On the Trail of Bigfoot Land of the Missing Poster

On the Trail of Bigfoot: Land of the Missing (2023) Review

Last year Seth Breedlove gave us On the Trail of Bigfoot: Last Frontier, a look at reported Sasquatch sightings in Alaska. One of the things it touched on was the number of people who disappear there every year. This year, he puts that in the spotlight with this year’s instalment, On the Trail of Bigfoot: Land of the Missing.

Believing in Bigfoot is one thing, but accepting that they’re responsible for a large number of missing persons is a whole different matter. Especially in a place like Alaska, where there are so many other ways to get yourself killed. And Land of the Missing does acknowledge that, the sheer amount of wilderness land you can get lost in, predators such as bears, wolves, and possibly mountain lions. And then there are animals like moose, who can be dangerous if startled or provoked.

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After that though, Breedlove turns his attention to stories by Native Americans and early explorers and settlers about giant, hostile hominoids in the area. Along with that, we get the usual interviews with eyewitnesses and various folklore experts and cryptozoologists.

This leads to a brief mention of Port Chatham, the fishing town abandoned in the 1940s after several villagers were allegedly killed by Sasquatches. This was the subject of a rather poor Discovery+ show, Alaskan Killer Bigfoot, and should have been the centrepiece of Land of the Missing. A proper examination of the stories around it, proof for or against those stories, and other reasons for it becoming a ghost town would have been fascinating.

Instead, On the Trail of Bigfoot goes off on the trail of Alaska’s answer to Leprechauns and stories of UFOs leaving dead animals, including an orca in the middle of the woods. Breedlove has hit on this kind of high strangeness in some of his other films, like On the Trail of UFOs: Night Visitors, but he can’t make it sound convincing.

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This is compounded by his diving deep into the conspiracy realm, bringing up the so-called “Black Pyramid”, a government installation allegedly hidden in Denali National Park and so secret anyone who stumbles across it is killed. At this rate, I have to wonder how long it will be until we’re hearing about adrenochrome and FEMA Camps.

Finally, Land of the Missing comes somewhat back on topic with a reference to a pair of non-Alskan cases, the attack on the miners at Ape Canyon and the abduction of Albert Ostman who claimed he was taken to be husband to a young female Sasquatch. This leads into an account by a man who claims he and some relatives were trapped in a cabin by the creatures, only they were convinced they were doomed to be consumed by the hungry hominoids. Despite sounding like a SyFy film, he does sound like he believes what he’s saying.

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So, is Sasquatch responsible for so many people vanishing into the wild? On the Trail of Bigfoot: Land of the Missing comes to the conclusion that it’s probably responsible for a few of them. If it was responsible for a large percentage of them, as they say, we would know for sure they were out there. But the long history of Native stories about large human-like creatures who would kill men and carry off women and children says suggests some of those missing persons may have met their fate at the creature’s massive, hairy hands.

When it sticks to the topic, Sasquatch On the Trail of Bigfoot: Land of the Missing is interesting and some of the eyewitness accounts are convincing. But when it wanders off into the truly bizarre and government conspiracies, it’s much less effective.

1091 Pictures has released On the Trail of Bigfoot: Land of the Missing to VOD and Digital Platforms. It’s also available on Blu-ray and DVD from the Small Town Monsters website.

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