Platform: Rented on Amazon for Roku
Starring: Alexie Gilmore, Bryce Johnson
If you had told me several decades ago that Bobcat Goldthwait would be a respected director, Hell if you had told me he wouldn't be working on Police Academy 13: Zed's Dead Baby*, well...I would have been pretty skeptical. I've seen several of his dark comedies and enjoyed them, even if I refuse to watch World's Greatest Dad, mostly just to piss off a friend of mine. I'm a dick like that. Willow Creek is his first stab at horror, and a pretty fun ride if you are in the mood for this kind of thing.
A young couple are off to the remote area of Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California. The dude is a Bigfoot enthusiast who has been dreaming of visiting the site of the infamous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film that we've all seen countless times in our lives. She is a skeptic, someone who feels like the odds of discovering Bigfoot are roughly equal to those of discovering leprechauns.
Goldthwait seems to be a fan of the Bigfoot legends, as am I. He decided to make a straight-forward found footage film documenting this couple as they explore the town of Willow Creek and meet the eccentric locals. Their barely-contained glee at how serious some of the townfolk take the legends quickly turns to terror as they head out alone into the woods near Bluff Creek...the site of the Patterson-Gimlin footage.
The film doesn't break any new ground in either the genre nor the legend of Bigfoot. The big reveal toward the end has been the subject of previous Bigfoot films and fiction. But it's still a whole lot of fun. My favorite thing about the film is that there were hardly any moments where you wanted to scream "put the camera down and RUN, idiots!" That's a breath of fresh air.
I don't know if there are Bigfoots, er, Bigfeet running around there. I do know that two hipsters headed out into the remote woods of the Pacific Northwest with only the thin vinyl of a pop-tent to protect them is a pretty scary proposition. With or without giant bipeds running around.
Verdant Dude Rating: 3.5 out of 5 pumpkin ales
*There's a lesson in the importance of punctuation in there somewhere. Is the subtitle an homage to Pulp Fiction and Butch's famous line about the previous owner of the chopper? Or is it about Zed's dead child? I'd watch either film, frankly.