Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of Halloween 2014: Day 19

Week #4: Bigfeet
The Wildman of Navidad
Duane Graves and Justin Meeks

Sublime, Texas is a dying town along the Navidad River. It is home to Dale S. Rogers (Justin Meeks). He lives in a rundown ranch with his wheelchair-bound wife, Jean (Stacy Meeks), and his lecherous help, Mario (Alex Garcia). Legend has it that a shambling monster-man lives near his land, and just to be safe he leaves fresh meat out on the porch every night. It’s always gone in the morning. Dale loses his job, and desperate for money allows hunters onto his property. One of them shoots a figure lumbering in the distance, and soon the Wildman of Navidad comes for revenge.

The Wildman of Navidad is deliberate recreation of the Bigfoot films of the 1970s. It’s filmed in lo-fi grainy style with a quirky folk and electronic soundtrack. It’s definitely a low-budget film, you never get a very good look at the monster, but I think anything too technically proficient would break the retro feel. It perfectly emulates the more lax pace of that period, which I can see turning off anyone looking for something a little quicker and more visceral. The acting is on average terrible, but like the special effects anything too polished would break the illusion you are watching a piece of regional cinema from the south in the 1970s. The Wildman of Navidad works wonderfully as a technical exercise, but without the retro element it doesn’t stand on its own as a work of film.

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