Set in South Dakota, rock promoter and DJ Danny Bonaduce is trying to get some trees chopped down (near Mount Rushmore, I might add) to pave the way for the set-up of his planned rock festival. Not having any of this are Bonaduce’s former crony turned environmental activist Barry Williams and his hippie pals, who chain themselves to the equipment, before the local law enforcement (headed by sheriff Bruce Davison and including Sherilyn Fenn) come along and arrest Williams. Later, the concert goes ahead, with Bonaduce even letting Williams on stage to perform one of his hippie songs to placate him. Oh, and Alice Cooper turns up for a few seconds...before he’s devoured by the ginormous title character, who has already been terrorising locals. Bonaduce and Williams transfer their bickering over to whether Bigfoot should be captured and turned into a tourist attraction (or even killed), or taken to a wildlife sanctuary. Howard Hesseman plays the local mayor.
Directed by actor Bruce Davison (Oscar nominated actor for “Longtime Companion”) for the SyFy channel, this 2012 flick wants to do for Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams what “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” did for Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. The result isn’t as fun (which is saying something, given that film wasn’t exactly good), though Bonaduce is enjoyable as always. Is he a good actor? Not really, but he seems to be genuinely enjoying himself, and that enjoyment is kinda infectious. Hey, at least he’s not an angry and scary steroid freak anymore. Besides, Tiffany and Debbie Gibson were singers, not actors, and yet Gibson did alright for herself (Tiffany has no business being in front of a movie camera, however). Fellow former child star Williams is genuinely terrible, but not in any entertaining way (hey, at least “The Brady Bunch Hour” was unintentionally hilarious), whilst former sexpot Sherilyn Fenn looks shockingly like a soccer mum these days, and Davison completely botches Alice Cooper’s far too brief cameo. Or perhaps screenwriters Brian Brinkman and Micho Rutare are to blame for not finding genuine humour in the dopey situation (Unintentional humour would’ve even sufficed).
I think the problem with Williams is he’s a shitty actor trying to give a performance, whereas Bonaduce is basically just giving us his usual persona. Playing a ‘shock jock’ is hardly a stretch for the angry ginger. Williams’ character, and the environmental cronies he hangs around with, rubbed me the wrong way. I was never sure if Williams was the good guy in the film or not. Bonaduce plays an outright sleazy a-hole, but Williams’ character is a bit disingenuous and douchy, or perhaps that’s just the way Williams plays the character. He’s a little bit like a mixture of the Tiffany and Debbie Gibson characters in “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”, further highlighting the laziness of the film. Meanwhile, the other ‘greenie’ characters are seen as spaced-out morons to the point where I couldn’t work out just what was being said here. Yes, even a film called “Bigfoot” is surely trying to say something.
The best performances actually come from veteran Howard Hesseman and Davison himself, though they aren’t in the film enough. Still, they are sturdy in a film that doesn’t necessarily require decent acting. But why would Davison choose to direct something like this? I just don’t get it. Maybe the only way he’d sign on to act is if he could direct, I dunno. Or maybe he was poking fun at himself, having starred in the TV version of “Harry and the Hendersons”. It just seems odd that after sixty odd years as an actor, this is the film he chooses to direct.
At least SyFy manage to get the FX wrong this time. Yes, the appalling CGI is actually an asset...well, kinda. See, most of these SyFy films offer up average-to-poor FX, and that just isn’t enjoyable, nor is it acceptable on any legit level, either. If you’re gonna offer up a stupid monster movie, and you don’t have the money for good CGI, it’s best not to even try and just go for practical FX, where even if they’re bad, at least they’re enjoyably bad. I usually find that bad CGI isn’t able to be enjoyed on a ‘bad movie’ level as much as poor practical FX are, but this film seems to be the exception. Bigfoot looks hilariously inept, he’s so gargantuan in size that it makes one wonder why so many people fall for the dodgy bigfoot sighting video footage that shows a fairly human-sized ‘creature’. At one point, Bigfoot manages to fit a human being inside his hand! WTF? Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure at that size his movements would cause earthquakes, not just big footprints. If Bigfoot were truly the size of King Kong, wouldn’t we have had definitive proof of his existence by now? Worse still, the CGI creation moves with no realism whatsoever, and one almost yearns for Rick Baker in a shitty monkey suit. Almost (Even Jim Belushi would do- thank you to anyone who gets that gag). At times it looks like Bigfoot is jogging on the spot. But let me reiterate, these are positive attributes of the film...just for the wrong reason. It’s a terrible film, but the film’s negatives are among its only real positives, and it’s probably more fun (in a bad movie way) than most other SyFy films.
Still, shit is shit, and the film is at times a bit of a lazy rip-off, so I can hardly recommend it. And yet, I think this is precisely the movie everyone involved intended to make, and some people (like me) are probably going to want to see it once just for the hell of it. So what does that all add up to? Ouch, my head hurts!