Stick these on your (Sasq)watch list…
North American folklore tells of the supposed missing link between man and beast.
These hairy, semi-intelligent, upright-yet-hunched creatures are said to reside in remote, wild locations, and can be tracked by the almost human footprints they leave in their wake.
Whilst this description could also apply to the indigenous populations of some former mining towns in the North East of England, we are assured that these creatures are not in fact human.
Far from simply being an old Wives’ tale designed to scare American children into bed (that sounded weird…), actual reported sightings of these bouffanted beasties – known now as “Sasquatch” or the more colloquial “Bigfoot” – have endured for centuries.
Such is the prevalence and veracity of these claims, that the story of Bigfoot is one which exists in the modern Zeitgeist alongside the Loch Ness Monster, Vampires, Ghosts, and Kanye West – they COULD actually exist, you know?
Naturally, where there are myths and monsters, there will inevitably be movies.
Strangely enough, whilst sea serpents and spectres, vampires and velociraptors have all left indelible marks on cinema history, Sasquatch movies have never really hit big (baddum-tisshhh) at the box office, and remain – ironically enough – hidden from the masses.
With that in mind, then, here are ten Bigfoot/Sasquatch movies that nobody will BELIEVE you’ve actually seen.
10. BIGFOOT: THE LOST COAST TAPES (2012)
￼Directed by Corey Grant, this 2012 film sees a disgraced investigative journalist – played by American actor Drew Rausch – put together a rag-tag team and head to the dense, creepy forests of Northern Californ-I-A (sorry, that felt weirdly out of place).
The reason for their jolly jaunt? They have received word from a self-monikered “Bigfoot Hunter” who claims to have the body of an actual Sasquatch in his possession, and is offering to show it to the team (for an inordinate number of Dollars, obviously…).
In what will become an evident trend in this article, BIGFOOT: THE LOST COAST TAPES is shot in the “found footage”, shaky, grainy camera mould made famous by The Blair Witch Project, and arguably perfected by Paranormal Activity.
The forest is dark and foreboding, and the ambient sounds unsettling to say the least. Mix in some night-vision scenes and a copious amount of running away and screaming, and you have a tense, nerve-shredding movie on your hands.
Sadly, the film is let down in its final act with a bizarre sub-plot and ultimate resolution which may leave you scratching your head a bit.
9. JACKO: THE UNTOLD BIGFOOT HORROR STORY (2016)
￼This entry is unique in that it is not an officially released movie, but a home made YouTube short.
Don’t let this fact put you off though, as it is pretty impressive for what it is.
The basic premise revolves around a potential Sasquatch sighting being reported to a local investigation group, who send two researchers – two admittedly very young researchers – to the alleged scene.
When they find no trace of the supposed creature, they kill some time with a Police Officer until it is once again light enough outside to safely leave the scene.
The film-makers out it best themselves on the movie’s YouTube channel which states that “The darker it gets, the more howls they hear. Let’s just say the search isn’t over just yet”.
For a fan-made entry with a next-to zero dollar budget, this is actually one creepy-ass film with some genuinely unnerving sound design, and is highly recommended.
Providing you can overlook the obviously plastic revolver.
8. EXISTS (2014)
￼From Blair Witch’s Eduardo Sanchez – the man who practically invented the shaky-camera horror movie – comes a shaky-camera horror movie.
When a group of five friends head off for a long weekend to a *ahem* – cabin in the woods, their minds are filled with thoughts of fun, frolics, frivolity, and fuc… well, you get the idea.
Arriving at said cabin, however, the horny horde discovers it to be a run-down, decrepit shit hole, and things go downhill rapidly from there.
Finding themselves at the mercy of a genuine, no bullshit Sasquatch, Eduardo Sanchez’s trademark running, screaming, crying, and dying come into play as the group are stalked by their furry foe.
Jump scares abound, tension and stress are created to great effect, and the cast do an admirable if not stellar job of conveying these emotions and portraying their horny but horrified characters.
Not a classic by any means, and certainly no Blair Witch, but EXISTS is still a solid, scary Sasquatch film.
7. NIGHT CLAWS (2012)
￼Let’s face it, if we’re looking at Bigfoot movies, there was bound to be one called NIGHT CLAWS at some point…
Not just something Santa’s wife says to him before going to sleep, NIGHT CLAWS (terrible joke) is a movie which centres on small, rural, American town which is seemingly besieged by a huge, hairy, Bigfoot-esque creature, and it’s up to the locals to team up and fight back.
Now, we do not recommend this movie for its objective quality and critical acclaim, oh no… far from it.
This is one of those movies which, like Hammerhead: Shark Frenzy, is so BAD it’s actually good.
The acting wouldn’t be out of place in a high school drama class, so awful and insincere is the line delivery here.
The sound design, too, was almost certainly created on a Blackberry, with very poor gunshot and creature sounds in evidence for the whole duration of the movie.
Where it really “shines”, though, is in the creature design.
The suit was very obviously bought from a joke shop, and is about as believable as the idea of Harvey Keitel signing for Liverpool…
But still go watch it.
6. SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN (2006)
￼Starring the awesome Lance “I may be synthetic, but I’m not stupid” Henriksen, SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN (also know as Devil On The Mountain) is a 2006 SyFy Channel original movie which focuses on a lonely truck driver who finds himself caught in the crossfire of a bloody battle between bank robbers and their gorgeous hostage, the local ‘Five-Oh, and a massive, hairy killing machine.
Reading and, to an extent, looking like a Predator film (although that could just be the Henriksen effect), this movie has two main things going for it.
Firstly, the film-makers don’t lean on the found-footage, shaky-camera crutch which so many others in this genre choose to utilise. The production value is therefore somewhat refreshing by comparison to its peers and makes for a different type of Bigfoot flick.
