Savage: The Bigfoot Legend…Lives (2011) Review
If Savage: The Bigfoot Legend…Lives seems familiar it’s probably because it was originally released by MTI back in 2011 under the rather generic title of Savage. It got some notice at the time before going out of print and being mostly forgotten. Now Bayview Entertainment has made it available once again with a title that should make it easier to search for. The question is, do you really want to find it?
A forest fire is driving all manner of woodland creatures out of their habitat and into contact with man. And in the opening minutes a crew of firefighters and a park ranger find out it’s not just deer and the occasional bear they have to deal with.
Owen (Tony Becker, Tour of Duty, The Hunters) traded city life for a job as a ranger at Bear Valley Park. He and his wife Ellen (Lisa Wilcox, A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child, Woods Witch) much prefer the rural life and look forward to raising the soon to be born child there. But their tranquil life is interrupted by a call to investigate the missing ranger.
Elsewhere in the park Richard (Quint Von Canon, Chill Factor, Blood Ties) and his wife Gabrielle (Anna Enger, The Haunting of Hill House, The Jury) are laying low after a robbery turned deadly. And researcher Dale (Shane Callahan, The Hate U Give, The Terrible Two) and his guide Jack (Martin Kove, 3 Tickets to Paradise, Bring Me a Dream) are searching for proof of Bigfoot’s existence.
Needless to say they’ll all find out Bigfoot really does exist. Although by the time Savage: The Bigfoot Legend…Lives is over, they might not.
Savage: The Bigfoot Legend…Lives is the work of three writers, Lynn Drzick (In the Woods, Springheel Jack), Nancy Gideon and director Jordan Blum who is probably best known for his work as a writer and producer on multiple episodes of American Dad, Community, and M.O.D.O.K..
But despite there being a trio of them they couldn’t come up with any new story elements. The plot elements are all very familiar, a hero who has relocated to the woods from the city, complete with a pregnant wife for added peril, a scheme to turn much of the park into a hunting resort, the scientist who wants to study the creature, another character with reason to want it dead, a body is found but not reported, etc.
To his credit Blum handles them all a lot better than many directors of creature films. Even during the long stretch where Sasquatch is nowhere to be found he keeps things moving with scenes like a suspicious Owen crossing paths with Gabrielle and Richard and some of the exchanges between Jack and Dale are pretty well done. It’s nothing great but it’s well above the usual petty bickering among supposed friends we usually get. There’s even a sighting of something rarer than Bigfoot, a pay phone.
When he finally does show up, Savage: The Bigfoot Legend…Lives uses a combination of stuntman Jack Harrison (Dismal, The Waters: Phase One) in a suit and CGI for scenes of it leaping, scrambling up trees, etc. The creature is thinner and more agile than it’s usual portrayed as, it’s still big, just not the hulking monster you usually see. The CGI for the creature is actually quite good, especially considering when the film was made. An explosion and fire are a lot less convincing however.
There’s nothing really bad about Savage: The Bigfoot Legend…Lives, it’s not boring and the creature looks pretty good. But it’s predictable and there’s little in the way of gore to distract you from that, mostly off screen kills and the occasional body part showing up later. But it’s watchable if you’re in the mood for a creature feature, now if Kove had gone all Cobra Kai on Bigfoot, that would have made it a must see.
Savage: The Bigfoot Legend…Lives is available on some Digital Platforms, Bayview Entertainment will expand that to include AVOD Platforms like Tubi on January 1st, you can check their Facebook page for more information.