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The Capture of Bigfoot

Title: The Capture of Bigfoot

Year: 1979

Got It For: $3.33

 When Bill Rebane made a movie, he made it a family affair, as evidenced by the credits for 1979’s “the Capture of Bigfoot.” The end scroll hardly had a line go by without a crew member‘s surname being  Rebane, and if it wasn’t Rebane then the person likely shared their name with at least one other person responsible for bringing us this snow covered gem. It seems that in the late ‘70’s there was a big Sasquatch/Yeti/Arak (the native name given to the legendary creature in this feature) fad going on, as this is one of long line of low-budget Bigfoot movies that hit the silver screen in that time period.

Whatcha gonna do, brother, when Arakamania and these 24 inch pythons run wild on you!

And oh boy, what a movie this is. We get our first full shot of Arak in the opening scene, foregoing any attempt to build atmosphere or tension through the wait to see what our monster looks like. See, some business man operating out of some backwoods ski resort in…uh…Place, USA, is obsessed with hunting down the legendary creature, and has hired a number of trappers to help him in his quest for surefire fame and fortune. Unfortunately for the trappers, the Arak they capture is merely a youngin’ and soon a full grown ape man appears to take them out. With a mighty sound that is not at all similar to some guy just yelling “BLLLEEEEUUGHGHGHGHGH!!!!” as he jumps out from behind a tree, Bigfoot grabs one trapper, turns him into floppy dummy, and tosses him face first into the snowbank before sending his partner home with fatal face wounds. As the park ranger and local Sherriff start to figure out what’s going on, the business man spirals into a blind murderous fury as everyone races to get their hands on Arak.

 

The first thirty minutes of this picture will have you laughing until your eyes bulge out of their sockets. The monster costumes, while not horrible in a technical sense (honestly the Bigfoot masks look pretty good) are still dopey looking and make it awkward for the actor to walk around in the snow. However, it starts to lose steam about halfway through. We’ve been given the payoff reveal of the monster in the first scene, so watching people traipse through the wood – often falling flat on their face in the snow- and arguing over the creature’s legitimacy starts to get boring pretty quickly. Still, this movie contains so many hilarious shots and sounds that a couple of screenshots can’t possibly hope to capture the magic. Highlights of the film include:

  •  A kid who sounds like Rocky the flying squirrel
  • High flying snowmobile accidents
  • Rodeo clowns at a ski racing event
  • A terrible band playing terrible music with terrible lyrics at a terrible dance party at the lodge
  • Boxes labeled “Explosives” left near burning welding torches
  • A car chase with one jump onto another car’s roof, one rollover, one explosion, and one hit-and-run

If you’re a fan of Bigfoot or poorly acted monster films in general, I say give this one a shot if you find it lying around somewhere.

 

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Day of the Animals

Title: Day of the Animals

Year: 1977

Got It For: $3.33

 

You know, I can’t help thinking that for the rest of my life; I will have to compare every movie I ever see to Day of the Animals. This film has become my measuring stick for motion pictures. Oh, not because it’s such an excellent movie, but because it has perhaps the most amazing minute or so of footage I’ve ever seen: Leslie Nielson fighting a bear.

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Oh yes indeed. You see, this picture is a vision of the future. Of what COULD happen IF the human population continues to deplete the ozone layer with dangerous flourocarbons. What happens if the ozone layer is depleted? Are people burned to death under intense heat? Do the harsh UV rays cause food supplies to wither and die, leaving us in a fight for survival against the elements and our very neighbors? Of course not stupid! It causes all the animals around to go crazy go nuts and start attacking all the humans. Birds sit beside children! Snakes attempt to drive trucks! Rats use cat-a-pults (or should I say rat-a-pults) to attack police!

We experience this horror alongside our intrepid protagonists, a group of hikers on a two week excursion into the woods who are just unlucky enough to get caught in the middle of it all during the Day (should be days, as the movie takes place over at least five) of the Animals!

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The movie itself is hit and miss. The animals are real, well-trained creatures in wide shots, but the close-ups allow us to see the hilariously bad puppets used for the attack scenes. However, if you enjoy cheesiness as much as I do and want to see Leslie Nielson (pre-comedy work) play a bigot who goes Ultimate Warrior on a grizzly bear, this is the movie for you!

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