Of all the cryptid stories and accounts of high strangeness that the Small Town Monsters team cover I have to admit Big Foot is my least favourite. It’s not that I don’t believe such a thing could exist (I have no doubt it’s possible), it’s the endless sensationalist accounts that make it to general broadcast media that turn me off. As Seth Breedlove points out in this film, fear sells so its no surprise the more outlandish tales of a man eating beast roaming the wilderness are the ones often told (a sighting of a Sasquatch crossing the road or popping its head out from behind a tree are never going to makes it further than being told by a few people in the local bar!)
Unlike other film makers on this subject, Breedlove refrains from the typical sensationalist idea of sticking some grizzled woodsmen in a tent and filming them in night vision (although that is the direction I thought it was heading when the documentary opens with Breedlove showing us a property where certain sounds have been heard). Instead, this documentary focuses on first-hand accounts and the unique Alaska lore that surrounds the myth of Bigfoot in the state. Many of the participants clearly believe every word they are saying and its hard not to be convinced by such conviction, however, Breedlove is keen to point out for every theory there is an equally mundane explanation, particularly in the case of a boy who went missing in 1975 where an anonymous source says its more likely the harsh environment was responsible. And that really is the crux of of this documentary, in a state where 5 of every 1000 people go missing its no wonder we look to a monster to explain this where its much more likely the environment is responsible.
Verdict 8/10. Beautifully shot and with impressive artwork from Michael Broom, this balanced documentary occasionally veers off into the more bizarre aspects of Alaskan lore (UFO’s, secret military bases and a giant black pyramid) but it never strays too far away from its central premise and its all the better for it
On the Trail of Bigfoot: Land of the Missing debuts on major streaming platforms August 22nd, from 1091 Pictures, including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and FandangoNOW. A Blu-ray edition will be available exclusively from the Small Town Monsters shop.