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Friday, September 22, 2017

Night Claws (2012)



I don’t think that I’ve covered a Bigfoot movie for the blog yet. I was flipping thru my list on Amazon Prime and saw this one. It is directed by David A. Prior, who was responsible for an old Slasher movie called Sledgehammer. Between that and the fact that it starred Reb Brown, television’s Captain America, it was a must watch. What did I get myself into?

The story opens like so many Bigfoot movies. You have a couple in a car making out. She hears a noise and ends his fun until he checks it out. That doesn’t end well for him or her. The next day we see the local police investigating a bloody crime scene. The Sheriff, played by Brown, thinks it is an animal attack. But the audience knows it isn’t one, because of the Bigfoot and all… There are also some nasty hunters looking for he hairy fella, a survivalist group on a weekend excursion, and an Anthropologist who forces her way into the investigation. Bigfoot has plenty of targets in this one. The body count rises and questions are answered before the credits roll.

This is an interesting movie. I thought that we were going to get a decent Bigfoot movie and at times we do. But much of the plot and mayhem are driven by the human characters doing horrible things to one another. For example, the hunters threaten and are killed by other humans. There is this strange plot with the heavily armed men trying to kill or capture Bigfoot and use the remaining survivalists as bait. Though they don’t expect one of them to be a bad ass who does away with a couple of them before leaving his wife tied up as bait because it is cheaper than a divorce. You know I don’t like the characters in this movie that much. Other than Reb Brown’s sheriff! He is cool. Nothing bad can happen to him, right? Right? Oh crap!

The special effects work is practical. We get an honest to God actor running around in a costume. The creature is kept off screen as much as possible until the very end. When we do get to see the whole suit, it looks fine. Not great, but still way better than CGI. The kills are kind of tame, but they do try with a limited budget. Of the thirteen Bigfoot victims, the most memorable deaths include a nice beheading (mostly off screen), a crushed head with brains oozing out, and some slashing claws mostly hidden behind a tree but with great sound effects work that leaves it to our imagination to fill in the blanks. I don’t want to oversell this part of Night Claws too much. I enjoyed the effects because they reminded me of what I used to see on direct to video low budget movies in the ‘80s. If that isn’t your thing you might not dig them like I do.

Do I recommend Night Claws? Probably not. I didn’t get nearly enough Bigfoot fun and wasn’t all that interested in the human dominated plot lines. There is a long stretch where we see characters talking to each other. The dialogue and performances aren’t the strengths of this one! By the time we do get back to some creature mayhem I didn’t care anymore. Oh, and there is an inexplicably weird plot twist at the end that was annoying. I’d recommend passing on this one.



© Copyright 2017 John Shatzer

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