The Bigfoot Filmography
McFarland & Company
Reviewed for LibraryThing
The difficulty in reviewing a book like The Bigfoot Filmography by David Coleman (McFarland & Company, 2012) is the sheer scope of the project, as evidenced by the first section, which opens with Georges Méliès and ends with Wookies. The book’s minor shortcomings are a result of the size of the project, not the outstanding scholarship.
The back cover claims it is “every known film or television appearance” of the elusive hominid. Such a claim was bound to be considered a challenge by the OCD crowd. And indeed Coleman missed a handful of entries. Overlooking short comedy films like Yeti Vengeance (2004) and microbudget flicks like Eyes In The Dark (2007) is understandable, but if you’re going to include commercials from regional television, it’s harder to accept the omission of indie films like Sasqua (1975) or Assault of the Sasquatch (2009) or the “Subject: Sunrise at Sunset Streams” episode of the television series FreakyLinks with Betsy Palmer being stalked by a yeti at a retirement village.
OCD issues aside, the only real complaint I consider legitimate is cross referencing in the index, or lack thereof. Too many of the included films were released under one title, re-titled for VHS sales and re-re-titled for DVD. It would make the index longer, but easier to use. In several cases, I had to go to IMDB to find a variant title for a film I couldn’t find but knew had to be included.
Now for the good stuff, which greatly outweighs these minor distractions – It is a great book, covering big budget releases and TV appearance as well as ridiculously obscure films and movies so bad I wouldn’t even admit I saw them, let alone publish such an admission!
The first section of the book is an insightful review of the development of Bigfoot/Yeti/Sasquatch films into a distinctive film genre unto itself, discussing the evolution (so to speak) from apes, ape men, giant apes and simian planets.
The middle section of the book is the heart of the project, a massive alphabetical filmography, filled with synopses and sprinkled generously with wry and occasionally snarky comments. Some entries are brief; some are long. None are uninteresting.
The final section is a series of Q&As with Bigfoot film directors Ryan Schifrin, Kevin Tenney, Michael Worth, Timothy Skousen and animator Adam Muto. I’m not a big fan of Q&As as rule, simply because the interviewer asks the wrong questions. Coleman does a refreshingly thorough job of asking the right question and actually following up.
All in all, The Bigfoot Filmography is a solid book, written with enough of the author’s opinions to make it informative yet entertaining. It is amply illustrated with press shots and posters and includes a foreword by Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum.
I heartily recommend this book for film fans and budding cryptozoologists alike.