Humanity has long been fascinated with the idea that we may not be the only bipedal primates inhabiting the earth. From the Abominable Snowman to the fearsome Sasquatch, tales of mysterious man-like creatures have been at the heart of cryptozoology (and our imaginations) for years now, and this obsession has naturally spread to popular culture as well.
In the realm of film, no other cryptid even comes close to competing with the popularity of Bigfoot, and after all the hullaballoo surrounding the Patterson/Gimlin Tape back in 1967, these movies practically became a genre in and of themselves. The sheer amount of these flicks is why I’ve decided to compile a list of what I personally consider to be the 6 best Bigfoot movies.
While they can’t all be certified classics, I believe that these are the best representations of the Big Man on the Big Screen as of 2018. I’ve left out sillier productions like The Bigfoot Project and Harry and the Hendersons (though I absolutely adored that movie as a kid), but feel free to share your own suggestions with us below!
While the title of Patrick Magee’s creature feature may harken back to stop-motion dinosaurs battling giant apes in early 90s arcade cabinets, Primal Rage is actually a much more subdued endeavor. Featuring a unique supernatural twist on a familiar monster and genuinely frightening creature designs, this is a must-watch for practical effects enthusiasts.
Sadly, the plot doesn’t quite match the visuals, with cookie-cutter characters and a story that does little with the Oh-Mah’s supernatural origins. This is a shame when you consider that, with a tighter script, this flick might have stood toe-to-toe with several other classic monster movies.
The first of several Found-Footage films on this list, Bobcat Goldthwait’s Willow Creek stands out with a subtle and nuanced approach to both Found-Footage storytelling and Bigfoot lore in general. The Big Man himself might not make much of an appearance in this entry, but the clever script effortlessly weaves the very real drama behind Bigfoot hunting with the more mythological elements of the creature in a surprisingly believable horror story.
The slow-burn approach to what is essentially a monster movie may not be to everyone’s liking (especially once you consider the filmmaker’s bold choice of including a few excruciatingly long segments of raw, uncut footage), but this is still worth a watch if you can stomach the deliberate pacing.
Letters From The Big Man
While it’s not exactly a horror film, Letters From The Big Man earns its place on this list as one of the weirdest and most heartfelt Bigfoot movies to date. Written and directed by Christopher Munch, the film follows a young woman who befriends and attempts to communicate with a surprisingly intelligent Sasquatch.
The film shares a similar dynamic with the more recent Shape of Water, but Letters From The Big Man is a much more subdued tale of friendship with an uplifting conservationist message. This film won’t exactly shock you, but it’s hard not to root for such an unconventional pair of leading characters.
The Legend of Boggy Creek
The Legend of Boggy Creek may not be the best film on this list, but it is without a doubt the most influential. Charles B. Pierce’s 1972 classic helped to popularize Mockumentary/Found-Footage elements in monster movies and has been cited as one of the biggest inspirations behind The Blair Witch Project.
Some viewers may be put off by the ridiculously low production value and overall technical quality, but others, like myself, believe that these quirks only add to the charm of what has become essential viewing for cryptozoology enthusiasts everywhere.
Found-Footage feels like a natural fit for cryptozoological storytelling, so it makes sense that Eduardo Sanchez, half of the filmmaking duo behind The Blair Witch Project, would be the one to direct this undeniably entertaining monster movie.
While it can’t really match the success of its classic predecessor, Exists is still Sanchez’s best work since the 90s (though Altered was pretty fun, too). Sure, it might not delve much into the mythos behind the legendary ape, but the film perfectly captures the mysterious woodland atmosphere that has kept the legend alive after all these years.
In the past, I’ve recommended this film to friends as the best 80s monster movie made in the 2000s, and I still think that’s the best way to describe it. While nothing about Ryan Schifrin’s 2006 thriller is explicitly retro (though it does feature both Lance Henrikson and Jeffrey Combs in small but memorable roles), it somehow perfectly captures the atmosphere of a great 1980s creature feature.
The deaths and creature effects are highly entertaining, but Abominable‘s greatest asset are the astonishingly likable main characters and the vicious antagonist. A tight budget does hinder some of the more action-heavy sequences, but I’d still recommend this flick to anyone who appreciates the simple but lovingly-crafted monster movies of yesteryear.
That’s why, for now, I consider this to be the definitive Bigfoot movie, though I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of the legendary creature in the future.