Just don’t taunt the Bigfoot: “Willow Creek”

October 14, 2014


Okay, this is going to be a brief one since Willow Creek is a pretty slight movie, clocking in at a measly 77 minutes. Wait, really? 77 minutes? There are episodes of Doctor Who that run longer than that. Okay, maybe that’s not best example, but still. 77 minutes? Is it even legal to make a feature film that short? Well, whatever, nothing I can do about it. Given the fact this is a Bigfoot movie, and a found-footage Bigfoot movie at that, it’s probably merciful the movie’s this short.

So, yeah, Willow Creek is basically The Blair Witch Project with a Bigfoot. Um…yeah, that’s, um, that’s basically it.  Huh 111 words. New record.

Well, yeah, there’s a bit more to it than that, but wow, not much. In this movie, it’s not a team of young filmmakers, but a young couple who are out to make a movie about an unproven phenomenon.  Jim (Bryce Johnson) is a Bigfoot enthusiast who has brought his girlfriend, Kelly (Alexie Gilmore)—somewhat reluctantly—to Six Rivers National Forest to visit the site of that famous Bigfoot footage—you know, the footage where he’s just strolling along, and then looks over at the cameraman and he’s all like, “Hey,” and saunters off? So, off the bat we know that Jim’s a bit of nitwit and Kelly is a hell of a good sport.

Can someone explain to me how a dude who's hobby is "Bigfoot" scores a girlfriend like this?

Can someone explain to me how a dude who’s hobby is “Bigfoot” scores a girlfriend like this?

So, they wander around the park and meet some of the townsfolk. Some tell them whatever Bigfoot hooha they’ve been slinging for years; some are reluctant to speak on camera (fancy that), and some are downright hostile. Jim—big dolt that he is—just keeps pressing onward.

When they get close to the area where the footage was shot—Jim’s Mecca (I mean that in all seriousness, he’s a downright zealot when it comes to the ol’ Sasquatch)—things start to get ominous. Jim and Kelly are continually warned off. They even have a violent altercation with some yay-hoos, which really should have set off some alarms. I mean, what Jim need to know this is a bad idea? Dueling banjos? Ned Beatty squealing like a pig?

Yeah, this ended pretty much the only way it could.

Yeah, this ended up pretty much the only place it could.

And then something very bad and very poorly-shot happens. The end. There are a few interpretations of this scene ranging from “Timothy Treadwell-bad” to “Uh-oh, Chewbacca is horny-bad.” But they’re all pretty bad.

Willow Creek is basically a one-trick pony with that last scene being the trick. Maybe it’s worth 75 minutes of buildup watching a long-suffering girldfriend indulge her idiot boyfriend. Maybe not. You can answer that one for yourself. For me, though, Willow Creek was a bummer. It’s competently-enough made for what it is, but what it is is pretty damn slight.

When this is your boyfriend's idea of a date, it might be time to start using Tindr again.

When this is your boyfriend’s idea of a date, it might be time to start using Tindr again.

That’s too bad, since Willow Creek was made by Bobcat Goldthwait, who has built a solid second act to his career as a writer/director of some pretty bold, pretty uncompromising black comedies that are truly unlike any other movies. Look at World’s Greatest Dad or Sleeping Dogs Lie—would those movies by green-lit by any major studio?  But putting aside their inflammatory premises, they’re thorny, difficult explorations of human beings and their actions. That’s why Willow Creek is such a disappointment. Goldthwait’s seriously slumming here.

I don’t know why he decided on this project—maybe he wanted to try something different. Let’s hope he returns to form soon.

Yeah, no way that's a dude in an ape costume.

Yeah, no way that’s a dude in an ape costume.

Plus…Bigfoot. Does anyone believe that a species of huge man-apes can run around the forest and not be seen? Not be displaced by urban sprawl? And what’s so scary about them anyway? So you’re tromping around in the woods, and all of a sudden..eek! It’s a Bigfoot! Just shoot it. I mean, it’s not supernatural. It’s not a vampire or something. It’s basically a more anthropomorphic bear. Are you just going to wander in the wilderness all willy-nilly and leave yourself open to a bear attack? It’s the same thing.

What I guess I’m saying is, if you run into a Bigfoot and it eats you, well, that’s pretty much on you.

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Armchair Bigfooter.

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