So, yeah, I have a bigfoot costume in my attic. And I may have donned it during a multi-author book signing at a New Jersey brewery and run amok, startling every day drinker in my path. On Halloween, I quite possibly made some small children cry as I offered them treats from my hairy hand (see the author in his glory below). For shits and giggles, wearing the squatch mask at random doesn’t seem all that strange to me, even as I sit in my belfry and write this column.
I know, I have a problem.
I’m addicted to bigfoot. Even more so, cryptids of all shapes and sizes. But the big hairy wild man gets most of my attention because there’s just more out there dedicated to the beast. Whether you call it bigfoot, sasquatch, yeti, yowie, skunk ape, batsquatch, a-hool-la-luk, skookum, momo, grassman (I can go on and on), the world’s fascination with this potential missing link seems to grow with each passing year. Back when I wrote Swamp Monster Massacre, I didn’t see that many books and movies dedicated to my favorite hirsute pal. Now, he/she is everywhere! (not sure where bigfoot stands on pronouns)
In the good old days when I had a membership to every video store in the county — from Blockbuster to Suncoast Video, Tower Video and the indie store this column is named after, Video Visions — there were zero bigfoot movies on the shelves. I had been hooked on sasquatch when I saw the episode about it on In Search Of in the 70s, but there hadn’t been much after that other than Harry and the Hendersons. I’d read every book I could find in the library and saw a terrible quasi documentary movie about the creature when I was about ten. And that was that. I’d heard about some movie called The Legend of Boggy Creek, but couldn’t find a copy. In all of those video stores, there was nary a single VHS on any cryptid. It was a case of out of sight, out of mind. Well, never far from my mind.
If I opened a video store of my own now, I could have an entire, fully stocked section dedicated solely to bigfoot. In fact, Scarecrow Video in Seattle has done just that. Good thing I live on the other side of the country because I can see myself squatting in that section for life.
I know Halloween is all about ghosts and unkillable killers and monsters, but I posit (yeah, I said posit) that a good bigfoot movie can give you a dose of exactly what you need. The problem is, you have to wade through miles of muck to get to the good stuff. Yeah, I’m looking at you Bigfoot vs. D.B. Cooper and Curse of Bigfoot! It seems like most filmmakers take the subject as seriously and dedicate true craft work to squatch movies as they do found footage alien flicks. You know, shot on an Android phone and costing about fifty bucks and a burrito.
Despair not! If you’re truly dedicated like me, you’ll find greatness out there, lurking deep in the woods of dreck and mediocrity. Let’s pretend you’re now walking between the rows of video shelves in good old Video Visions. You want squatch? I’ve got your squatch. Feast your eyes on 32 (any jamoke can give 30) bigfoot flicks to get your wild man kicks! I know there are many more out there in the sasquatch transom, but I’m trying to avoid the ones that will make your eyes roll so much, they’ll fall right out of your head.
You say you like The Legend of Boggy Creek but want something a little more…professional? Well, here’s Creature from Black Lake, a much better foray into all things bigfoot. Two college dudes go seeking a mysterious beast in the wilds of Louisiana and get more than they bargained for…including a girl. After you’re done with that, why not try The Legend of Boggy Creek 2, a completely bonkers squatch hunt led by a professor and his hapless students. Best watched with some friends and a case of Batsquatch beer. This one is definitely so bad, it’s good.
There are a ton of documentaries out there, but none better than Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie. More about friendship and obsession than actual bigfoot, it’s a poignant look how the search for the unknown affects the lives of those who refuse to give up, no matter what hardships life throws at them. You’ll be shouting “Momo!” the next time you’re in the woods, and you may even shed a tear by the end of the movie. Great stuff. Another doc to rent is Bigfoot Hunter : Still Searching, one of the few set in New York. Not the city. This ain’t Bigfoot in the Bronx. But it is something that will keep you glued to your television. An eerie fact to keep in the back of your mind — one of the stars of this went missing not long after it was shot and is presumed dead.
How about something funny? They don’t get much funnier than The Bigfoot Project. Look, all these movies involve teens or twenty-somethings going into the forest looking for bigfoot. Not all of them have the same witty banter and eyebrow raising sexism as this one. And there is a scene in the last act that will burn into your brain forever. Ah, interspecies lust. If you want to straddle the line between light comedy (in the first half) and sheer terror, check out Bobcat Goldthwaite’s much lauded Willow Creek. I’m not a fan of camping, and after this movie, you’ll never find my ass in a tent in the dead of night. One of the best found footage movies of all time.
Craving something just fucking…strange? Lost Coast Tapes was made especially for you. I don’t want to give away the twist, but holy shit, is this one bananas. One of my favorite endings in a squatch movie. Speaking of strange, grab a copy of Missing 411, a documentary that doesn’t say outright that real missing people are being abducted, and sometimes cared for, by bigfoot, but you get the gist. The books are hard to find but worth reading, as they outline dozens of missing persons cases with startling and bizarre correlations. Again, screw being one with nature.
One of the most serious and professional attempts at a bigfoot movie is the amazingly titled The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot. It stars the legendary Sam Elliott as a man who has seen and done some things. If you want bigfoot mayhem, this ain’t the droid you’re looking for. But damn is this special and kind of sad and then jaw dropping. Did he kill Hitler? Is he setting out to actually kill bigfoot? You have to watch it to find out.
How about cheap and gross? Night of the Demon hits the mark for both. If you ever wanted to see a sasquatch crush a man’s genitals…quite graphically…this will leave you sitting back with a cigarette. Once you see this one, you can never unsee it. You’ve been warned.
Oh, what’s THE BEST bigfoot movie ever made? That’s easy. Eduardo Sanchez, he of The Blair Witch Project fame, gifted the world with a found footage, heart thumping, visually stunning bigfoot barn burner called Exists. What happens when you accidentally hit a baby squatch with your car while on your way to your uncle’s forbidden cabin? Crazy and scary shit, I tell you. There are a couple of iconic scenes in Exists that cannot be missed.
I know, I promised you 32 bigfoot movies. I can’t wax poetic about them all. So, here’s the list and you tell me what you want to rent today. But first, I’ll need your membership card. And remember to be kind and rewind.
- The Legend of Boggy Creek
- The Legend of Boggy Creek 2
- Creature from Black Lake
- Lost Coast Tapes
- Night of the Demon
- The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot
- Missing 411
- Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie
- Bigfoot Hunter: Still Searching
- Willow Creek
- The Bigfoot Project
- Harry and the Hendersons
- Lost Coast Tapes
- Primal Rage
- 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Bigfoot
- Big Legend
- Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot
- American Bigfoot
- Hoax Hunting Grounds
- Stomping Ground
- Hunting the Legend
- Bigfoot County
- Shriek of the Mutilated
- The Legend of Bigfoot
- Suburban Sasquatch
- Dawn of the Beast
- Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century
Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal—he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. You can follow his madness at huntershea.com.