the cast and crew. It's the executives who really get the dough. So why bother unless you're at least going to put up an effort? There are other jobs out there. Other careers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was just plain awful. I've seen worse acting but this was just bad. But the acting wasn't really the problem. The problem was this movie was boring. Nothing even really happens. It felt like I was watching a 3 hour movie, but that's probably because I kept stopping it. I had to because it was so awful I couldn't take it all in one sitting. Only scary part that made me jump was when the girl in the green underwear and her boyfriend bump into one of the ape creatures. That was the only good part. Everything else just sucked. I was praying that the ape looking creatures would kill off or at least torture the blonde woman. Her constant screaming made my ears bleed. Even when I turned the volume down her screams (and I'm not kidding), got more piercing! Over and over again she kept screaming whenever she spotted the damn apes. It was unbelievable how this bimbo wasted time screaming at the top of her lungs instead of trying to find a way to get the hell out of there! She was the most annoying character and it sucks that she didn't even die....just to shut her up.
If you list John Carradine's films in order of IMDb rating, Bigfoot ranks second to last. This is a guy who starred in films titled Hillbillys in a Haunted House, Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, Vampire Hookers, Satan's Cheerleaders and Sex Kittens Go to College, among many, many others. A gaggle of sasquatches are out looking for women to mate with in this extremely low budget flick that looks like it was filmed on spare sets from Hee Haw. John Carradine is the biggest star, but you also have big breasted Joi Lansing and two kids of famous Hollywood actors, Chris Mitchum and Lindsay Crosby. Robert Mitchum's brother, John, is also in it. Oh, and Jerry Marren, aka the green-shirted Munchkin from the Lollipop Guild (as well as, I believe, the only Munchkin who survives to this day) dons the costume of the child bigfoot. Anyway, a biker chick and a downed female pilot get captured by bigfeet, and Carradine and his bud John Mitchum join the gang, hoping to make money by capturing a live bigfoot. This is really cruddy, and pretty boring. It's rated at a dismal 1.4 on IMDb. I laughed at it enough, and it's short enough, where I'll rate it a tad higher. After all, the awesome poster of this film has decorated my wall for a few years ago (with the tagline "breeds with anything..."). This was the first time I ever watched an entire film on Youtube. That's certainly not preferable (a drive-in would be ideal), but it was the only way to see it.
Released in 1970, "Bigfoot" was one of the first quasi-horror films
devoted to the legendary beast-man, if not THE first. It relays the
story of a couple of girls kidnapped by some bigfoot creatures and the
mixed posse of country police & bikers who seek to find them.
Unfortunately, this is Grade C filmmaking all the way. For instance, the opening credits don't appear until almost the 10-minute mark. Most the scenes leading up to this are overlong time-wasters, like Joi Lansing walking up to her small plane and entering. Totally pointless! I guess they had to pad this turkey somehow, which is only 83 minutes long as it is. Also, most of the "acting" is laughable, and I mean that literally.
For me, the film's worthwhile for three reasons only: (1.) The gorgeous Judy Jordan in a bikini, mostly tied up to a tree (also check her out in 1973's underrated Western "The Gatling Gun"); (2.) the cool hippie-era score; and (3.) the nostalgic badness of it all, which is sort of entertaining.
The movie was shot at Big Bear Lake and San Bernardino National Forest.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A very enjoyable film for me, as I love Bigfoot B-movies.
John Carradine is a great actor and the Bigfoot creatures look more human-like than animal like. The music is also great, especially during the credits in the beginning of the film.The style really fits in well with the other Bigfoot horror movies from the 70's like "The Legend Of Boggy Creek". Another thing I enjoyed about this movie is that the filmmakers actually shot some of the scenes in isolated California mountains were real sightings take place. Unlike more of the 70's Bigfoot movies this one was more of a fantasy or fiction than a docudrama like "Sasquatch: The Legend Of Bigfoot", considering that a group of Bigfoot capture men and women and tie them to trees. If you like Bigfoot movies, this is a must-see!
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