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Featured Post - Mystery Movie Marathon

I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Bigfoot at Holler Creek Canyon (2005)

Let us end the Bigfoot marathon fun with another movie I found on Amazon Prime. Here we have a group of kids headed off to a cabin in the woods for Spring Break. Seriously when has that ever worked out well? I watch enough horror movies that I’m never going anywhere for Spring Break! Though I really am too old for that anyway so no big loss. After running into an obnoxious shop
owner, some shoplifting kids, and a redneck who really enjoys eyeshadow they make it to the cabin. After a party/acting like a dumbass montage we get a couple of things. First up they get naked and have sex… in the woods. Again, have they never seen a horror movie? Oh, and something is watching them. I mean other than the shop owner who is being a creeper with a video camera. Eventually we find out that there is a Bigfoot in the woods and that it has decided to start killing people. The locals all end up dead and then it starts on the kids. We eventually get down to our survivor girl who kills the monster. Or does she? Really? Of course she didn’t kill it. Have you ever seen a horror movie?

I’m having some fun with the plot synopsis mostly because I had fun with the movie. Holler Creek Canyon knows exactly what it is and doesn’t shy away from that. We get pretty people going into the woods, meeting up with scary locals who are just a bit creepy. They make some bad decisions and pair off for some naughty activities. Much skin is shown, both male and female, and then the creature shows up. From that point on we get blood spraying, heads squished, guts torn out, and legs shredded off at the knee. But the best is a callback to Night of the Demon, which I’ve already covered for this marathon. Yes, ladies and gentlemen there is some violence towards the wang, though unlike Night of the Demon it is off screen.

Ranger Rik Rules!
A couple other things of note here. I thought they were doing some stunt casting when I saw Ron Jeremy’s name on the poster. But instead of the normal cameo he has an actual part here with several scenes and is rather funny. He plays the greasy shop owner who spies on the kids, waves his gun around (and I mean an actual pistol…), and eventually goes out into the woods to kill the rogue bear blamed for all the killings. Spoiler he does get the bear but that wasn’t what was killing all the critters in town. He has some snappy dialogue and lands most of the best jokes.

The other thing that surprised me was the special effects work. We don’t get to see the gore happen but do get some shots of mangled bodies after the fact. That was a little disappointing, but they do make up for it a bit with how cool the bodies look. Where they did a great job was with the Bigfoot costume. It is all practical and looks much better than I would have thought. They keep it in the shadows for most of the movie but when you get a glimpse it looks like a real creature. The actor can move in it and is able to chase the cast and be menacing.

I do have a couple of complaints, though they are minor. We get a few montage/dialogue scenes that drag the pacing down a bit. The movie is around ninety minutes long and could have done with about ten minutes of it cut. I also didn’t like the tacked on ending which felt forced. But overall this is a decent movie that surprised the heck out of me. I can’t believe it took me fourteen years to watch it! I recommend Holler Creek Canyon.

© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

Monday, February 25, 2019

Southern Fried Bigfoot (2009)

The Bigfoot marathon continues with this documentary I found on Amazon Prime. It was less than an hour long and looked interesting. Instead of the normal Pacific Northwest stuff this was supposed to look at the various legends in the American South. This is very different, so I thought that I’d give it a try.

The documentary is split into sections with a couple dealing with the history of Bigfoot in the South and various explanations for why it could exist. These are the wraparound with some specific examples such as The Fouke Monster, the Lake Worth Monster, The Skunk Ape and the Honey Island Swamp Monster. The same experts show up for each segment with eyewitnesses for the individual sightings appearing as well. That is pretty much it for the description as this one has no plot to speak of.

This isn’t very good. You know that it isn’t going well when less than an hour feels like forever. This documentary is totally uninspired and rehashes the same information that has been given to us in much better productions. They spend a lot of time on the plaster footprints, which aren’t that interesting, but seems to be what they hang their hat on here. These guys are supposed to be believers and that is all they put forward as evidence? Even Mysterious Monsters has segments on the sounds and unidentified hair found near the sightings. None of that here.

Another problem that I had with Southern Fried Bigfoot are the experts they interview. Sadly, they aren’t all that well informed or interesting. They keep going back to them for commentary on each of the sightings that they cover and basically get the same response again and again. There is one expert who only gets excited when they start talking about the statue that he commissioned of the Fouke Monster based on the eyewitness reports. The best part about the interviews and experts is the one zoo director that gets a “what the hell am I doing here” look as they talk about Bigfoot. He basically responds that he likes the idea but then begins the science of why it isn’t possible… they cut away quickly.

One of the best parts of Bigfoot documentaries are the reenactments. Here we get the same five or six generic shots of someone walking in the trees wearing an ape costume. They just keep running it over whatever story we are hearing like we wouldn’t notice. I did and found it annoying.

There isn’t much more that I can say. If you haven’t figured it out yet I’m not recommending Southern Fried Bigfoot. This is a lazy exercise that simply presents the same stories without anything new brought to the table. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a high school kid’s class project that somehow got dumped on Amazon. Luckily this was part of Prime and I didn’t have to spend anything other than an hour of my time on it. Though I still feel cheated. Skip this one and watching something far more entertaining like the aforementioned Mysterious Monsters or The Legend of Boggy Creek.

© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer