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The plot in a nutshell
A small plane, carrying important genetic testing equipment, a top scientist, and the daughter of the CEO of the genetics company, crashes in the heavily wooded and unpopulated North West forest. It's deep winter, and although they send many planes to fly over the area, they see no signs of the crash or any life. All hope is abandoned.

Three months later, the CEO (Lance Henriksen) mounts an expedition to look for the crash. The snow has left, and the trek into the backwoods somewhat easier. He puts together a team and heads out. It turns out that the big furball from Harry and the Hendersons has a cousin with a much worse disposition and personal hygiene issues.

This is supposedly based on a true story - I haven't found that actual story yet though.

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Relatively Spoiler Free Thoughts
I'm always on the look out for the low budget but well done film. I often find that you can get a lot more for your money when they didn't throw too much at actors salaries and special effects.

That's what I was hoping for here. This film was released under a different title - The Untold. And what a far better title that is. I have no idea what marketing genius  decided to call this Sasquatch, but that has to be one of the worst film titles of all time. It screams bad B film louder than Sex Kittens from Planet Woo Hoo.

Still, I had heard good things through the grapevine, and this week was fairly poor pickings with the other big name DVD's released. Really, how much worse could this be than I Spy?

This film is the first from director Jonas Quastel. When I found that out, I wasn't the least bit surprised - not about who it was (I have no idea who Quastel is) but that this is his first film.

Remember when you were a kid and Uncle Joe got that spiffy new video camera? (Unless you're like me and were well past being a kid when VCR's first hit, let alone video cameras). He just had to try out all those nifty special effects features, zooming in and out, fading in an out, some stop motion, etc. etc. That's what this film looks like - someone just took camera effects 101 and tried to find a way to fit them all into a single movie.

We have the slow motion effect during pensive thinking moments, as the actors face is frozen in time, with a slow jerking motion as he looks to the left or right. We have the fade to all black to switch from location to location or give the impression of time passing. We have the MTV quick cuts. Let's not forget the black and white video camera shots of a crying and frightened young woman, ala Blair Witch. And we have this truly bizarre Bigfoot Vision effect. Why is it bizarre? I'll answer that with a simple question back - why would his vision be any different than ours?

Oh, and it is. Not only is it some sort of Predator style, psuedo-infrared, body heat deal but it seems he has x-ray vision as well. In one early scene he can clearly see through a tent at the woman's form inside.

Now, I understand the desire to make his vision somehow different than the humans involved to differentiate the POV's, but this is just a tad ridiculous. Add to that all the other camera effects and styles, and you end up with a very disjointed film with little consistency or feel. There's also some basically awful editing included in the mix just to really confuse things.

The story itself isn't terrible, although fairly predictable, and most of the acting is acceptable. I actually found myself liking the local guide, and he was easily the best fleshed out character of the bunch. But the movie doesn't manage to connect on any real level, and the occasional jump it might produce doesn't make it a decent horror film.

There's this whole side story about a piece of genetic equipment that can identify any DNA and give the whole family history/personal information about the individual (how convenient for a group that comes in contact with Bigfoot) which is fairly worthless to the overall story. Had they completely dropped that aspect, and avoided the desire to turn the beast into something more human than animal, the film would have been on a much better track.

Rating - Skip It
Some low budget films have fantastic stories, acting and directing that bring them up to the level of the big boys. This is NOT one of those. If you're looking for a fun low budget horror flick, pick up Dog Soldiers instead. And if you absolutely have to see a Bigfoot movie, get The Abominable Snowman from 1957 with Peter Cushing and Forest Tucker.  You'll thank me for it.

Spoiler Laden Thoughts
So let's talk about the plot in slightly greater detail...
I mentioned that the story wasn't terrible, but it does take severaly turns for the worse. Instead of leaving us fearful of this terrifying beast, it tries to explain his behavior, and in doing shows why some things are better left to the imagination.

So the original plane crash kills his friend/lover/poker buddy. Now, let's not even consider what the odds of that happening must have been. The big guy kills all of the original folks in revenge. Sure. Not only that, but he's smart enough to hide the plane, knowing that others would come looking for it. Okay, I'll accept that.

But somehow this creature figures out that the little steel box they are lugging around contains the answers that would prove the existence of his 'race'? But doesn't bother to destroy it himself? Oh, yea. I'm buying that one. The film tries to give us answers to questions that should be left to us, and in doing so takes away most of the horror.

This is supposedly based on a true story, although I couldn't find any record of a CEO searching for his daughter and getting attacked by a Sasquatch. I think they're stretching the 'based on a true story' theory about as far as possible here, and Harlan Knowles is really a Burger King manager who lost track of his daughter at the mall for a few minutes and saw a guy that looked like Robin Williams.

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