1 1/2 Stars
The Asylum‘s Bigfoot looks to repeat the campy fun times of pitting Deborah Gibson and Tiffany against one another in Mega Python vs Gatoroid by substituting in The Partridge Family‘s Danny Bonaduce versus The Brady Bunch‘s Barry Williams. As the title flat out states, the monster this time is a towering bigfoot about the size of King Kong. Bonaduce is putting on a concert a la Woodstock near Mount Rushmore. Williams plays in environmentalist who doesn’t like the clearing of the forest for Bonaduce’s concert grounds. After Williams accepts the bargain to replant the grounds the concert goes on, with Bonaduce talking Williams into performing alongside Alice Cooper. Just as the music hurts the audience’s ears, it also stirs up some rage in the bigfoot and he goes on a killing rampage. Now the Sheriff’s department (Bruce Davison and Sherilyn Fenn) must team up with the National Guard to stop it. Naturally the feud between Bonaduce and Williams continues as Bonaduce wants to kill it, and Williams thinks it belongs on a reserve. The infighting goes on as the bigfoot wanders along slapping, kicking, stomping and occasionally biting off the head of its human prey. Soon the monster finds itself atop Mount Rushmore as it makes its last stand. Can it be stopped?
My main issue with this film is the plot. There isn’t one. This is an hour and a half of solid filler moments. The movie plays out as if it was thought of and written in an afternoon. What’s the significance of the concert? It comes and goes so quickly and aside from Alice Cooper’s two minutes of screen time it does nothing but cheapen the film. A crowd of thirty won’t look like hundreds, it looks like thirty. The stage is absolutely tiny. It’s a joke, almost a parody of itself. A low budget movie that doesn’t have any ambitions to even try and cover up its budgetary constraints or work within them. We don’t need shots of real rescue helicopters being pawned off as some sort of threatening military vehicle if in the next few moments CGI military helicopters are going to show up. It draws unnecessary attention to detail (by which I mean cheapness). It’s almost like watching an Ed Wood production, where whatever random clips you can find laying around have been cut into the film in an attempt to add money to the screen.
The bigfoot isn’t in it enough, and while the CGI effects have been stepped up for an Asylum flick, they’re still on par with what fifteen year olds are doing in their mother’s basements. The animation is so jittery at times I wondered if the creature was trying to “pop and lock”. The creature design is better than the animation, by the end of the film the bigfoot has been pretty messed up, and it shows it with a bloodied up face. Other CGI elements like the helicopters, cars and tractors can be spotted with ease, but are still passable. Most impressive is when the monster picks someone up and rips them apart or takes a bite. Time was spent on those shots and it shows.
Bonaduce and Williams are ok, I imagine if they had better material they’d still be ok though. That’s never more evident when Bruce Davison, Sherilyn Fenn and Howard Hesseman take the screen – they steal the movie in the short moments they have and their lines are even more meaningless than Bonaduce and Williams’. Of course I strongly think that a good actor can breath life into the limpest of dialogue scenes.
Having Bruce Davison in this and directing is also too much of a joke, something perhaps only a film/TV buff would get though. Davison played George Henderson in the Harry and the Hendersons television show from the early 90s. He also directed three episodes as well as the Rory Culkin Santa Claus flick Off Season. Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) was also in that movie, so I suppose Davison brought her in on this one as well, and I’m sure she a special thank you for him after seeing it.
I can’t recommend this flick, if there was an actual story I could have gotten past the bad CGI effects. Davison’s direction is transparent and the acting from the so called two leads is bland, which may have a little to do with the script as well.
Director: Bruce Davison
Stars: Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Bruce Davison, Sherilyn Fenn