|Index||3 reviews in total|
I had no idea what to expect from this film. The title throws you off,
but as soon as you start watching, you start to figure out what it
really means. While the documentary backdrop may be a poor town where
Bigfoot hunting is a means to an end... for Wayne and Dallas, it's what
brought them together, and made them best friends.
It's hard to not get a lump in your throat while watching, as the rocky relationship plays out, but everything is so tastefully done that you have to commend the filmmaker, Jay Delaney.
I rarely see documentaries worthy of high rating, but the realistic people portrayed here are much more interesting for me to watch than some person so OUT of the ordinary a doc is made about them.
Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie (2008)
*** (out of 4)
An interesting if rather depressing documentary taking a look at Dallas Gilbert and Wayne Burton, two men from Portsmouth, Ohio who became friends because of their Bigfoot passion. The film runs 63-minutes and we're shown why the two men love Bigfoot and it's clear that it's because they have nothing else. Both men are broke. Both men are made fun of. Both men are mocked online, in the local media and sometimes by their children. The town they live in has pretty much dried up without any jobs being available. At one point Wayne says, "I'm a loser. I'm a complete failure. I never amounted to anything and I never will." and that type of comments are running through the film. I found this to be a very fascinating look at two interesting men. It's certainly not a very happy film but at the same time it's an entertaining one simply because both men are such interesting characters and it also shows how much people like to kick someone when they're down. The poor men are taken on a radio show to discuss the Bigfoot topic but the host, who is certainly more educated, makes the uneducated Dallas look like a complete fool. Then, a more famous Bigfoot hunter shows up and pretends to be their friend only to pretty much drop them after the first night and they end up going without the ones who brought them in. The movie has a lot of heart to it because you can tell that Dallas and Wayne don't have anything in their lives outside their passion for Bigfoot. The movie pays both of them respect, never makes fun of them nor does it ever try to be mean-spirited. One of the most touching moments is when Dallas is at a Bigfoot meeting in Tennessee and he's given an award for his work and he tries to say a few words but breaks down crying and leaves the room. What he then says to the camera was incredibly touching. I don't think there's any question that Dallas and Wayne will continue to be made fun of in certain circles because let's face it, posting stuff on the internet can lead to insults no matter what you're actually posting. We see the dozens of supposed Bigfoot pictures that they've taken so if you believe then I'm sure you'll love the pictures and if you don't believe then of course you're going to scream fake. Either way, NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE is a nice little gem that shows what a dream can help you escape in a less than good situation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie is not a great film nor documentary. It is not particularly deep on the plight of the downtrodden and disenfranchised (both examples being white, middle aged males, no less), and it certainly has little to do with Sasquatch research. But it has something. In fact, it has two things that many films that are leagues above it in all qualitative ways do not have: that is empathy and hilarity. Think of films that have one of those qualities. They almost always lack the other- be they documentaries or fictions. Most comedies nowadays tend to be hip, snide, superior, whilst most films that show compassion seem to be relentlessly dry, PC, and 'serious' (emphasis on the quotation marks about serious). Think of any film in the last 20 years that is great in one of these categories and, again, it will almost always lack the other, in spades. But this film does not. Just when you want to cry and feel sick over how idiotic and gullible these men are, Wayne will start sucking on a rotten apple, comment on it, then suck it some more. Or Dallas will start pointing to a dark spot in a photo and insist that he sees a head or arm or something Bigfootian. So, the fact the film has loads of these two qualities makes it not great, but exceedingly likable. And, upon further review, also quite a good documentary. One may not be so moved to get to know the two idiots any better, but the chances are you will not regret having watched this film. I don't.
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