The only time I’ve seen a film that tried to humanize bigfoot was in the 1980s, and it was done in the family comedy Harry and the Hendersons. Well, writer-director David D. Ford attempts to create empathy for the creature in a different way in the thriller Man vs. Bigfoot.
Jack (David D. Ford) searches for his brother after he has gone missing on a hike. Going into the woods alone, nature and everything living in the woods are potential threats to him. Jack quickly finds himself having to worry about something far more mysterious: a creature only thought to be a legend, Bigfoot.
With the title being Man vs. Bigfoot, I felt like this had the potential to go several ways. One, being the obvious battle between man and a bigfoot. Two, it could have been a really over-the-top grindhouse-like storyline. Or three, another documentary or found footage film about man’s search of bigfoot. Out of the three options, David D. Ford decided to go with the first. As I do not think it is the wrong choice, I do believe that the opportunity to create more of a battle between man and creature was missed. Considering the film’s outcome, I also feel that it would have benefited from having the creature revealed closer to the end of the film, as we would often see in horror films of the 70s and 80s. Teasing the monster throughout the film and saving the reveal for the third act could have added more anxiety and scare factors for the viewer.
“Jack quickly finds himself having to worry about something far more mysterious…Bigfoot.”
The story is believable because you can believe that an ex-police officer can have enough skill to protect himself from most things in the woods. Jack goes in armed, so it’s not like he attempts to kill a bigfoot with his bare hands. But once the story flushes out more, it does not seem as believable. Yes, it’s a story about a mythical creature that some say could be real, I get that, but still, when having a realistic tone, it should have a more realistic quality to it.
Man vs. Bigfoot did do some nice things when it came to production. One being the practical effects. I always applaud films when they decide to use practical effects over CGI because it just adds a little more realism. Every time a wound, a broken bone, and blood splatter are shown in this film, it is done quite well. Also, the locations used in the film are quite stunning. I’m a sucker for nature, so when I see miles and miles of trees and mountains, my heart skips a few beats. I’m not exactly sure where it was shot, but I want to vacation there…as long as there aren’t any sasquatches there. There is also a surprising cameo from Bob Gimlin, the man behind the filming of the first bigfoot recording. I think that was a nice touch to add to this type of film.
If you are a bigfoot enthusiast, then Man vs. Bigfoot is something you would probably want to watch. It is a different take on the creature than you are probably used to seeing, so do not go in expecting to know what you will get.
"…a wound, a broken bone, and blood splatter are...done quite well."