BIGFOOT: Where Character Attributes are Nothing But Pieces of Flair

Bigfoot (2012) – Directed by Bruce Davison – Starring Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, Sherilyn Fenn, Bruce Davison, and Alice Cooper.

With a cast featuring ’70s TV stars Danny Partridge, Greg Brady, and Johnny Fever, 90s TV bombshell Audrey Horne, Bigfoot, and a cameo from Alice Freaking Cooper, you would think that BIGFOOT would, at worst, fall into the “so bad it’s good” category.

It’s not.

If you’ve been kicking around the Anxiety for any length of time, you know I am quite open to loving the Asylum “mockbusters” and genre films. I don’t hold it against Asylum that they make (relatively) low budget films. I just want to be entertained, and that’s possible whatever the budget. The key to making a low budget movie work, though, is that it’s either got to have a really smart script or it’s wise to have its tongue planted firmly in cheek. The worst kind of Asylum movies are the ones that are too dumb to be smart and too serious to be fun.

BIGFOOT is maybe the best example of an Asylum movie that hits that undesirable middle ground. You would think that a movie starring all of the above and that has its climax with the U.S. military blowing up Mount Rushmore would be a hoot to watch, but nobody here seems to realize this movie is hilarious. The cast is split in half between those actors who seem to know not to take themselves too seriously (Bonaduce and Hessman) and those taking things way too seriously (Williams, Davison, and Fenn). In Bonaduce’s case, I honestly can’t tell if he’s completely over the top and doesn’t realize it, or he’s just having a blast and strikes an appropriate tone, but I wish more of the actors had loosened up a bit and had some fun with this ridiculous premise.

There are a TON of ideas floating around in BIGFOOT. Radio DJ Harley Anderson (Bonaduce) wants to put on a festival music concert to help save the town of Deadwood, South Dakota.

Yes, that Deadwood, South Dakota.

The festival is built around the idea of ’80s music, so Harley walks around telling everyone who will listen that Sting has agreed to show up. I have no idea why they chose Sting to be the stand-in for ’80s music, but he gets name dropped a whole bunch of times. Only one actual ’80s act shows up (and, surprisingly, it’s not Debbie Gibson or Tiffany, who would have been a natural fit given their work history with Asylum) and it’s Alice Cooper.

F*ck yeah!

Does he sing “I’m Eighteen”? “School’s Out”? “Billion Dollar Babies”? “Ballad of Dwight Fry”? “No More Mister Nice Guy”? “Only Women Bleed”? Nah, he’s just on stage for a minute while the band plays Generic Rock Music No. 15 and then gets squished by Bigfoot.

Oh, did I not mention that this Bigfoot is about 40 or 50 feet tall? Yeah, this version of Bigfoot is King King’s nephew, I think, because he’s tall enough to pick up humans in his hand and bit their head off.

Yup.

Harley and Simon Quint (Williams) hate each other because they used to be a hit ’80s act, but they’ve gone their separate ways, in part because Harley slept with Simon’s mom. Harley has no interest in playing at the festival, but Simon does and he sings a new song that bores the 37 people in attendance to sleep. When Bigfoot arrives, he threatens to cancel the festival but the show, of course, goes on. (Asylum loves these Jaws’ riffs in their plots.) Quickly, though, we’re past the festival and BIGFOOT becomes a film about Harley wanting to kill or capture Bigfoot to turn Deadwood into a Bigfoot Theme Park, while Simon wants to save him because he loves nature and animals.

While this personal feud is going on, we’ve got two cops – Alvarez (Fenn) and Henderson (Davison) – who take everything totally seriously and, unfortunately, bring very little to the film but another reminder that this movie should be way more fun than it is.

The smart choice, in hindsight, would have been to have both Bonaduce and Williams play their roles completely over the top and crazy and have Fenn and Davison stuck in between them. There’s a bit of an attempt to do this but it never comes off very well, and with Williams and his bad of eco-followers playing everything completely seriously, the film’s narrative is weighted too far in the direction of the serious rather than the silly. It doesn’t help that Bigfoot is a complete dick, either. There’s no sympathy in his character, at all, as he just kills whomever it is that gets in his path.

Nothing about BIGFOOT comes off very well. It’s directed by Davison, and he does a credible job putting the camera in all the right places, but it’s the kind of film that will tell you one character slept with another character’s mom or that another character’s dad died or that introduces a love-crazy zealot to not really do anything with it. They’re not so much character attributes as they are pieces of flair.

I was in the mood for a good bit of cheese and BIGFOOT failed to deliver. With this cast and this premise, I was expecting it to be fun but it turned out to be rather tedious. A shame.

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