This recent straight to video low budget movie from The Asylum is set in the South Dakota town of Deadwood , only a hop, skip and a jump away from one of the country's most beloved landmarks, Mount Rushmore. Deadwood is a pretty sleepy town but local DJ Harley Henderson (Danny Bonaduce) aims to liven things up a bit by putting together his very own Eighties Flashback Weekend festival where he hopes to get a huge audience out to enjoy some rock n roll. In order to make this happen though, he's going to have to build a big stage and in order to build that big stage he's going to have to cut down some of the forest that surrounds the town.
Enter Simon (Barry Williams) - a guy who doesn't like Harley much at all, given that they were both at one point legitimate rock stars in their own right before their respective falls from grace. He's become an environmental activist since leaving the music business and he aims to stop Harley from doing any damage to the trees. Tensions mount between the two men but eventually Harley gets all the permits and permissions that he needs from the mayor (Howard Hesseman) to make his plan a go, and before you know it, his show is happening - Alice Cooper even shows up as local Sheriffs Walter Henderson (Bruce Davis) and Becky Alvarez (Sherilyn Fenn) keep an eye on things. Given that this movie is called Bigfoot, however, you just know that a hulking hairy cross between man and ape is going to arrive on the scene and wreak havoc, and that's exactly what happens. In order to save the town, Harley and Simon begrudgingly have to bury the hatchet and work together to stop him - that is, if they can...
Maybe not so surprisingly, Bigfoot is a really dumb movie. It takes place in what looks like a truly beautiful location and it's kind of fun to see Alice Cooper pop up playing Alice Cooper, but other than that, it's dopey and silly and not very well made. While Twin Peaks fanatics will appreciate seeing the still beautiful Sherilyn Fenn in a supporting role and seventies nostalgia buffs might appreciate the obviously novelty casting of Bonaduce and Williams as the two rival leads, nobody here is trying very hard and the performances wind up as vapid as the script. That leaves it up to the effects work to save this one, right? Wrong. The film fails on that level too, seemingly intentionally so. These Asylum movies are obviously made fast and cheap to cash in on the retro cinema/B-movie craze that seems to be bankable these days but very little attention is paid to trying to make them look good. The effects work here in terms of how Bigfoot himself is portrayed in the movie are inconsistent and poorly done and as such, there are no scares here, not even any legitimate tension.
The movie does try, and to its credit occasionally succeed at introducing some humor into the script and obviously we're not meant to take any of this all too seriously, but it isn't enough. The story is predictable and populated by characters we just don't care about in the least. There's no hook here, so when the monster eventually makes his way to Mount Rushmore (we all knew it was going to happen, why else would the filmmakers set the movie there?) what should be a fun and exciting climax feels like a misfire.
Bigfoot arrives on DVD in a perfectly nice looking 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that boasts nice colors and fairly good black levels. Detail isn't bad at all for a standard definition presentation and as you'd expect from a brand spankin' new digital video production such as this there are no issues with print damage, dirt or debris. There's a little bit of shimmer and mild aliasing here and there but no serious compression artifacts or edge enhancement issues of note.
The English language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound track is also pretty decent. There's some good use of the surround channels made during a few of the more action intensive moments in the movie while dialogue, which comes almost entirely from the front of the mix, sounds fine throughout. There are no issues with hiss or distortion to complain about and the levels are properly balanced. The concert scenes sound pretty good and Bigfoot's various noises are all plenty loud and only occasionally seem too high in the mix. There are no subtitles or alternate language options provided here.
There's not a whole lot here in terms of the extras, but the disc does contain a six minute Behind The Scenes featurette that shows the cast and crew at work on the project and a gag reel that runs for just over a minute. Aside from that? There's a trailer for the feature, trailers for a few unrelated Asylum properties, menus and chapter stops.
Bigfoot is not scary, interesting or good - it is mildly amusing in a bad movie sort of way, and if you find yourself with an uncontrollable urge to seek whatever may lay at the bottom of the straight to video barrel you can have some fun with it, but yeah, this movie is awful. Alice Cooper is in it, and that counts for something but amounts to very little. If you're a fan of The Asylum's output, you'll probably appreciate this as it fits right in with their mix of bad stories performed by bizarre low rent casting choices, otherwise, you can skip this one.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.