Curse of Bigfoot (1978)

This film was better than I thought it would be, and it’s an oddity in being shot on different film from different eras. It’s an amalgamation of films. Flashback parts of it appear to be made in the late 50’s or early 60’s, while some of it was made in the 70’s —one of the characters refers to “a possession movie” and a “shark film”). I’m not sure if someone found the old footage and decided to make a film out of it, or if the original film was released.  A reviewer on IMDb noted the original title to be “Teenagers Battle the Thing” (1958).  It reminds me a bit of The Thing from Another World with touches of Equinox and The Evil Dead. Maybe a bit of “Boggy Creek” too. It’s not really a “bigfoot” film.  IMDb reviewers gave it a whopping 2.0/10.  It held my attention.  Man, just look at this thing.

Curse of Bigfoot opens with a prologue which introduces us to an evolutionary throw-back 2 million years old which terrorizes Pleistocene man. The 1950’s-ish bi-pedal monster is fairly original, looking more a kin to a lycanthrope than Sasquatch. This is not a Rick Baker make-up job, but the monster might freak out young kids not brainwashed by first-person zombie shooter games.  The creature kills a cave man.  The opening credits are filmed at the Anasazi cliff-dweller ruins possibly at Mesa Verde National Park.  There’s really no tie-in with the ruins and the movie, but the scenery looks ok. The film cuts to the 1970’s and a farm house. Something is watching in the woods. A dog barks and a boy comes out and gives the dog some milk (!). A monster kills the boy.  The 1970’s monster looks nothing like the creature in the prologue. (I’m fairly certain that an attempt was made to copy the look of the monster filmed in the 50’s, but this new guy looks like Michael Myers as a burn victim).

A school teacher talks to teens about monsters, including the yeti, bigfoot, and mythological creatures such as the Griffin and Sea Serpents. He tells a few stories about bigfoot. (Bigfoot and the yeti are more or less used interchangeably).  This sequence is largely composed of stock footage and we never really see anything. The teacher announces that a guest speaker and scientific investigator is coming to the class to discuss bigfoot. He’s your quintessential four-eyed nerdy guy.  He chews out a kid for suggesting that the Griffin was “invented” by the Germans. The guest tells a story about a bigfoot encounter that resulted in teens being institutionalized.  At this point, the film returns to the 1950’s footage.

A half dozen teens go on a museum expedition looking for archaeological artifacts. One of the students finds an “eolith” —an ancient stoney tool. Later, a stone tablet is found covering the entrance to a cave.  The students discover a mummified body. In a sequence ripping off “The Thing” the mummy (the creature shown in the prologue) comes to life, escapes and terrorizes the western country side.  Locals and teens track down the bigfoot mummy monster and kill it with gasoline and flares. Sorry about the spoiler.

Curse of Bigfoot came in a 50-film “Pure Terror” DVD pack from Mill Creek. It’s worth a look for 10 or 12 bucks. As a bonus, this film-pack also contains the infamous Manos: The Hands of Fate.

 

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