And that’s exactly what happens when an Army Ranger loses his fiancee at Mount St. Helens.
It’s autumn, and I want to make up for some lost reviewing time, so not only are you getting reviews of Halloween-type flicks for the last couple of weeks of October, but I’m also starting a series of THEMED reviews in tune with the crisp tinge in the air. Figured I’ve got to step it up to try to make some headway in this stack of approximately 400 flicks sitting around the house as I approach the first anniversary of me reviewing flicks for Joe Bob.
So as the nights lengthen, the other thing (besides watching movies) we can do as the weather and leaves change here up north is don our cold-weather survival gear and a red flannel (Sherpa lining optional). Then we grab a Thermos full of hot cocoa, a bag of granola, a big walking stick and what do we do?
That’s right. We go hunting for Bigfoot.
So this week’s flick is Big Legend, which I grabbed off a shelf somewhere.
It’s got cameos from two — count em — TWO, past Hubbie Award winners. Adrienne Barbeau (1982’s Best Actress and 1996’s You’ve-Made-Too-Many-B-Movies Award) and Lance Henriksen (winner of the Best Slimeball Hubbie in 1994).
The setup is this: Bigfoot is hanging out at Mount St. Helens kidnapping fiancées and making Army Rangers go nuts.
Case in point: Tyler the Army Ranger (Kevin Makely) takes his girlfriend, Natalie (Summer Spiro), out on a campout in Gifford Pinchot National Park. He proposes to her in a romantic scene, she accepts, they hike back to their campsite. Nature calls.
Yep. Bigfoot gets P.O.ed cause Tyler had the nerve to pee on his land.
Exit Natalie after their tent gets attacked in the middle in the night while our hero is out investigating the proverbial Noise in the Dark Woods. Back in civilization, Tyler is institutionalized for a year not knowing what happened. He gets better, but has those lingering doubts about her fate.
After his mom (Barbeau) grabs him from the institution and brings him back home, saying that she believes him that something unexplained happened out there and he won’t be at ease until he figures it out. It helps that Tyler goes through the photos and sees a suspicious Bigfoot-looking shape in one of the shots.
So dangit, it’s time to throw on some Carhartt, grab a rifle with a scope on it, put on a backpack and return to the scene of the crime where Bigfoot messes up his truck and he meets a camper named Eli (Todd A. Robinson) who offers him beer and says “chief” a lot.
I mean, he says “chief” A LOT. If you drink every time he says it, I will not be held responsible for your inebriation level.
And for those who like a little blood with their alcohol …
- Best Wilderness Cliché, Part 1: Eli’s vest is held together by duct tape, and he’s got a great setup, complete with lawnchairs and tattered American flag. He just needs a radio tuned to Coast to Coast A.M. for the circle to be complete.
- Best Aim: Bigfoot chucks a rock at Eli and splinters his leg.
- Best Wilderness Cliché, Part 2: Tyler needs to do the field medicine thing by making Eli bite on a stick before setting Eli’s compound fracture with a paracord splint.
- Best Example of Forgetting Your Training When Bigfoot’s on Your Ass: Tyler doesn’t pump Bigfoot full of as much lead as he could have. Also, he and Eli spend about three nights in the woods before deciding they should had back to their home campsite. Granted that Eli has a busted-up tibia, but even with a limpy guy, it shouldn’t have taken em that long to return to a place it took em a few hours to get away from.
- Best Example of Remembering Your Training: Tyler does the John Rambo thing by sewing up the jagged wound in his shoulder from a Bigfoot claw attack.
- Best Callback to the 1970s: You can’t have Bigfoot not flip a vehicle. Lee Majors demands it.
- Best Monologue: Henriksen gets a chance to talk for five minutes about creatures in the dark and asks Tyler if he killed the Bigfoot. Tyler says he shot it, stabbed it and set it on fire. But since the Bigfoot isn’t verified dead, Henriksen says that the veteran only succeeded in pissing it off. Bigfoot starts P.O.ed and ends P.O.ed. It’s not much of a character arc for the hairy brute, but such is the life of a cryptid hominid.
Justin Lee put in the credits that Makely’s and Henriksen’s characters will return in a flick called The Monster Chronicles. Will there be more Bigfeet (and will they be pissed)? Maybe a Mothman or a Chupacabra? We’ll see.
Two and a half stars.