I want to believe.
I’ve always wanted to. I like the idea that the legends and stories of monsters and creatures of unknown origin can exist in our world, it adds mystery and excitement to things. Growing up I would read about UFOs, aliens, Loch Ness, ghosts, and bigfoot. These ideas fascinated me, and from time to time they still do.
Morgan Matthews’ documentary Shooting Bigfoot takes aim at the legend of Sasquatch and with a bit of Blair Witch thrown in for good measure in a film that entertains, gives laughs, and maybe even a shiver or jump or two.
My biggest stickler with this film is that everyone Matthews talks to is either a tool, I’m looking at you Rick Dyer and Tom Biscardi, or a couple of good ole boys like Dallas and Wayne. There is not one person of a true scientific bent to be seen in this film. I get that the subject matter is kind of hokey, but not even a crypto-zoologist? Instead, it seems we’re introduced to hoaxers, egotistical showmen, and odd but harmless fellows.
I actually got a chuckle out of the fact that Biscardi had a problem accepting the idea of UFOs but publicly swallowed the idea of Chewbacca the Wookie walking around the woods and mountains of the Americas, undetected by anyone except for the occasional redneck or homeless folks living amongst the trees.
Matthews does catch some odd sounds on his audio, but honestly, they could be anything, yes in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, of course your mind may leap right to something big and scary, but there are probably more rational explanations.
Of the 3 groups we’re introduced to, Rick Dyer is a little too angry and just mean, and Tom Biscardi is callous and just too full of himself, having done exactly what he says he hates about other investigators, bought into his own b.s. Wayne and Dallas are the most likeable, just guys who’ve decided to confront any way they know how this mystery they believe themselves to be in the midst of.
Both Dyer and Biscardi had been caught up in a hoax, and have tarnished names that they are trying to get away from by rebranding themselves, as Bigfoot master trackers.
If they claim to be masters… why has no one come back with one?
The film is a lot of fun, and the opening titles animation puts you in exactly the right mood for the film, and right before you get the film’s title card you get an image of Matthews, bruised and apparently beaten… and you know before the 90 minutes comes to a close, that something is going to happen to our intrepid filmmaker.
It actually hangs rather nicely over the film, leaving you wondering who (or what?) is going to cause the injuries.
This is one of those docs that needs to be seen with an audience ready to buy into a sense of fun, hit their suspension of disbelief button, and be ready to laugh and enjoy…. This is a true PopDoc.
Shooting Bigfoot is presented in part by the Toronto After Dark Film Festival and screens this evening at the Lightbox at 8:30pm, Wednesday May 1 at 11:59pm at the Bloor Cinema and Friday May 3 at 9:30pm at the Royal.