With such subgenre monstrosities as The Capture of Bigfoot and Shriek of the Mutilated among its peers, it may not be saying much that The Son of Bigfoot is one of the better entries in a fairly-maligned subgenre. Even so, this Belgian-French animated adventure comedy, which has already grossed over $50 million in foreign markets, suffers from indifferent animation and terrible music. But its characters and script are engaging enough to make the never-ending cinematic hunt for Sasquatch worthwhile.

Scruffy-haired Adam (the voice of Pappy Faulkner) is going through the perennial trials of adolescence. He’s unpopular at school, misses his long-lost father and hates his mother’s meatloaf sandwiches. But his body is changing in ways that nobody else at his school can understand. When a trio of school bullies set upon Adam, a rush of adrenaline sends his body into a strange hyper-state, as his hearing becomes abnormally acute, his strength and reflexes improve and, alarmingly, a growth spurt makes his feet burst out of his shoes. Could this young man be … the son of bigfoot?

The bullies chase Adam to his house, throwing a rock through his window and inadvertently revealing a secret stash of letters from this long-haired kid’s supposedly dead father to his mother (which leaves open the possibility of a more adult-oriented melodramatic drama called Letters from Bigfoot). Deep in the woods, Adam finds his extremely hairy father (Christopher Parson) living in a treehouse, befriending and talking to the regional animal kingdom, including a grizzly bear named Wilbur (Michael Sorich). You see, dad was a scientist who discovered he was beginning to develop certain Neanderthal traits; these made him the target of an evil hair growth company, and it was safer for him and his family if he just disappeared. And, as has become all too apparent, his son has inherited some of these traits.

The Son of Bigfoot plays out like a coming-of-age story as much as a Sasquatch movie, and as such things go, it’s not bad. Adam has to face some quirks in his family tree, but these quirks are also strengths; there are good messages here for the kids too: “Sometimes doing the right thing is hard….but the only way we stand a chance is if we work together.” There’s even some mildly amusing topical humor: when Adam asks his dad if he knows about the internet, Bigfoot, who has lived off the grid for 10 years, assures him, “I’ve got plenty of friends on MySpace.”

That’s the level of discourse in this benign family adventure, and you may well groan louder than a talking grizzly bear at such dialogue—and worse at the awful pop songs. (There may be a bit of self-critique in a scene where Bigfoot plays a home-made banjo, as if the filmmakers are well aware of questions of authenticity.) But genre fans who are more forgiving of coming-of-age movies and Bigfoot movies may find this hybrid endearing, despite all the warning signs of VOD mediocrity. If the very title The Son of Bigfoot doesn’t automatically make you run for the woods, then it might be a pleasant surprise.

Now available on DIRECTV, in theaters and On Demand

  • White Riot

    White Riot shows the joy of challenging racist bastards and thrusting a middle finger to a…
  • Alone

    If you’re looking for a mindless genre film with Donald Sutherland in the cast, there are …
  • Martin Eden

    By the time the film finally ends, most viewers will likely wonder why Marcello made the v…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also

David Byrne’s American Utopia

An arty, self-conscious oldies show that preaches to the choir and doesn’t nearly reach it…