Bigfoot (reviewed by Lisa Marie Bowman)

In this 2012 Asylum production, the legendary Bigfoot is revealed to just be a big gorilla who wants to sleep for the winter.  In fact, Bigfoot seems to have more in common with King Kong than the hairy, humanoid that people have been reporting seeing for over a hundred years.  Unfortunately, all of the hunters and the tourists and the noise from a local music festival keep interrupting Bigfoot’s slumber.  It turns out that Bigfoot is not a morning monster and tends to wake up grumpy.  When Bigfoot is in a bad mood, he turns over RVs, steps on hunters, and tries to destroy Mt. Rushmore.

Concert promoter Harley Henderson (Donny Bonaduce) wants to kill Bigfoot and turn his body into a tourist attraction.  Environmental activist Simon Quinn (Barry Williams) wants to not only protect Bigfoot but to also perform protest-themed folk music.  Harley and Simon were once musical partners, until Simon decided that he would rather protect endangered species and Harley decided to become a businessman.  Now, they hate each other and are constantly on the verge of coming to blows.  Meanwhile, Sheriff Alvarez (Sherilyn Fenn) just wants to keep her town safe from the creature’s rampage.  You read that right.  This film is The Partridge Family vs. The Brady Bunch with Twin Peaks trying to keep the peace.  If you’re wondering how The Asylum convinced Bonaduce, Williams, and Sherilyn Fenn to all appear in a low-budget film about a giant gorilla menacing South Dakota, consider that they also convinced Bruce Davison to appear in it as well.  I mean, Bonaduce and Williams were probably just happy that someone was calling them and this film was made before Twin Peak: The Return reignited Fenn’s career.  Bruce Davison, however, has an Oscar nomination to his name.  Of course, before one gets too snarky, it’s important to remember that actors have bill to pay, just like the rest of us.  Sometimes, those bills are played by appearing in Shakespeare.  Sometimes, they’re paid by appearing in Bigfoot.

Actually, no one should be ashamed about appearing in Bigfoot.  Like most of the films produced by the Asylum, Bigfoot is actually a lot of fun.  It’s not a film that’s meant to be taken seriously.  Instead, it’s basically a parody of the big-budget giant monster movies that come out of Hollywood, complete with a tacked-on environmental subplot and an endangered national monument.  Bigfoot is in on the joke.  The minute that Barry Williams picks up his guitar and starts to sing an insufferable folk song, it’s obvious that this film is laughing along with us.  Bigfoot was designed to be a silly film and it succeeds.  When taken on its own terms, it’s hard not to enjoy it.

Finally, Alice Cooper appears in this film as himself, performing at Bonaduce’s concert.  After Alice complains about the crowd size and bemoans the indignity of going from being one of the world’s biggest stars to performing at a festival in South Dakota, Bigfoot literally kicks him off the stage.  Much like the film, Alice deserves some credit for be willing to poke fun at himself.

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