A Massachusetts man, claiming to be a renowned Bigfoot researcher and scientist, has declared a ban on the upcoming Sony Pictures DVD release of Sasquatch Hunters, calling the film untruthful and a misrepresentation of the Bigfoot legacy. His petition letter, which goes on in great length about the peaceful nature of the beast, sites the movie as an abomination that will hurt further research and testing in the field of cryptozoology. He’s angered that the film presents Sasquatch as a vicious killer. Something he clearly is not…
Or is he? At this current time, there is no solid scientific evidence that Sasquatch actually exists. And none of the research compiled points to the overall conclusion that Sasquatch is a docile creature. This doesn’t seem to matter to Mr. Dearwood, who has caused an uproar amongst fellow Bigfoot enthusiasts. He goes on in his petition letter, calling the film “despicable”. He claims that the “wrong image” is being presented, and that Sasquatch Hunters will do nothing but instill “paranoia” amongst an uneducated public. Dearwood is planning a major boycott of the film, with many Bigfoot aficionados ready to back him up. A large sign-waving picket parade is set to be held on April 19th, the DVD’s release date, in Dearwood’s hometown of Winchester, Ma. Ironically, there has never been a Bigfoot sighting within city limits. Dearwood’s hope is that the “movie will fail miserably.”
A strike against the purchase or rental of the film seems to be in vein. It’s being sold as a fun thrill ride, not an accurate portrayal of a living individual. Mr. Dearwood’s main concern is that the public be educated about the plight of what he calls “a new species of apes in the wild yet undiscovered that like to keep to themselves and not be disturbed.” Upon first sight, Sasquatch Hunters looks to be nothing more than a cheap and easy follow-up to the 2002 direct-to-DVD release Sasquatch, starring Lance Henriksen. But that is not the case. As director Fred Tepper tells it, his new film, originally entitled Primeval, was made long before Sasquatch appeared on Blockbuster Shelves across America. That film did well enough, Sony acquired the rights to Tepper’s film, thus presenting it as a sort-of follow up. Even though it has nothing to do with the previously seen Bigfoot effort.
Movieweb’s B. Alan Orange recently conducted an interview with Sasquatch Hunters Director Tepper and Producer Tom Zimmerman, hoping to put some of the Sasquatch sequel rumors to rest, when this boycott came to light. Asked if they had a hand in conducting this staging of a ban to promote their film, the unusually humble Tepper insisted, “Absolutely not.” One thing he doesn’t want to do is bring too much attention to himself or the film. “It’s a Bigfoot movie. I’m not claiming to have made some astonishing epic, or work of art. This isn’t Titanic. It is what it is. Some people are going to love it. Some people are going to hate it. But I’m not going to brag about it. I’m not going to go to some Hollywood Nightclub and try to pick up girls by telling them I made a Bigfoot film.” When Orange suggested that a boycott of the film could only help sales of their DVD, both Tepper and Zimmerman seemed uneasy about the proposition. Sure, they think it could be great, but it could also backfire. “I don’t want to set anybody’s expectations too high.” Tepper explained. Fred then went on to counter-attack Mr. Dearwood’s accusations, stating that the film actually presents Bigfoot in a peaceful light. And that it isn’t until the wild animal is provoked that he attacks the humans in the film. “Most of what Mr. Dearwood has to say is presented in the film itself. It’s funny how he thinks the stuff he’s saying about Bigfoot is hard scientific fact, yet not even all Bigfoot researchers can seem to agree on anything.”
B. Alan, a Bigfoot fan in his own right, caught some of the film’s Monster footage and claims it’s some of the best Sasquatch carnage he’s ever seen. “The creature is mean, and nasty. He looks great. It’s pretty awesome stuff. I’m looking forward to checking out the DVD when it arrives.” This statement, of course, goes against everything Dearwood is fighting for. “Bigfoot is not a monster as you portray him. Problem is; humans won't leave him alone. Bigfoot is a peaceful creature and does not prey on humans. Bigfeet would never deliberately attack a human.”
Will Dearwood’s rally help the plight of this so-called peace-loving creature? Probably not. Will the movie actually be worth watching? B. Alan Orange sure hopes so. A good Bigfoot film has been a longtime coming. And the 2002 Sasquatch film was a huge disappointment. At least Dearwood has the pussified, liberalized Harry of Harry & the Hendersons to keep his comfort level in check. We here at Movieweb are siding with the violent Stink Ape action.
Stay tuned for a full-length interview with both Director Fred Tepper and Producer Tom Zimmerman. We’ll let you know if Sasquatch Hunters is worth crossing the picket line for in the very near future.