Tahoe Joe 2 Poster

Tahoe Joe 2: The Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Conspiracy (2024) Review

Released in 2022, the microbudget Tahoe Joe mixed found footage and mockumentary stylings to tell the tale of filmmakers Dillon Brown and Michael Rock in their search for a friend who went missing while looking for the title creature. What they found was something more than just an ill-tempered Sasquatch.

Tahoe Joe 2: The Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Conspiracy opens with some reactions to the original and a brief recap before getting into the story. Three influencers go out to do a photoshoot based around the “Tahoe Joe Challenge” only to have Joe find them and abduct one of the trio. One of the survivors reaches out to Michael for help, and he and Dillon find themselves back in the woods.

While the first film was a pretty straightforward affair, the sequel starts throwing curves almost from the moment the duo get in the woods. The first of those was probably something they should have discussed before they headed out, but that’s another matter.

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It’s not long before they find a headless, and bootless, body in the woods which, by way of an inside joke, is that of Joshua Brucker, who, along with Brown, directed the two story film Split Screen, as well directing his own backwoods horror film, The Woodmen. And that’s just the start of it, as fake Sasquatches, murderous poachers gunning for the real thing, and government agents all come into play before this is over. And yes, the real Tahoe Joe makes his presence known, and he’s not happy to be the poacher’s target.

While it’s still a microbudget film, Tahoe Joe 2 did have a considerably bigger budget than the original and it shows. Apart from a bigger cast, there are more effects, most of which, apart from that headless corpse I mentioned, are quite good. The biggest improvement is Joe himself, who looks a lot more intimidating this time around, a transformation that’s neatly worked into the plot.

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The other big change is there’s a lot more humour worked into the script this time around. Some of it, like the jabs at influencers, has been done so many times it didn’t do much for me. Others, like their reaction to finding a wad of cash on a dead body, “Of course I’m taking it. We’re independent filmmakers, we have to fund our projects somehow.” made me laugh out loud.

Thankfully, Brown and Rock know to keep the humour in its place though and don’t let in the way of the film’s scares. Tahoe Joe 2 still has plenty of tense scenes of the duo in the dark and ominous woods, with something just outside range of their lights making noise. This time, however, there’s more payoff to those scenes.

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One payoff Tahoe Joe 2 denies us though is just why the government is so interested in Joe and Sasquatches in general, and that was my main complaint with it. This time out we have Agent Piper (Eddie Blake, Carp-e Diem, Target List) and his nameless boss (Annie Lain, Ghost, The Spoken) who have the authority to carry out summary executions. Why? Tahoe Joe 2 ends with a post credit sequence that’s an obvious setup for if not Part 3 then further adventures with the leads. Hopefully that will answer at least some of the questions that the films have raised.

Overall, though, if you liked Tahoe Joe, you should like the sequel even more. If you haven’t seen the original, you can still enjoy Tahoe Joe 2. But since it is on Tubi and is a solid film in its own right, you might as well check it out before the sequel drops.

Tahoe Joe 2: The Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Conspiracy will have its world premiere on March 29th as part of this year’s Unnamed Footage Festival. You can check the Horror Nerd Facebook page for news of a release date.

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