Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Curse of Bigfoot"(1975)d/Don Fields

Welcome to August,bastards.Get your summer partying in while you can,'cuz fall is around the corner.I,for one,am applauding the late arrival of wifebeater weather here in the northeast.I've got no reservations over flexing the tattooed tittie muscles for you broads out there who like your men violently intelligent.As you already know,the sweltering heat isn't gonna slow down the emperor over here,I'll keep serving you up the finest cult classics that you may or may not have seen,but ought to have,and today's brings back a lot of low budgeted memories for me and my droogs,for sure.
Our first sacrifice to Augustus Caesar was a late night mainstay,playing every two months or so on WOR Channel 9 in the New York/New Jersey area back in the mid to late seventies,which made it an instant target for ridicule for the crew growing up back then.Taking a pitifully cheap hour long feature called "Teenagers Battle the Thing",allegedly made twelve years earlier in 1963,adding endless logging footage,and brushing the cobwebs off of Dennis Kottmeier who played the science teacher in the original film to segue from the newer groovy seventies classroom insert to the original cheapie,all to cash in on the crypto-craze of the day,seemed like a feasible option for the filmmakers.It all reminds me of a somewhat crass saying of late about polishing turds.Buckle up, kiddies, here comes a doozie.
"Class,this drawing in no way represents the crepe wool and papier mache paste job that we're gonna have the balls to label "Bigfoot" later on in this picture..."
Mr. Whitmore(Augie Tribach)who's been giving a groovy series of lectures to his class on the supernatural(and monsters like the "great-ah white-ah...shark")brings in a jug-eared former science teacher-turned-expert on the Bigfoot phenomena,Roger Mason(Dennis Kottmeier),to stop the hippies from snickering in their seats over the subject,and more importantly,to tie-in the awful film he took part in back in the early sixties.With scripted dialogue on the podium in front of him,he recalls the harrowing field trip that left two of the female drapes, who were along for the extra credit, to spend the rest of their days in a mental hospital.We can only ponder the fate of the other squares who tagged along to unearth Indian artifacts,but it couldn't have ended sexily for them.Also along for the archaeological picnic is Bill Wyman's less musically inclined namesake(Bill Simonsen),who opted out of a life of groupies,drugs,and rock and roll in favour of prayer sticks and eoliths.After discovering a chiseled prehistoric tool while chompin' sammitches with the squares at the picnic table,Wyman,Mason,and the boys climb a sheer rock face only to stumble upon a burial site for an early ancestor of man imbedded in the ledge.The clay-caked mummy they find inside the smoky cave draws a chorus of "Gosh!","Gee!",and "Boy,I'll say!"'s out of the flat-topped students,before being whisked off to a museum for tests and research by top men in the archaeology field.Just kidding,sensibly,he lets the high school teacher and his teenage students hoist the thing out of the cave on a gurney into the back of a pickup truck where they take it to a shed.
"Worry about your marijuana-induced orgy after class,you little hippie dirtbag!"
One square couple decides to rough it through the citrus groves to the general store for a bottle of orange pop which costs 13 cents(!!),slightly less expensive than the allotted budget for the bigfoot suit we're about to see.Norman,the pop-drinker,goes out to check on the mummified man-ape,which bursts out of its clay-prison(off-camera,of course)and shambles off into the lemon groves,echoed nasally snarling on a soundstage somewhere.The kids return from their store trip directly,not having made out or had anything remotely resembling sex(I've been calling them squares for good reason,ya know),and the reunited would-be adventure seekers set off looking for the local pot-bellied sheriff.Meanwhile,the ancient anthropoid manages to off a sixties broad,breaking into her house through the window,its menacing papier mache face snarling and moving directly into the camera.That'll teach you to gossip on the phone late at night,lady.Sadly,this would be Bigfoot's only victim,apart from roughing the fat sheriff up a bit the next day in the orange grove,as the teacher and his posse of drapes douse the beast in two buckets of gasoline and set it on fire with a flare,remembering the science class Mason gave on the flammability of crepe wool and cheap papier mache earlier in the semester.Bigfoot burns like a marathon runner's athlete's foot,and the crowd stands idly by and watches,none of which look particularly terrified or mentally distraught over the whole ordeal.I wish I could say the same for anyone viewing at home...
Bigfoot or Marty Allen after a rough weekend in Vegas? You decide.
There's been talk for years of an alleged "special edition" dvd being released,loaded with extras and featurettes on how the whole awful mess came to be in the first place,but as of this writing,it seems to be just another urban legend.You can pick up bare bones discs from a number of companies,I chose Retroflicks personally,but I seriously doubt there's much of a difference in print quality wherever you turn(and even if there was,would it even matter for a film like this?).Nobody from this carwreck went on to any semblance of a movie career that I know about,thankfully.Make no mistakes,this is a horribly made piece of shit that will have you laughing from the hokey pre-credits sequence through all the added filler right through to the dated and awful film itself.Few movies can boast of rottenness of this magnitude,making it quality entertainment for all the wrong reasons.Whether you're a Bigfoot nut,a horror buff,or a lover of bad movies,you owe it to yourself to screen a copy asap.On the scale,Curse limps off into the lemon groves with a dismal score of:
Two buckets of gasoline and a flare and the orange and lemon groves are safe once again.


Anonymous said...

Is skunk ape Real?

beedubelhue said...

If it is,I wouldn't mind hooking up some of magic berries from the mountains he carries in a make-shift knapsack off of him.

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