29th Aug2014

‘In Search of Bigfoot / Cry Wilderness’ Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Mondo Squallido

Usually it’s a lot easier and quicker for me to review films one by one but I thought for this release from Vinegar Syndrome, it’s only right to review the release as a whole.

In Search of Bigfoot

In-Search-of-Bigfoot

Stars: Robert Morgan, Rene Dahinden, John Green, Sam Melville | Written and Directed by Lawrence Crowley, William Miller

First up on this Drive-in Collection double feature, we have the 1975 documentary In Search of Bigfoot, directed by Lawrence Crowley (Bigfoot: Man or Beast) and William Miller (Cowboy Spirit, Mysteries From Beyond the Triangle). The documentary focuses on Robert Morgan (Blood Stalkers, Mako: The Jaws of Death) and his team who set out to locate the legendary Bigfoot. While on their expedition they meet loggers and eyewitnesses who all claim to have either witnessed or interacted with the mythical creature. There are highs and lows for Robert and his team and although an often hard faced and determined chap, Robert has lots of respect and good intentions.

I’m not really too interested in the whole obsession with Bigfoot usually, but this documentary had me entertained from start to finish. Being made in the mid 70’s, there is that instant charm and it reminded me of the wonderfully kooky Mystery of the God’s presented by William Shatner. There are plenty of ‘interesting’ characters on show throughout the documentary, especially the locals who claim to have had contact with Bigfoot. To accompany the goings on within the expedition, we have some nicely shot scenes of the American wilderness and nature. Overall, this is an entertaining and sincere documentary about a group of people who have a passion for Bigfoot and the drive to prove their critics wrong. You really want Robert to succeed even if you yourself, don’t believe. I wonder if Wes Anderson watched this before he made The Life Aquatic? You’ll understand when you watch!

Cry Wilderness

Cry-Wilderness

Stars: Eric Foster, Maurice Grandmaison, John Tallman, Griffin Casey, Foster Hood | Written by Jay Schlossberg-Cohen, Philip Yordan | Directed by Jay Cohen

Eric Foster (The Wonder Years, Darkroom) plays Paul, a young boy who once had an encounter with the legendary Bigfoot. One night, he gets a message from his hairy friend that his park ranger dad Will, played by Maurice Grandmaison (Night Train to Terror, Cataclysm)  is in serious trouble. Paul escapes and meets his father and Indian friend Jim, played by John Tallman (Lust for Freedom, Class of Nuke ‘Em High Part 3) who are being pressured by the establishment (in true Jaws fashion) to get rid of the mysterious creature on the loose because it’s tourism season soon. With the help of hot headed hunter Morgan Hicks (Griffin Casey in his only acting credit) the gang go on the hunt to find their prey, well Morgan definitely is. Will Paul save his father and prove that Bigfoot is real? Of course he will, all films like this end that way!

If you want a film that tops Troll 2 for being so bad it’s good, then this is the film for you. It’s silly, hilariously acted out and just downright entertaining from start to finish. Paul and his father are so close, that they both share hilariously awful hair. To match the awful hairstyle and acting, we sometimes have some fantastically dire ADR work. The story mashes up the basics of Jaws with pretty much every other family-oriented Bigfoot film ever. This time however, we have a Bigfoot that loves Coca-Cola and likes to gets down to soft rock in his spare time. We also have a Native Indian called Red Hawk played by Foster Hood (Branded, Love is a Funny Thing) who lives in the wood and hammers down the message that us humans are scum. Don’t forget lots of footage of animals, sometimes Bruno Mattei level stock footage use and some cheesy late 80′s music. We also witness Morgan Hicks nearly strangling a raccoon to death. Lovely! I could go on more about some of the absurdity within this film but that would be no fun for potential first time viewers!
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Overall, both films on this disc are entertaining in their own right. In Search of Bigfoot goes extremely well with the family friendly Cry Wilderness. Watching these together reminds me of obscure cable channels having a themed night. There is much fun to be had with this double feature. Both films once again have received top notch treatment from Vinegar Syndrome. They look and sound great as they are both presented in 2K, restored from original camera negatives. As I said at the start of the review, Bigfoot in general really doesn’t interest me, but damn did I enjoy these flicks and will definitely be watching again (Cry Wilderness is a great film to share with your friends over a few beers and pizza). If you are interested in the legend of Bigfoot, this is a release for you. If you are in to obscure gems, once again, Vinegar Syndrome have you covered with this. Go buy it NOW!

You can buy the release directly from Vinegar Syndrome here as well as your favourite online retailers.

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