Reviews

Curse Of Bigfoot (1976)

It was around 1982 or so. I had been given a tape recorder for my birthday and some 60 minute tapes. My career in whatever-it-is-I-do began! I used to do half-hour comedy shows (in the style of Monty Python). I would take the tape recorder to family parties and holidays and just record stuff so I could listen later. I would record TV shows. I had an awesome time.

Then, my cousin Kris came over and I convinced her to join me for “Comedy!” So, with wacky in our hearts, we began “D & K Make Fun of Books!” We grabbed a stack of, mainly, those POWER Records comics and records things and read them aloud, making jokes and doing funny voices. We did a Winnie the Pooh and Disney’s Robin Hood and some others. We read Dr. Suess’s The Cat’s Quizzer. We thought it was the funniest thing ever. It never failed to crack us up. My sister would make guest appearances. We’d run around the house. We’d yell from the steps and other rooms. It was awesome.

We filled up about 2/3’s of a tape. And, one day much later, I convinced her to do one more “Make Fun!” It was an Incredible Hulk book (one of those little fat ones). We filled up the tape. Maybe this part wasn’t as good. Maybe it was there to fill up the tape and get it to 60 minutes. Then, I began fiddling with the audio. I would dub in new jokes over old ones that I thought didn’t work. I overdubbed a new Star Trek (Passage to Moron!) sketch over a bit I didn’t like. So, suddenly, D&K became D with K out of the room. But…when I stopped the tape during the new recording, brief moments of the old bit would slip through.

It was a sloppy, joyous mess and it is the closest I can get to explaining what is Curse Of Bigfoot.

There is a plot but I don’t care about it. There are characters but so what? This is one of those beautiful films that exists in the rarefied area of the “Audacious Masterpiece”. It joins the ranks of Night Of Horror and Devil Monster. Films that you watch and shake your head at because you can’t comprehend why it was ever made but you can’t imagine a world without it. Night Of Horror does it by having nothing happen for minute after minute and somehow being entertaining. Devil Monster does it by being a 66 minute long film with over a half-hour of stock footage perpetrating to be one coherent piece of film. Curse of Bigfoot takes a more circuitous route but it gets there.

And now comes the problem with my review. There are places you can go where you can read the full synopsis of the film, where every detail is laid out before you. But, what happened to surprise? I didn’t know what to expect when I first saw this film. I just knew it was supposed to be one of the goofiest Bigfoot films out there. And boy, my mouth hung open as I watched and joy flew from my fingers into the topsoil bringing forth roses and lilies and letting loose the light of the heavens.

Seriously. It’s good stuff.

But, it is dull. Never let it be said that Bleeding Skull doesn’t place up plenty of signposts in front of a film before they recommend it. Curse Of Bigfoot is dull. Hilariously dull. All part of the charm.

In the early 70s, a class in cryptozoology is expecting a guest, a professor with a wild look in his eye. He tells the lengthy story (surely, everyone must be late for their next class) of an archeological expedition he took with several students 15 years earlier. On that dig, they found some sort of mummy and chaos ensued.

All that may be the basic story but there’s so much great stuff here to rub up against. Part of the joy is that this film is the perfect example of the “Molasses Cinema”, which was such a big part of drive-in culture. This genre of film is distinguished by everyone doing everything as slow as humanly possible without coming to a complete stop or going backwards. Why take one deep breath when two really gets the blood flowing? Why cut away when a crowd is lounging around a room talking about sandwiches when you can let us soak it in? (Actually, some of the chat scenes between the students reminded me of a late 50s-style Blood Lake.) Why not walk all the way into town and then walk back? Maybe something will happen along the way. Maybe not.

This movie is like a relaxing bath. Nothing happens but it feels so good.

Really, I’m ducking around giving too much away about the film. It should be watched and enjoyed. Maybe you’ll fall asleep during it. I sure have. But, remember this: the film’s always waiting for you when you wake up.

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