The second advantage SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN has over some of its competitors is the acting.
Let’s be honest, Lance Henriksen could read the Yellow Pages and make it intense and compelling, so there were never any worries there. He is, however, complimented well by his co-stars like Cerina Vincent and Michael Worth, with much of the cast doing an admirable job of attempting to elevate this film above the realms of mundane mediocrity (though the results are a mixed bag at best).
5. THE WOODSMEN: A SLENDER VALLEY STORY (2018)
￼Whilst 2018 was apparently the year of the Sasquatch movie, this one is a little different…
Being only a 20 minute short story, THE WOODSMEN has no time to waste on elaborate exposition ad back-story, and instead begins with day seven of an expedition into the enormous woods of the mysterious Slender Valley to find a number of people missing for weeks at this point.
Headed up by the annoying but harmless Ranger Sherman and his constantly frowning and therefore instantly questionable subordinate Ranger Lewis, a group of public volunteers set off in search of the missing.
A young couple looking to snag free drinks for life by finding the missing people, stumble upon the blood-soaked camp of an apparently unhinged monster hunter.
It turns out he’s not unhinged at all, as there really IS a monster – one distantly related to everyone’s favourite Wookie: Chewbacca, apparently (the suit isn’t great).
What could have been a paint-by-numbers student project is actually elevated by a nice little plot device at the conclusion of the movie, and some decent acting throughout.
THE WOODSMEN: A SLENDER VALLEY STORY has actually garnered itself quite a cult following, and we can totally see why.
4. THE UNTOLD (2002)
￼Completing the Henriksen Hat-Trick is 2002’s THE UNTOLD. When billionaire president of Bio-Comp Industries learns that a company plane has gone radio-silent over the vast forests of the Pacific Northwest, he hastily arranges team of experts to follow and investigate this remote region (a bit like he did as Charles Weyland in Alien Vs Predator, but that’s beside the point).
His daughter, you see, was aboard the stricken plane, and her rescue is his ONLY priority, but more on that later.
Once boots have hit the ground and the search is underway, Knowles’ team soon begin to suspect that, whilst the fate of his daughter is still a priority, he is more concerned with the recovery of a multi-million dollar, prototype DNA testing machine – the menacingly named “Adolf Project”.
If you’re wondering where old Bigfoot fits into all of this; don’t worry, he’s there too.
Amidst the suspicion, the subterfuge, and the daughter-centric double-crossery (not a word), the team suddenly find themselves fighting for their lives against a huge, hairy, probably sounds like Brian Blessed, forest creature.
While not Henriksen’s best performance by any stretch of the imagination, this is a movie a bit different from the usual fare, which is definitely worth checking out.
3. HOAX (2019)
￼They use an App which looks exactly like the motion trackers in Aliens. That’s all you need to know; next entry…
What? I have to hit word count? Okay, if I must…
When a group of teenagers set out to a dark, foreboding forest to sit around a campfire and exchange Bigfoot stories (which was their first mistake, let’s be honest…) “go missing”, a crack team of scientists, trackers, and a not-Arnold Schwarzenegger security expert (Brian Thompson) set out to investigate.
Picking up a trail and employing infra-red sensors to thermal image the creature, the hunters become the hunted, and…. I’m sorry, it’s VERY Predator.
There are tense, nervy moments here, punctuated with a few laughs along the way, but there are also copious amounts of bodies, gore, and killings.
Fans of the genre will undoubtedly find something to love here, though it might not be the line “You’re gonna need a bigger banana…”.
Also, did I mention the motion trackers?
2. BIG LEGEND (2018)
￼Aside from being a term constantly used to describe the author of this article, BIG LEGEND is also a 2018 horror movie about a former soldier who – in an age-old horror trope – sets off to discover the truth behind the disappearance of his fiancé.
Gearing up and heading off into the Pacific Northwest, Kevin Makely’s Tyler Laird teams up with Eli Verunde (played by Todd A. Robinson), and the game of cat and mouse begins.
Much like Sasquatch Mountain, the production value and acting are impressive for a relatively low budget movie, and the requisite relative quotas of blood, screaming, running away, and mysterious howls reverberating through the snow-covered trees are fulfilled here, and a bonus point is given for a supporting part for Lance Henriksen (in one of his 4 Bigfoot-themed movies to date).
As for the creature itself, you might be forgiven for assuming it was the bastard love-child of DC Comics’ Swamp Thing and Seether frontman Shaun Morgan (try getting THAT image out of your head).
You know what you’re getting with this type of film, but go and watch it anyway, you big legend…
1.PRIMAL RAGE (2018)
￼Another 2018 entry, PRIMAL RAGE sees a newly-reunited couple (the man having just been released from prison), setting off to spend some quality time alone.
Stopping in the middle of nowhere for some rumpy-pumpy in a Humvee (well, a Jeep, but I liked the rhyme…), they soon realise they have accidentally stumbled into a waking nightmare.
The copulating couple hit a battered and bleeding man with their vehicle.
Jumping out to investigate, they discover strips of flesh have been torn from this unfortunate fella’s torso. Suddenly hit on the head by a seemingly random thrown rock,the newly freed Max falls unconscious into the river, and his horrified girl Ashley jumps in after him and is swept away alongside her partner.
It is here, in the wild, away from the safety of the main road and any sign of help, that they encounter the villain of the piece, the Sasquatch-esque creature.
Unlike some on this list, the creature in PRIMAL RAGE is actually pretty convincing, and is something to legitimately fear as opposed to chuckle at in wholly un-flustered derision.
Obviously I don’t want to put my big foot in it or anything, but it could be said that PRIMAL RAGE is the first film on this list which actually feels like a “proper” movie, and is definitely worth your time.
Article written by Chris Joyce