COW MONKEY Image

COW MONKEY

By Merle Bertrand | July 26, 2002

Just the title of this film alone tells the viewer that he or she is in for one oddball experience. And that’s putting it mildly. Roy (James Reichmuth) and Gil (John Reichmuth) are a pair of dim bulb brothers on a quest to capture themselves a Bigfoot, dead or alive. The reason these two probable in-breds give makes a certain amount of sense, at least to them. They believe it was a Sasquatch that killed Gil’s dog, Wanda II; skinning it alive or, as Gil so colorfully put it, “Peeling it like a banana.”
They’re not alone in their mission as they tromp through the wilderness, however. Sydney Milsap (Bridget Schwartz) is a pretty if gawky anthropology student doing research on Bigfoot for her thesis. Then there’s Grover Meeks (Dan Klein), the frizzy-haired, bearded, self-appointed guardian of the nature preserve who claims he’s sighted the beastie recently. What follows, in director Gabe Weisert’s deliciously ludicrous but uneven farce “Cow Monkey,” is a series of constantly shifting alliances as the participants race for their simian prize.
This is one of those films that’s just so damned stupid, it’s funny. Fortunately, that’s precisely the effect Weisert had in mind, (or at least one HOPES that’s the effect he planned). The reason this very definition of the word “quirkiness” works is the performances of the real life Reichmuth twins. Throughout the course of this unapologetically cornball film, they somehow manage to play it straight; drawling their lines in perfectly timed deadpan fashion even while engaged in some of the dumbest activities ever recorded on tape. It’s a highly obscure reference to be sure, but fans of the Zellner brothers (Plastic Utopia and especially their recent, tragically under appreciated Frontier) will derive a huge kick out of “Cow Monkey.”
Weisert could have and should have trimmed a few moments of fat from his film. Even so, it’s hard not to like a film that features hand-to-hand Bigfoot combat training and something called the “Pee Trap.” Simply put, then, “Cow Monkey” is so stupid, it’s fun.

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