Written by Brian Brinkman and Micho Rutare
Directed by Bruce Davison
Packed to the gills with crazy action, former stars, and massive carnage, Asylum’s Bigfoot is an entertaining SyFy feature that also doubles as political commentary. Bigfoot is relentless with action sequences, the very first shots are of various animals being devoured up the food chain, until we reach man shooting a bear. Man who is quickly taken out by a huge Bigfoot! Bigfoot will run rampage through the local town of Deadwood, smashing cars, trucks, and chomping the heads off of people. There is an energy in Bigfoot that keeps it chugging along, character dismissing any attempts to stop and think as they rush into one crazy plan after another, all while Bigfoot is smashing and eating.
Bigfoot is a sequel in spirit to Mega Python vs. Gateroid. Like that film, it features two faded stars (instead of 80s pop icons Tiffany and Debbie Gibson, we have former 60s child stars Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams) who argue constantly. The monster battle aspect has been dumped for just constant monster action. Bigfoot features more minor stars in supporting roles than MPvG, but both do feature a musical icon getting killed just after they appear (Micky Dolenz gets chomped in MPvG, while Alice Cooper gets punted in Bigfoot!) Even the ending is similar, but more on that in a little bit.
Bigfoot is part of the Icy May series for MOSS – The Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit. And if you are wondering why something for May is showing up in June on TarsTarkas.NET, you must be new here! Heck, our March theme (March of Godzilla 2013) is still going on! Further Icy May entries include Gaddaar at both Beth Loves Bollywood and at FourDK, Yeti Curse of the Snow Demon at The Horror!?, Snow Devils at Exploder Button, Fist of B-List meets The Iceman Cometh, and The Great Silence at Teleport City.
The two leads, Harley Anderson (Danny Bonaduce) and Simon Quint (Barry Williams) hate each other. They are a former musical duo that had a falling out that culminated with sleeping with each others’ moms, and things just didn’t recover. The two have diverged so much that Harley is now a raging conservative obnoxious shock jock, and Quint has become a gentle granola peacenik with a harem of adoring women 1/3rd his age. Quite frankly, they’ve become stereotypical Red Staters and Blue Staters. Their different views cause constant clashing throughout the film, to the point where many people die due to their various plans being sabotaged by each other. But one side causes way more harm than the other…
Deadwood is prepping for a rocking 80s tribute concert spearheaded by DJ Harley Anderson, as he informs us via his radio show/narration. The concert is happening on a national park, and Harley gives no mind to chopping down acres of protected trees to clear room for the imagine tens of thousands of concert goers. The chopping of trees draws the attention of Simon Quint, who chains himself and his squad of nature babes to bulldozers to stop the tree carnage. The cops arrive (old timer Sheriff Walt Henderson and Assistant Sheriff Becky Alvarez (Sherilyn Fenn)) and are goaded on by Mayor Tommy Gillis (Howard Hesseman) to arrest the protesters in the name of economic necessity.
The environmental destruction and later the noise from the concert are the reasons why Bigfoot awakens from hibernation and goes on a rampage throughout the city. At every turn, Harley causes further and further problems and death, but he’s always looked on as a hero to the city and never faces any consequences. Quint’s actions are partially out of beliefs, but also just to be in opposition of Harley (Quint basically says he’s making things up as he goes along). Despite Bigfoot’s rampage, Quint wants the animal to be left alone and is making plans to capture it so it can be moved to a more isolated area. Harley instead sees dollar signs and wants to hunt Bigfoot dead or alive to set up a tourist trap at the town. He even enlists a cadre of hunters to go along with him. So they’ll randomly track down Bigfoot, cause a big stink, several hunters will get killed, then Bigfoot will rampage and kill civilians.
The town calls in the National Guard, who take their time showing up, but begin bringing the thunder when they do. Bigfoot takes a blast from a tank and we get a hint that he’s not invincible after all. But the antics of Harley and Quint continue, and soon Bigfoot is stomping around Mt. Rushmore. Things result in Harely and Quint fighting each other atop part of Mt. Rushmore while Bigfoot is stomping on another part. And here come the jets with an air strike…
The two sides have their differences, but I do not believe I am being biased when I say that Harley is largely responsible for the massive loss of life. It is his environmental destruction that awakens and enrages the beast, and his continued antics just cause more and more people to be hurt, while Harley looks for ways to exploit Bigfoot to make lots of cash. Whether inadvertent of purposefully, this is a reflection of conservative politics and how unchecked greed, corruption, and violence just leads to many needless deaths, while the elite emerge with little to no consequences. Heck, the mayor loots the town’s firefighters pension just to fund Harley’s latest scheme — and he’s still mayor at the end of film! Harley’s attempts to bring economic activity at any cost and the mayor endorsing the schemes and arresting those that stand in the path has clear parallels to conservative lines of thinking, with their pro-business philosophies that decry regulations (like the environmental and noise ones that would have prevented the town being destroyed!) While Quint comes up with ideas that may work or may not, we’ll never know because everything is maliciously sabotaged by Harley just because he can. Meanwhile in Congress, Republicans oppose everything Obama proposes, no matter how right wing it is, just because they can.
The fighting in Bigfoot between the two characters ended in their deaths, locked in combat, with Quint saving Harley at the last minute only for both to be destroyed by the military industrial complex – along with Bigfoot, and Lincoln’s face! Quint’s good intentions got many of his followers killed, as they went along with him into danger despite him having only a vague clue what to do. He did have some plans to neutralize Bigfoot, but those never came to pass, as every attempt was thwarted by Harley. Had the two stopped for a moment to work together, or simply not attack and sabotage each other, their wouldn’t have been nearly the loss of life. In America, it would be great to see both sides work together, but with the current Republican dysfunction and weak Democrats, things continue to look like we will still be fighting as an airstrike blows us up.
At the conclusion, we see statues of the two rivals dedicated as a new monument. Just why they get statues, as neither actually did anything, isn’t addressed, except that is follows the template build by Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.
Special job well done shout-outs to Sherilyn Fenn as the newer Sheriff trying to do all she can while trapped in a crazy movie, and Stephanie Sarreal Park as Quint’s follower Priya, who deserved to be the one girl who made it out alive.
Rated 7/10 (frog, flyer, rival, motion detector, tank symbol, fighting, flying)
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