10th May2021

‘Dawn of the Beast’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Adrian Burke, Ariella Mastroianni, Grant Schumacher, Anna Shields, Francesca Anderson, Chris Cimperman, Willard Morgan, LeJon Woods | Written by Anna Shields | Directed by Bruce Wemple

It would seem that the legend of Bigfoot just won’t go away, every decade seems to bring with a new sighting of the monster and a wealth of new films about the subject. And this decade is no different… In fact, Dawn of the Beast is not the first Bigfoot movie we’ve reviewed in the past year and undoubtedly won’t be the last.

Actually the reason this isn’t the first Bigfoot film we’ve reviewed in the past year is because about 8 months ago we covered a Bigfoot film called Monstrous, which was directed by Bruce Wemple and written by Anna Shields. And guess what? Dawn of the Beast is from the pair too! And they’ve thrown in the wendigos from Wemple’s other film, The Retreat, into the mix; making this the first film, as far as I’m aware, to feature a Bigfoot AND a wendigo!

Dawn of the Beast follows a group of students who, aiming to see Bigfoot, venture deep into an area of the Northeastern wilderness known for its strange creature sightings. Soon, they learn that there is a much more sinister evil lurking in the woods, the Wendigo, and once the spirit knows you’re there, they will come for you. Who will survive in a battle between the two most notorious monsters of the forest?

So we’ve got the “Bruce Wemple universe” equivalent of Godzilla vs Kong then? Well not exactly.

Unlike his previous two films, Dawn of the Beast gets off to a swift start. There’s a great prologue that sets the tone for the film as we bear witness to a wendigo attack but then the film switches to present day as we follow the aforementioned students heading into the woods. Now these guys are supposed to be following their professor; however it doesn’t take long for them to stray off the path and come across all stars of strange things – like your stereotypical odd yokels and even a dead body!

Speaking of yokels, there’s a somewhat unnecessary sub-plot about one of the grad students being kidnapped by one of the odd townsfolk she came across in the woods earlier – who’s using her for bait to capture bigfoot! Otherwise we get students killed by the wendigo, students killed by bigfoot – the bigfoot using brute force and the wendigo using psychic powers – until the creatures (there’s actually more than one wendigo) eventually turn on each other; delivering a kind of deep-South kaiju battle set to a techno soundtrack!

Featuring some decent gore and SUPERB monster effects (really the films monsters look amazing, no matter the budget) Dawn of the Beast is out now on DVD and digital from Uncork’d Entertainment.

**** 4/5

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