STUDIO: Reality Entertainment
RUNNING TIME: 250 minutes
The ultimate amateur hour of Bigfoot research specials.
Jay Michael, Marlon “M.K.” Davis, Esther Schritter, and the Reality team
Does the possibilty of the existence of Bigfoot plague your dreams? Do you feels that far too much educated thought has gone into research on him and now it’s time to hear from the regular folks? This here is your chance to hear from the barely literate on the subject of large smelly ape-like things (in some cases, straight from the horses mouth).
All things considered, this should have been exactly the sort of excursion I’m usually into. If you’re reading this you probably have watched an episode of In Search Of, Sightings, or Monsterquest. I’ve watched a lot of those. As a little kid nothing intrigued me quite as much as the possibilities of new and unidentified creatures living in our woods, lochs, oceans, skies, rainforests, or whatever. If there was a book, television special, or poorly acted drama “based on true stories” involving these crypto beasts you could count me in. The Legend of Boggy Creek still holds a special place in my heart, so you know I’m not joking. I should have been the target audience for this DVD, so why did it leave me so bored.
A “Most credible eye witness account”.
The Bigfoot is Real! DVD set contains roughly four hours worth of material contained in 4 separate specials. The majority of the content on these discs consists of interviews with people claiming to have seen a Bigfoot like creature in various parts of the country. The biggest problem with this is that most of these people are not exactly reliable nor very interesting. One of the interviews on the Wildman of Kentucky disc was roughly about a half hour done in disguised voice and appearance. Why the need to have your identity disguised is mostly beyond me. Fear of reprisal from the Sasquatch? Working at a Bigfoot disproving firm? Nevertheless, it is amazingly boring hearing people talk about Bigfoot without much in the way of context, rebuttal, or at least an over the top dramatic re-enactment.
This is the problem with this set. the content has been produced by people with no scientific pedigree nor much interest in providing a sceptics point of view. Watching Monsterquest is fun despite the fact that you know they’ll never reveal that they have any sort of unimpeachable evidence It is highly watchable precisely because they put effort into the presentation of their investigations. While eye witness accounts are a good aspect of the package they are only one part of the whole. They include just as much investigating, re-enactments, and scientific points of view and they edit it together in manner that helps break up the monotony. Unfortunately there is very little on either of these discs that is of any great value outside of anyone looking for raw eye witness testimonies.
There were points early on in the Wildman of Kentucky disc when I hoped to have found an unintentional comic goldmine. There are moments of CG so bad and with a ridiculous new age bent that descriptions would scarcely do it justice. Included here are a few of my favorite moments.
I wish there had been more of this in the set. I had to laugh a few other times during the Wildman of Kentucky DVD these were on, when the Reality team decided to visit the grave of Daniel Boone all because he once was recorded having claimed to have seen a Sasquatch like creature. Perhaps the creature’s progeny would visit his grave? Then there was the section where they spent time discussing a book that gave them insight into the history of Panther Rock. Mind you, this wasn’t Bigfoot related history. There were several bizarre time wasting tangents included on the Wildman of Kentucky disc that just baffled me.
The Wildman of Kentucky disc runs around two hours and is amazingly difficult to survive. The Reality team struggle to stay on point for more than 20 minutes at a time. There are the interviews with eye witnesses, the aforementioned CG interludes, and a brief investigation into a wooded area where there have been sightings by some local hillbillies. Time is spent discussing large cats in North America, mysterious lights, Daniel Boones grave, and many other things that have little or nothing to do with Bigfoot. Making it through the disc is a testament to the viewers devotion to Bigfoot. I haven’t even mentioned the horrible rock music that plays over much of the feature, but the less said about that the better.
Why did I have to look at this for 20 minutes?
The other disc in the set included three features that ranged from about 35 to 45 minutes in length. The first one, Bigfooting in Oklahoma, was mainly the first hand accounts of one Esther Schritter, a woman who seems to have encountered Bigfoot at many times in her life over various locations. This is related to series producer Jay Michael, a strange portly man with a disturbingly uncritical ear. To say I find most of her accounts questionable might be a bit of an understatement. Again, there is no counterpoints shown nor research done on her claims. This is pure first hand recollections.
The second feature is Tale of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. Based on an episode of In Search Of, this is merely a half an hour of Jay Michael and Marlon “Mortal Kombat” Davis relating them discovering that the whole thing was a hoax almost immediately into looking into the story. Somehow I doubt many would be very interested in hearing them discuss a fake footprint and the shoe that created it for half an hour, but I leave that up to you. It should have been a 5 minute special feature, but instead they felt the need to pad the runtime at the expense of your attention span.
Finally, there is the Swamp Apes feature. If I had been putting this set together I would have included this one first. For those that would have been turned off by their brand of bullshit science, you would have been fairly warned by watching this first. This one really has no specific exclusive content, it amounts to the makers (Jay Michael and Marlon “Marvel Knight” Davis once again) relating their ridiculous theories on the supposed origin of the Sasquatch in North America. Many leaps of faith are taken in their theorizing. No real research is done and public domain clips provide images.
I still don’t know what this has to do with anything.
This set was a mighty chore to sit through. If any of this sounds interesting to you, I’d urge you to visit the Reality Films website and having a look over their selection. Somehow I suspect that your enjoyment of the DVD might come down to your reaction to their selection of titles. As it stands I couldn’t recommend anything included in this set. For the hardcore , uncritical enthusiasts only.
The four features are presented in on two bare bones discs. The Wildman of Kentucky disc has the feature with only a chapter selection making up the title. The Bigfoot is Real! disc has a menu with selection options for the three titles and nothing else. The picture quality on the BiR! disc is about as low quality as you can get, and while the Wildman of Kentucky disc is a slight upgrade it still ain’t much. I did enjoy the bullet point “facts” Included on the back cover of the DVD case, though. This may be my favorite:
• ” The smell of a sasquatch far exceeds that of a bear or other mammals, many cases report an intolerable stench when Bigfoot is in the area.”