October 31, 2010

Monster Movie Marathon: Bigfoot (The Red-Headed Stepchild of Monsters)

Bigfoot is blurry!

That might be my favorite joke from the late Mitch Hedberg. I mean, who's to say that all those grainy, blurred photos haven't accurately portrayed the sasquatch? Maybe the damned things are just blurry by nature.

Growing up in rural Nova Scotia, we didn't really have any Sasquatches running around. We have our fair share of forests, but living on a peninsula if the buggering' things existed out here we'd have found one by now. At least with the vastness of the Rocky Mountain regions and the Canadian Shield, there's the argument that no Bigfoot has been properly documented because there's just too much forest for them to hide in. Although, with the increasing Orwellian reach of Google Earth and Google Streetview, not even the deepest darkest woods are safe for reclusive missing links.

I kind of like the idea of a giant ape-man lurking in the forest, personally. As far as things that go bump in the night are concerned, that's a damned scary prospect. If you've ever seen Animal Planet or some other broadcast document encounters with grizzly bears and silverback gorillas, you get a fair idea of the kind of terror a beast like Bigfoot can instill. I like walking through the woods and my encounters with dangerous wildlife have been uneventful, but I can honestly say I'd most likely lose my composure in the presence of an enormous, hairy, stench-ridden--and it would most certainly smell foul--monstrosity with opposable thumbs.

Oh sure, the 1987 family film Harry and the Hendersons did a lot to ease any apprehensions I had towards the creatures as a child--that and the ridicule levied upon anyone claiming to have seen one. Just about every person claiming they saw Bigfoot described it as a docile animal, like a pacifist with excessive body hair. Almost every depiction of the myth gives it a noble savage appearance, as if Neanderthalian features were only a facade covering a gentle soul. A nice thought, a reassuring one too, because who would want to consider a thing like that might see you as a source of protein.

But I've heard a couple of sightings that paint a less complimentary picture of the myth. One guy, I recall, even claimed to have been abducted by a small family of Sasquatches. Never mind whether or not the guy was wearing a tinfoil hat during the interview. The idea that the thing would carry you around the woods like you were a granola bar being saved for snack-time is frightening. Where are the novels and movies that depict that kind of Bigfoot. I mean good ones, not some third-rate, self-published, or direct-to-DVD garbage. I mean, John Lithgow Vs. Bigfoot rather than Harry and the Hendersons.

Some monsters are unduly defanged by the masses. Bigfoot needs to be scary. Not blurry.

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