Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Wildman of the Navidad

Bigfoot movies will always have a place in my heart. Ever since I was a young and impressionable lad watching movies like the Legend of Boggy Creek and Curse of Bigfoot. Not to mention reading books on the topic in the library when I should have been reading the Happy Hollisters or something similar. So when I heard about the Wild Man of the Navidad and saw it was playing on IFC last weekend, I had to tape it and check it out.

You see, the little town of Sublime, Texas, has a secret that not many people in town know about. There's a giant of a man, a wild man, if you will, living down in the river bottom area of a local rancher's property. He lives in a symbiosis of sorts with him, getting fed rabbits or something as an offering. The rancher, Dale, falls on hard times when he's laid off from his job and he has to open the ranch during hunting season to make ends meet. As you can imagine, this doesn't sit well with the creature and soon he makes that known in a bloody way.

The movie looks to capture the feel of the 70s drive-in films like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, from the retro titles to the music. Picture-wise, it's a little too clean and could use some grain but the framing is spot on. The acting is a little rough as they used a lot of locals to help keep their budget down, but it ends up being more charming than annoying. The gore is good and great and well done. The attacks leave the victims in quite a state and the director isn't afraid to show it. I think the monster design, while unique, reminds me a little too much of Sweetums from the Muppets and while it looks good in certain shots, it tends to look more goofy than imposing. I think maybe showing either less of him or making it a more traditional Bigfoot design would have worked better for me, but that might just be my personal preference.

I expected more from the film, but I was pleased with what I got. If they tightened it up a little, maybe removed a unnecessary subplot about the pervy helper, it might be a bit stronger. Some more menacing shots of the creature would be nice. Most of the gore shots are pretty static, which in some cases doesn't work out too well. Still, it was a fun ride and if you're a fan of low budget horror or Bigfoot, you could certainly do worse.

Check it out.

No comments: