Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bigfoot Captured Again!

Just watched and thoroughly enjoyed the faux-documentary Breaking History: Bigfoot Captured on the History Channel. I've love this kind of bogus storytelling and this one is a particularly good example, blending some apparently duped real scientist types with clear fictional narratives and some pretty decent film making to create a pretty entertaining whole. By the way, history remains intact.

I can't speak to the morality of spoofing folks who really imagine the show was going to show a real capture of a real Bigfoot, I cannot allow for such nimrods and their lack of self-awareness. But for fans of decent action-horror flicks this is pretty entertaining much of the time.

The narrator  (who is the same guy who did the mermaid show a few years ago I think, but with a Red Sox style beard) talks unconvincingly how he needs to be the guy who gets to the bottom of the Bigfoot mystery once and for all. We then follow him and another actor who go into the mountains where the latter claimed to have had a frightening encounter. Of course they have another.

Then the main plot starts as a veteran Bigfoot hunter, a nerd naturalist, a grumpy and skeptical woodsman, and two camera folks venture into prime Bigfoot territory for a multi-day hunt. One of the camera folks is the narrator who we actually never see in the field, but only ever get his camera perspective. The other is a winsome and  pretty girl who spends a lot of time setting up trail cameras and at one point is chased quite convincingly by a Bigfoot. The group wanders around  a bit finding signs which they argue about, then they have an encounter which turns violent, then there suddenly appears a giant metal cage (which is never shown being delivered) and they set up to capture a Bigfoot. They do, much to my surprise and the creature effects are excellent. I was put in mind of the outstanding effects from the vintage Hammer movie The Abominable Snowman, my favorite such movie.

Blended into all this are scenes with Jeff Meldrum and another scientist type who appear to think they are in another kind of Bigfoot show altogether, one which does the boring hashed-over history of the evidence thing we've seen so many times over the last ten years. Meldrum now claims he was duped, but I'm frankly not all that convinced. It's possible.

All in all this is a fun two hours with some great realistic footage (and some which is clearly bogus too) and a sufficient hint of verisimilitude to make it hang together.

On another front is Alaska Monsters: Bigfoot Edition which is the second season of this Mountain Monsters spin-off set of course in the forty-ninth state which is apparently riddled with different species of Bigfoot creatures of all sorts and colors. This season two new guys were added to the crew, adding a bit more youth to a pretty aged hunting party. But the shenanigans are pretty much the same. The team with charming names like "Crusty", "Bulldog" and "Face" dub themselves "The Alaska Midnight Sons".

The team goes to some remote part of the territory to finds some specific renditions of Bigfoot (Red Devil, Water-Stalker, Siberian Giant, Thunderfoot, etc.) and meeting up with witnesses before venturing into the night to dredge up invariably unseen but often heard monsters who always manage to elude the complex traps set for them. The team nonetheless dusts themselves off after their weekly drubbing and claim victory until the next installment. It's all pretty rigidly structured, like a good episode of Law and Order with some of the bits more interesting than others.

Some folks seem to get mad that shows like Alaska Monsters and Bigfoot Captured are fake, but as I've said here before, that doesn't mean they are not fun and entertaining diversions. 

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