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Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot
It’s time to discuss another one of my all-time favorite Bigfoot movies as the summer of Sasquatch continues! Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot is the complete and only true story of Bigfoot ever filmed, at least that is what the movie poster says.
In the film, Bigfoot researcher Chuck Evans and team journey to the fabled forbidden lands north of the Peckatoe River in Northwest British Columbia Canada to hunt the legendary Bigfoot. Will they find their quarry? Will they make it out alive? Just watch and find out.
The film was released in the spring of 1976 as the nation was still fully enthralled with Bigfoot Mania. We find that Chuck Evans has put together a crack team of Bigfoot researchers. Anthropologist Dr. Paul Markham, Idaho rancher Hank Parshall, Mountain Man/curmudgeon Joshua Alowishus Bigsby, Techka Blackhawk, who comes from one of the largest Native American tribes in Northern Canada, whacky camp cook and crack-shot Barney Snipe, and sour-puss reporter Bob Vernon round out the team.
The movie treats us to some lovely country and some spectacular scenery, even though the film is supposed to take place in Canada, in reality, it was filmed in the Three Sisters Wilderness area near Bend, Oregon. Think Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, but with scary Sasquatches running around.
Nature highlights include of a bear fight, a cougar attack, and a rather lengthy pack-horse caravan cross the mountains as they approach the valley of the Sasquatch. We are also treated to nicely reenacted, and legendary recounts of Bigfoot encounters from days gone, which sets a tone for the continuation of the movie.
Some of you might wonder if we get to see the creature a lot in this film? Well, not really. Fleeting silhouettes, spooky nighttime shots, and a monster’s eye view of tromping through the forest are pretty much what you get. Frankly, I think they blew the budget on a helicopter rental for a few days and had to go with Grandma’s fur coat for the creature shots. But what it lacks, it makes up for in spirit and tone.
The human element is what brings me back to this movie, the oddball cast of characters don’t disappoint in making the film interesting and fun to watch. Which is good, because we pretty much stick with the group and don’t see any crazy Sasquatch action until toward the end of the film, when all hell breaks loose.
I won’t ruin it for you but I want you to listen for a few funny things as far as foley goes (fo·ley — relating to or concerned with the addition of recorded sound effects after the shooting of a film.)
1) A wolf and badger bump heads early into the expedition- listen closely to the badger. It’s a guy making badger hisses and growls. I’m not sure if the sounds are completely accurate as I’ve never actually heard an angry badger but hey, what do I know. The wolf barks in this scene I would assume were supplied by a regular dog.
2) Listen closely during the scene where two grizzly bears fight each other halfway through the movie. The growling bear sounds are that of ONE growling dog.
3) And finally, the final sequence (and throughout the movie) listen for the creepy Bigfoot scream sound effect which happens to be the same one recycled over and over. Sometimes sped up, sometimes slowed down.
Speaking of sounds, the soundtrack is a great one! If you like folksy, adventure soundtracks. It reminds me of the accompanying music played during slide show presentations at Wallowa Lake campground amphitheater on summer nights while camping there as a kid. If you have any idea what I’m talking about, consider yourself fortunate to have experienced such a memorable event, but I digress.
Al Capps provides a soundtrack that captures the feel of the movie quite nicely. From its serene and often repeated main theme to its creepy “Bigfoot is close” theme, it is a soundtrack that fits the bill. I enjoyed it so much, I was lucky to score me a copy of the now ridiculously rare soundtrack album.
In closing, the film is low-budget yes, but as I’ve mentioned it has a lot of heart. Give it a try. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I would have loved to see a continuation of this adventure, as the narrator hints at a possible sequel before the film’s end. Sadly, that never happened.