I am a Bigfoot movie fan for the most part, and most things crypto-zoological. I just reviewed Man Beast and am getting ready to do the hacked up American version of Ishiro Honda’s Jūjin Yuki Otoko or The Abominable Snowman, but known here as Half-Human with John Carradine. Older Bigfoot movies are typically fun even when bad quality, but you run into a few that leave you more than speechless. Gasping for air might be more like it. And 1976’s Curse of Bigfoot is just such a film, and one that could only have come from the 70’s. Well, okay, not only from the 70’s, since the movies is actually an older film from somewhere between 1958 and 1963 depending on what sources you’re reading called Teenagers Battle the Thing. And I had actually sat through that marvel once and did not know that they had prepackaged the movie as this one, and if I had I may well have passed on downloading this one during the last Cinemageddon Halloween free leech period. The made for late night TV film contains all of the original Teenagers Battle the Thing film in a colorized version, but with an extra 30 minutes or so of story added later, and meant to set up a sort of flash narrative retelling of the first film. I guess this was to capitalize on the whole Bigfoot movie wave that was going on in the 70’s. Some of the added scenes are about the best part of the film in a scholcky type fashion, with lame high school lectures and the rantings of a pretty bent of shape Bigfoot expert who happens to have been on the original expedition that discovered the original Bigfoot, or Thing. I have reviewed some pretty films here, like The Creeping Terror and Manos: The Hand of Fate, but they come off as fairly watchable stuff after sitting through Curse of Bigfoot. And it is films like this that show Ed Wood Jr. was far from actually being the ‘worst film director of all time” as he is often unfairly labeled. His films are fun and watchable for the most part. Some reviewers online throw around the “its so bad its good” cliché a little too much regarding Curse of Bigfoot. It is actually so bad it stays bad without a chance in hell of ever being good in any sense of the word.
The story (of both films, since both films are the same story) is fairly simple. A group of teens tag along with a couple teachers to dig up stuff in the desert. Seems like on about the first half of the first day they start finding rare little artifacts and after a short hike discover an ancient mummy. I would assume this is a “Bigfoot” mummy or why call the film Curse of Bigfoot. We never learn anything about the mummy really. We never learn anything about anything actually, and the film drags on at a tedious and painful pace. Not that sort of artsy fartsy tedious but pretensiously, almost enjoyable, pace European films have, but at that unique tedious pace only bad American films can achieve. The film looks like it is shot on 8mm film and there is not once ounce of talent in front of or behind the camera.
In the beginning sequence the guest speaker (who I think is one of the actual characters and same actor in the first film but do not care enough to “research” on to support my theory) rants about how members of the expedition wound in mental hospitals mumblings to themselves for the rest of their lives. But why? They went insane because nothing ever happened maybe. At the end of the film they stand around half asleep watching the crappy ass monster piñata burn to death. Perhaps he means the original actors went insane for being a part of this odd project and they are receiving their just karmuic desserts. Watch at your own peril.