Review: Shooting Bigfoot

BigfootPosterEdinburgh International Film Festival Preview

A documentary by Morgan Matthews that follows three sets of Bigfoot hunters as they attempt to track down and capture (or kill) the mythical beast.

Morgan Matthews begins his film with a personal declaration that he is a skeptic who would like to regain the wonder in fantastical creatures he had as a child. And to some extent he does, though it is not a wholly convincing journey.

Shooting Bigfoot starts on a high note and his portrayal of the self-appointed and obsessed sasquatch experts is done to elicit laughs at their expense. At least two—Tom Biscardi and Rick Dyer—are revealed upfront as having being implicated as hoaxers; the third pair, Dallas and Wayne, have been labeled hoaxers but may well just be downright stupid.

BigfootBiscardiThis strategy works, but the laughter starts to become uncomfortable when Biscardi is revealed as a bully with anger management issues, yelling at his colleagues and verbally abusing his wife with his demands she stay quiet in the kitchen and bring him a Snapple, while Dyer plays psychological mind games with his young daughter and then with Matthews himself. Dallas’s wife even calls him ‘retarded’ at one point.

Notes of sadness are also introduced around the impoverished (both financially and intellectually) third pair of hunters and the depiction of a homeless, tented community living in the woods. When Matthews camps out with Dyer in the woods, however, things start to lose focus. It quickly becomes clear the film has moved into Blair Witch territory. Yes, the viewer might be left with a “what was real?” question, but this doesn’t work as successful documentary. The other two strands with Biscardi and with Dallas and Wayne just peter out. It’s not as clever as it thinks it is, but still has good entertainment value.

Verdict: A Blair Bigfoot Production, 7/10

Brigid Cherry

Shooting Bigfoot screens at the 67th EIFF on Friday 21 June at 10:45pm, Filmhouse 1, and on Saturday 22 June at 5:05pm at Cineworld.

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