Director: Zach Lamplugh
Writer: Brian Emond and Zach Lamplugh
Starring: Brian Emond, Jeffrey Stephenson, Zach Lamplugh, Derick Marchel, Dexter Fugerson, Jenna Kannell, Sarah Hitzel, and Joe Karg
Bigfoot Hunters is the directorial debut from Zach Lamplugh. It’s a satirical mockumentary about the state of journalism in the clickbait era of online news. It mimics the style of Vice, which co-writer and star Brian Emond appeared on once. Producer Tim Reis also worked for Vice, which is how the film is able to mimic the style so accurately.
Brian (Briand Emond) and his producer Zach (Zach Lamplugh) are sent to make a documentary about Bigfoot hunters. Brian, who was recently passed over for a serious news job, is fed up with the clickbait videos that he makes. His lack of effort shows and it’s causing tension between him and Zach. Reluctantly, Brian agrees to make the documentary and after a few strange occurrences he starts to believe that they may actually be onto something.
Bigfoot Hunters is made in the style of a found-footage horror film. Three men go into the woods in search for Bigfoot and end up getting in way over their head. While there is some violence and death at points, it isn’t a horror film. This is a full-on comedy and while it’s not the funniest film ever (it’s not even the funniest mockumentary of this year, that honour goes to When the Screaming Starts), there is more than enough comedy and fun here. Thankfully it also side-steps the issue that most found-footage films have and doesn’t have too much shaky-cam.
The best thing about the film is the characters. Brian looks the part of a hipster clickbait journalist and his friendship with Zach is interesting. The moments that show them as true friends, often when mocking their guide Jeff (Jeffrey Stephenson), are the highlights of the film. Jeff is also a great character. He is a renowned Bigfoot hunter, who managed to capture some footage that led to book deals and fame. It also resulted in the end of his relationship, with even his mum thinking he sucks. He’s a loner and the way he just takes the mocking Brian gives out is really funny.
Like most films in the genre, the camera is rolling at all times. They make light of it, with Brian sarcastically commenting on how Zach has to be filming at all times, including getting b-roll of him waking up. There are also some moments where other people pick up the camera to keep the story rolling. It’s done really well and never feels contrived. It’s also one of the funniest moments in the film where someone picks up the camera and gives a tour of their life.
Bigfoot Hunters is a great little film. It’s nothing fancy and there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before. It’s still funny and the characters are great. It’s pure escapism and that’s all you can ask for with a documentary about hunting Bigfoot.
Bigfoot Hunters is in cinemas 22 October and on digital 25 October from Fractured Visions
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