30th Nov2021

‘Bigfoot Famous’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Steph Barkley, Sam Milman, Chris Kleckner, Lauren Howard Hayes, Anthony Ma, Kelsey Gunn, Marlon Webb, Chris Guerra, Sam De Surra, Kennedy Guerra, Chase Joilet, Peter Vass, Michael Fairman, Amanda Lehan-Canto | Written by Sam Milman, Peter Vass, Steph Barkley, Chris Kleckner | Directed by Sam Milman, Peter Vass

A dark comedy, filmed during the pandemic between the Redwoods and Los Angeles, completely improvised film and shot in just 8 days, Bigfoot Famous shows how far one influencer will go for fame and how consumed our society has become with getting likes and follows. The film tells the story of Coley Withers (Steph Barkley), a once-popular YouTuber whose online career is on the decline, who – following a video of Bigfoot going viral – goes on a mission to film a “collab video” with Bigfoot and regain her fame.

Writer/director duo Sam Milman and Peter Vass are the filmmaking duo behind Bad Weather Films and Bigfoot Famous is their second feature film following the release of Laid in America in 2016. Now if you know ANYTHING about that film, you’ll know it actually starred a YouTuber, KSI and, given Milman and Vast’ experience in online video as well, these guys know the entire influencer eco-system inside and out; and so Bigfoot Famous‘ entire satirical nature is spot on!

Thankfully the satire of Bigfoot Famous is not lost on the totally bizarre performances within it. Every character in this film is a lunatic and the cast all play the entire thing over the top – even when the characters are in danger the entire thing is laughable. But that’s the point. Bigfoot Famous is pointing out the stupidity of not only the idea of online influencers chasing clout but of the obsessive nature of people – an obsessive nature that is fostered and fueled by the internet. Speaking of the internet, THAT scene featuring an online funeral, is one of the bleakest and most on-the-nose parodies of internet culture ever committed to celluloid. It’s worth sitting through Bigfoot Famous to see that scene alone. Superb.

Now the films title… We have a character chasing a possible bigfoot in the hopes of making a video to reclaim her audience and her lost viewer count (Coley is… shock… only getting a 1000 views a video!) so the title makes sense right? Well on the surface yes but, much like the film uses over the top Zucker Bros/Farelly Brothers style humour to mask a biting satire, the film has a double meaning too… We’re not seeing someone uses bigfoot to get famous, we’re seeing someone GET bigfoot famous! Coley Withers might be looking for bigfoot but she instead becomes famous, the new internet “white whale” if you will.

Whilst many people will be turned off by the ridiculous over the top nature of the characters and performances, look past that and stick with Bigfoot Famous till the very end for a brilliant and biting satire on influencers, the online world, and cancel culture; and surprisingly touching, if dark, drama…

Bigfoot Famous is out now from Gravitas Ventures.


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