A poster featuring Joe Bob Briggs with Bigfoot.
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Ben Nagy reviews ‘Bigfoot!’: Singular Nomenclature Leads to Plurality of Problems

There's more than one creature roaming around the woods in "Bigfoot!," and that causes all sorts of trouble for humans and movie reviewers alike.

The creature’s existence is hard enough to define, but what in the heck do we do if there’s more than one?

Before I get to talking about Bigfoot!, the 2019 microbudgeted flick from writer/director Mark Byrne I watched this week as we continue to soak in the pungent and earthy autumnal aroma of Sasquatch sweat, mixed with blood and guts, we unfortunately have to talk about grammar.

I know, we much rather would want to talk about how the world’s social distancing champion has sold out by allowing his likeness to be used to sell beef jerky and insurance.

Or we would want to think of the myriad scientific breakthroughs that would illuminate our knowledge of anthropology and biology if one of those umpteen cryptozoologists with reality shows finally finds Bigfoot or someone tooling down a forested state route in Snoqualmie, Washington, finally hits him with a car. These would be landmark discoveries. We’d finally know how big those feet are.

Or we could talk about the regionally different identifiers of the creature. Here in Ohio, we’ve got the Grassman near Cambridge. In Spokane, Wash., it’s The Bad-Smelling Tree Man (harsh, but probably true). In east Texas, it’s Boggy Bill. In Kentucky, they call it The Cave Yeller. The inspiration for The Legend of Boggy Creek is the Fouke Monster out of Arkansas. You can also look up all the names Native Americans had for the creature, with Sasquatch and Wendigo being the most widely known. With the plethora of regionalisms referring to it, though, it stands to reason that there’s more than one instance of the creature (and let’s not even get into the Himalayan version, known as the Yeti). 

Well, this week’s movie brings up a question nearly as important as the existence of the creature that we’re going to have to resolve right after definitive proof is found.

Two Bigfoots (sic) -- or is it a pair of Bigfeet -- mull about in the woods pulling pranks on rednecks in the first segment of "Bigfoot!" (Screen capture from DVD by reviewer Ben Nagy).
Two Bigfoots (sic) — or is it a pair of Bigfeet — mull about in the woods pulling pranks on rednecks in the first segment of “Bigfoot!” (Screen capture from DVD by reviewer Ben Nagy).

Namely, what do you call more than one Bigfoot?

This is something that briefly came up in Cherokee Creek last week. A bunch of characters were yapping around the campfire, but I didn’t have to deal with it because there was only one creature running around eviscerating people with his hairy appendages in that one.

But here in Bigfoot!, which is divided into a 10-minute comedy segment, a twenty-some-odd-minute comedy segment, and then about an hour-long segment where a group of people try to hunt Bigfoot, we need to face this question head on with all of our hairy might.

Ben Nagy reviews 'Bigfoot!': Singular Nomenclature Leads to Plurality of Problems 1
A Bigfoot is psychoanalyzed by a “pyschiatrist” (that’s what it says in the credits) played by Donna Byrne in “Bigfoot!” (Screen capture from DVD by reviewer Ben Nagy).

We are presented with multiple hairy creatures of varying heights (and in varying states of dress). They’re pulling pranks on rednecks, getting psychoanalyzed, visiting bars and getting into arguments about the state of their relationships such as is it OK for a Bigfoot to date a “Sape” who doesn’t have hairy palms? Then in the last segment, should we call the killer cannibal versions of the creature a Bigfoot trio or a trio of Bigfeet or are they a marauding triumvirate of “Bigfoots” like one of the actresses says?

If we go by what Jarrett, the character who got his scrotum ripped off in last week’s Cherokee Creek, said, he argued that “Bigfeet” would be most accurate to describe more than one of them. So, there’d be a family of Bigfeet gathering down by the river trout fishing if you went his route, or the governing body that meets out at Yellowstone a bit southeast of Old Faithful would be the Grand Wilderness Council of Honorable Bigfeet, Southwest Yellowstone Division.

