Bigfoot Wars (2014)
A small town becomes the focal point of a brutal clash between man and legendary beast.
REVIEW: It's no secret that here at the B-Movie Shelf I love me some killer Bigfoot movies. Honestly, they're one of my favorite sub-genres, so of course a movie with the title of Bigfoot Wars would capture my attention pretty easily. With some very quick digging upon the initial announcement I discovered it was based off a novel by Eric S. Brown called Bigfoot War, so of course I seeked out the Ebook version and gave it a quick read, which really wasn't difficult since the 'novel' is a scant 120 pages.
And honestly, that was probably for the better because it was just not very good, at all. The plot was an interesting one, that being a large tribe of Sasquatches, angered by the humans of the nearby town Babble Creek, come out in-force and wage war on the town inhabitants, but the writing was, to put it bluntly, just downright terrible; Spelling mistakes and typos aplenty, character names constantly getting mixed up, repeated phrases and sentences of descriptions by the dozens, and just an awkward to read writing style that didn't really feel like it flowed naturally most of the time. Not to mention that characterization was non-existent, and there was no proper story structure to speak of, mostly just one scene of savage Bigfoot-caused mayhem and destruction after another that all kind of ran together and became extremely repetitive really quickly.
That's not to say there weren't some fun scenes in the bunch, because there was, but the few we got just couldn't make up for everything else, especially when even the scenes I enjoyed and had fun with, were written so terribly. The guy has like a gazillion sequels out but after forcing myself to finish the first, which from what I can gather from reviews is supposed to be the best one anyway, I just can't put myself through the torture of reading the rest.
In a way, the movie is a perfect visual representation of the novel. Sure, the only relation it really has to the novel is the title (Well, close enough. The movie is called Bigfoot Wars and the novel is simply Bigfoot War), and the very basic idea of a tribe of Sasquatches attacking residents of a small town, and that's about all it has in common with the story of the book, but all my issues with the book translated to the movie in the film equivalents of said issues.
Just like the novel is barely a novel at 120 pages, this is barely a movie at an hour and ten minutes long, but like the novel that's also for the best as, again quite frankly, the movie is just not very well-made at all. The editing is terrible, the audio is equally as bad (there are way too many scenes that have an annoying static hiss in the background every time the actors speak and the dialog was constantly coming in and out at different audio levels, sometimes so quietly you can't even her what's being said), and there is barely a plot to speak of as, again just like the novel, it's mostly scenes of the Sasquatches savagely attacking someone, followed by the police investigating the aftermath, and just repeat that for most of the movie's runtime until they go hunting the Sasquatches in the forest for the last 15 minutes or so. Even most of the acting is pretty abysmal, save for just a couple of the characters. There's a news anchor character and her camera man that even though they're only in a few scenes together they were actually really enjoyable to watch, and of course C. Thomas Howell playing a mouthy rude redneck hunter brings his A-Game here, even though the rest of the movie isn't worthy of it. That man chews the scenery here in a league only matched by Billy Zane in Scorpion King 3: Battle For Redemption and Lisa Houle in Ejecta. Even though he doesn't even come in until halfway through the movie, C. Thomas Howell alone makes everything else here bearable, that's how entertaining his performance is.
Again following suit from the book though, there is the scattered genuinely fun scene here and there, with my favorite being when a Sasquatch randomly interrupts a drive-in movie by chasing after one of the characters, although the scene itself makes no sense as to why it seemed like nobody even noticed this big hulking furry Sasquatch running between the parked cars, other than the character it was chasing. Sadly however, unlike the books this time, there's not really any assault on the town itself by the Sasquatches. In the book it was essentially a city zombie apocalypse kind of scenario, but with large, strong, fast, and savage Sasquatches instead of zombies, but in the movie the only scene that even has a Sasquatch within the town itself is the aforementioned drive-in movie theater scene, the rest of the Sasquatch action takes place out in the forests surrounding the town, thus essentially removing the one aspect of the book that I actually enjoyed.
The Sasquatches themselves were pretty decent though. I mean, yeah, they looked cheap as hell, don't get me wrong there, but at least they were practical man-in-suit effects (unlike the cartoony CGI hulk-jumping Sasquatches of Happy Camp, the overly-exaggerated King Kong-sized Sasquatch of Asylum's Bigfoot, or the totally-never-on-screen Sasquatches of Willow Creek) and they actually looked like Sasquatches (as opposed to the just-really-hairy-men Sasquatches of the 2010 film Boggy Creek), and they certainly looked frightening and menacing, so proper kudos has to be given to the costume department here, although maybe a few less lingering shots of the laughably-bad face masks could have been in order though.
Bigfoot Wars (and also the novel it's based upon, Bigfoot War) should have been a hundred times better than it was, but unfortunately a really interesting story idea is destroyed by total ineptitude, leaving the movie (and novel as well) full with technical (and literary) errors that should just not be allowed in a finished, polished, product that you're asking people to pay money for. In addition there's no real plot to speak of, horrible actors making it painful to watch, and god-awful dialog make this a rough viewing. The only saving graces that managed to get me through to the end of this movie's short runtime is the fact that the Sasquatches actually genuinely looked menacing and C. Thomas Howell's amazing performance of camp. That's pretty much about it.
Despite the title, Bigfoot Wars is nowhere near as fun of a movie as you may be led to believe. Even the most diehard Killer Bigfoot fans may want to just steer clear of this one, and probably its equally-as-terrible novel series as well.