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Ah, the job of a Bigfoot researcher. What it would be like to spend my life tracking an elusive creature through the woods on a daily basis. To me, tracking a legendary creature just has something so appealing about it. These creatures are ingrained in pop culture, especially, American culture. The Loch Ness monster, the Yeti and even vampires; these are creatures that have an air of mystery about them and leave many of us in awe. Is it real? Is it fake? Did the Chupacabra really just attack those goats last night? We can’t help but be interested in the unknown, it just excites us. NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE, premiering at SXSW this year, documents the lifestyle of Dallas and Wayne, two Bigfoot researchers living in a small northern Ohio town.
Dallas, who seems to be the brains of the operation, is completely and totally obsessed with Bigfoot. He eats, sleeps and breathes Bigfoot, to the point where I was convinced he probably had Bigfoot bed sheets and pajamas. Think Agent Mulder’s obsessions with X-Files and then kick it up the next level. But, that’s what makes him so interesting. He’s totally engulfed in Bigfoot mythology and lives a lifestyle so far removed from anything I would consider normal that I can’t help but watch.
Wayne, the other researcher, is a little more realistic and down to earth. He can actually carry a conversation without referring to Bigfoot. He also provides a lot of emotional moments and showed us how he balances his personal and professional life in a more realistic manner. His personality balances out the over-the-top nature of Dallas’s methods and makes the film more approachable and definitely more tolerable. If the film had just been about Dallas, as much as I liked him, I don’t think I would have liked it so much.
The running time of the movie, which clocks in around 62 minutes, serves as probably one of the biggest advantages and disadvantages of the film at the same time. On one hand, the documentary is very tight and flows very well. For a documentary that barely runs an hour, it packs in a lot of information and gives a pretty detailed look at a few weeks in the life of a Bigfoot researcher. On the other hand, it left me wanting a little more. The film follows the ups and downs of the researchers but I wish it could have gotten a little more in-depth. For example, a photo scandal the two researchers were involved in was highlighted into the film but I wish I could have seen interviews with the radio station who interviewed them and the discreditors of the photo.
As many of you can probably guess from the title of the film and this review, this isn’t a typical Bigfoot documentary. It’s mostly about the hardships and lifestyle of Dallas and Wayne. Our favorite hairy man-ape takes the backseat in the film, despite getting his name in the title. But, I really wouldn’t have NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE any other way. It’s compelling, in-depth and occasionally hilarious.