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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Bigfoot Is Real!
Bigfoot Is Real!
Reality Kings // Unrated // September 28, 2010
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Rich Rosell | posted February 20, 2011 | E-mail the Author
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REVIEW
For the record, I am a Bigfoot nerd from way back. As a teen - after seeing the infamous Patterson footage - I dreamt of exploring the Pacific Northwest for irrefutable proof of the creature's existence. That pie-eyed dream (decades before the Internet, my friend) eventually fell by the wayside, but I would absorb any and all Bigfoot literature and the rare documentary when I could. I'm still fascinated by the subject, and when this 2-disc set from Reality Films crossed my desk, with cover art promising "over four hours of Bigfoot" and "amazing accounts of Bigfoot from around the world", I was mildly giddy.

Unfortunately the material here is remarkably uneventful, consisting of four separate films largely centered on Oklahoma, Kentucky and Louisiana, which is apparently the "around the world" mentioned on the cover art. I could forgive Reality Films for forsaking any coverage of the Pacific Northwest if the content was substantive, but it's just not. Despite the promise of a "fascinating collection" what unfurls over four hours is boredom.

The first three low-rent features are gathered on disc one, and all are made by a man named Jay Michael. I'm sure Michael is a nice enough fellow, but as a documentary filmmaker he still has a few things to learn with regard to how make a narrative interesting. Much of his footage is tired witness interviews, and the money shot of a mysterious creature in the first film - Bigfooting in Oklahoma (48m:20s) - is of such questionable quality that it is underwhelming, to say the least. Michael's Swamp Apes (36m:04s) is meant as a history lesson, but it is mostly a tacked together collection of public domain footage to fill in the visual cracks while Michael rambles on with loose theories.

Oddly enough Michael's Tale of the Honey Island Swamp Monster (34m:33s) is the most honest and revealing, but not if you're looking for proof of a mysterious creature's existence. Traveling to Louisiana, Michael and his cohorts speak in hushed tones about the legendary Honey Island Swamp Monster, only to discover a truth about the origin of some of the most celebrated footprints in the case. The big reveal seems not to fit at all under the banner of the disc's "Bigfoot is Real!" title, but what the hey. I credit Michael for not hiding the truth.

Things improve a bit on disc two, with The Wildman of Kentucky: The Mystery of Panther Rock (02h:00m:04s), a film from O.H. Krill has made a few other short films dealing with UFOs, freemasons and alchemists, so Bigfoot doesn't seem like much a stretch thematically, though he sadly lacks any sort of "here's your proof" money shot over the course of two hours. And that's really this film's biggest problem: it's two hours long with no payoff. At least Jay Michael kept his films short and sweet, whereas Krill disregards the notion of editing in favor of a feature-length runtime, as if perhaps that magically lends the film credibility. Sadly, it does not. Buttressed by dull circa-1997-computer-game-animation, much of The Wildman of Kentucky is mostly bullet-point narration of witness accounts and Bigfoot factoids, as well as some night-vision footage of an exploration into the Kentucky woods.

As Homer Simpson once said: "Boring!"

THE DVD
Video
The three short films on disc one are all presented in 1.33:1 fullframe, and the quality is akin to a dub of a dub of a dub of a dub of a print that was repeatedly run over by a pickup truck. Color rendering is atrocious, with so much extraneous video noise it was often difficult to tell what was happening onscreen. On disc two the sole feature is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and the print quality is decent, with presentable colors and fairly natural fleshtones throughout.

Audio
The 2.0 audio is no prize, with the disc one features suffering from all sorts of distortion and hiss. Even with this there are no major issues understanding what is being said, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. Disc two's feature, the comparatively professional The Wildman of Kentucky, sports a noticeably stronger and cleaner mix, with much less of the audio detritus found on disc one.

Extras
The only supplemental material appears at the end of disc two, at the conclusion of The Wildman of Kentucky feature. It consists of about ten minutes of so-called "bonus" footage, which is essentially just more interviews.

Final Thoughts
There may over four hours of content here (all of it focused on Oklahoma, Kentucky and Louisiana) on this 2-disc set, but it's mostly listening to witness accounts augmented by some stodgy animation and having the narrators wax philosophically. I'm a longtime Bigfoot geek, and this brought nothing to the table for me, except for the urge to fall asleep.

Skip it.
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