Directed by Fred Tepper
Produced by Fred Tepper, Alan Matz, Marte Post & Tom Zimmerman
Written by Alan Matz
Director of Photograpy Lowell Peterson
Music by William T. Stromberg
Cast: Matt Lattimore, Amy Shelton-White, Kevin O'Connor & Gary Sturm
2005/88 mins/Color/5.1 Dolby Digital
1.85:1/English/USA/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD
When I heard the title SASQUATCH HUNTERS, my immediate thought was to 70's shows like "In Search Of", where scientists set forth to find evidence that Bigfoot actually existed. (I tried to not think about junk like BOGGY CREEK II.) I longed to see a film where a group went after a Sasquatch, leading to an all-out deep-woods brawl. Unfortunately, that isn't the case with SASQUATCH HUNTERS, which reveals itself to be yet another "lost in the woods with something scary" movie.
SASQUATCH HUNTERS tells the story of a group of people who go into the forest...but not to hunt for Sasquatch. Dr. Ethan Edwards (Gary Sturm) and Dr. Helen Gilbert (Amy Shelton-White), along with their intern Louise (Juliana Dever), are scientists who want to do further research on a bone which was found in the area. This bone resembles that of a human and a gorilla, but belongs to neither. The scientists hope to find more of the bones in order to positively identify them. They are being escorted by four forest rangers, Charles (Kevin O'Connor), Brian (David Zelina), Spencer (Rick Holland), and Janet (Stacey Branscombe), as well as former ranger, Roger (Matt Lattimore), who knows the area better than anyone.
The group hikes through the woods for three days, until they stumble upon a burial ground full of suspicious bones, similar to the sample possessed by Edwards and Gilbert, who are elated over their discovery. This happiness soon ends when the group is attacked by a large, hairy creature. Lost and without supplies, the group must now find their way back to civilization before they are ripped apart by the Sasquatch.
Despite that somewhat lengthy synopsis, SASQUATCH HUNTERS is virtually plotless. What we have is; scientists have bone (not boner, mind you), group goes into woods, group gets chased by pissed-off shag carpet. There are minor attempts at character development, but this equals little more than enabling the viewer to tell the characters apart. So, when the Sasquatch begins to kill the people, there is little reason for us to care. Of course, any film that opens with a group of hunters using handguns shouldn't be trusted to deliver a deep story. Oddly, the actors in SASQUATCH HUNTERS are actually pretty good, but screenwriter Alan Matz has given them such stilted dialogue that they sound amateurish. (And each scene is crammed with way too much of this dialogue.)
As for the production, SASQUATCH HUNTERS is definitely a low-budget film. The bulk of the story takes place in the woods, with the characters moving from one clearing to the next. The last act is set at night, so we just get a lot of shots of characters walking past darkened trees. Director Fred Tepper has a 10-year career as a visual effects artist, having worked on projects such as TITANIC, DOGMA, and "SeaQuest DSV". But, that only makes the weak special effects in SASQUATCH HUNTERS even more inexcusable. The Sasquatch is times an actor in a suit, but for the most part, it is a sub-par CGI creation that does not look real.
In October, 2004 Columbia released a DVD entitled SASQUATCH, which was a film that had originally been called THE UNTOLD. Now, they bring us SASQUATCH HUNTERS, which was initially deemed PRIMEVAL. Well, no matter what you call these films, they are both disappointing, and I'm still waiting for that ultimate Bigfoot movie.
SASQUATCH HUNTERS is unleashed to DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1, but the transfer is not anamorphic. I'm not sure why this is, but it certainly stands out as odd in this age of widescreen televisions. Other than this glaring question, the image looks pretty good. The picture is sharp and clear, showing no defects from the source material, nor any substantial grain. The colors look find, most notably the lush green forest. The nighttime scenes are somewhat dark and it can be hard to determine what's going on at times. The DVD contains a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. This has to be one of the most annoying tracks ever. Someone went nuts with the bird and squirrel sound effects, as they drown out the dialogue in the daytime scenes. This problem is toned down in the nighttime scenes, where we get a nice array of stereo and surround sound effects. There are no extra features on this DVD.
Extras: 0 points
This Film Features:
Review by Mike Long. All Right Reserved. 2005. ©