Ben Nagy reviews 'Bigfoot!': Singular Nomenclature Leads to Plurality of Problems 2
The obligatory footprint shot from the third segment of “Bigfoot!” (Screen capture from DVD by reviewer Ben Nagy)

But the plural of “foot” is “feet,” and if you have more than a singular Bigfoot, who has two feet, then wouldn’t you have a group of Bigfeet, since we are talking about four big feet (or more) in total depending on how many there are tromping through the wilderness? Did this whole thing start because the originally discovered Bigfoot had one amputated back in the day by a thresher or it got caught in a cotton gin and so he was in the woods hopping around when a person found that single print, used about 20 pounds of plaster of Paris to cast it and said it was a big foot attached to a “Bigfoot”?

I went to Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com and they said either “Bigfeet” or “Bigfoots” works as a plural. But Bill Gates’ dang spell check is giving me the red squiggles under em, so maybe “Bigfoot” is its own plural like “sheep” or “deer.” Like Highlander, can there be only one? Not here, because in Bigfoot! there were 10 different people playing Bigfoot.

Maybe this needs to go to a definitive Mutant Family vote, because next week’s flick is Bigfoot Wars, and there’s going to be more than one of them involved, otherwise it’s going to be one short war, and I’m going to be writing in a lot of circles.

Sadly, the bloodthirstiest Drive-In Mutants are going to be disappointed in this week’s flick. Nobody dies until the third part that starts about 38 minutes or so in, although there are Dale Earnhardt Jr. jokes, stupid Sasquatch pranks and big-time Bigfoot griping. You can tell things are going to switch around because after this fortune teller fights the succubus using some orange laser lightning effects from her crystal ball and then maybe aardvarks the Bigfoot, there’s some psychedelic camera effects where everything goes teal and some psychedelic rockabilly guitar noodling before the third segment title card says “Careful What You Ask For.”

What we then get are about seven dead bodies, a woman in a white dress cavorting with three savage Bigfeet during multiple dream sequences and the majority of …

Ben Nagy reviews 'Bigfoot!': Singular Nomenclature Leads to Plurality of Problems 3

Best-Kept Secret of the Really Good Moonshine: The two Bigfoot pranksters in the first segment pee in some rednecks’ jug. They like it.
Best Way to Ruin a Pair of Shoes: Two more upper-echelon (they’re wearing actual suits) jokesters of the Bigfoot variety do the old flaming-paper-bag-of-Bigfoot-crap-on-the-porch–is-on-fire bit to a guy.
Best Way to Lose Your Head: One Bigfoot decapitates another during a group therapy session in the second segment. 
Best New Age Link: One Bigfoot goes with his human girlfriend to see a psychic reader, but his gal actually morphs into a succubus.

Ben Nagy reviews 'Bigfoot!': Singular Nomenclature Leads to Plurality of Problems 4
Here we see the group of Bigfoot meat hanging out in their barn HQ in the final horror segment of “Bigfoot!” They are, from left, Stokes (Mel Heflin); Loomis (Matt Burns); Devlin (Mathew Amos); Hoffman (Hillary Steyer); Winters (Jenny Jannetty); and Evans (Damia Torhagen). (Screen capture from DVD by reviewer Ben Nagy).

Best Death Effect: Mathew Amos, who played Devlin in the last segment, gets a stick rammed through his jaw. He also did a lot of the gore effects for that last segment.
Second-best Death Effect: Loomis (Matt Burns) gets gutted but is able to have a fairly lengthy conversation with Evans.

Bigfoot! gets a half-star deduction because no garbonzas, and another half-star taken off because none of the Bigfeet flipped over a vehicle as required by the rules established by The Six Million Dollar Man. Two of em had trouble flipping over a four-person Wal-Mart dome tent with two people in it.  One Bigfoot was shorter than the guy he was throttling to death, making him more of a Midrangefoot. The gun-toting Bigfoot trackers didn’t ever shoot their guns, and it looked like there was even a bazooka on the ground they could have used to defend themselves.  

A star and a half.

You can get a copy of Bigfoot! direct from Absurd Productions Pictures (the best way to help an indy regional filmmaker) or do a search on that immense ginormous online retail site that starts with “A” and ends with “zon,” and don’t forget the exclamation point when you do the search. Check it out.

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