by Steve Moon
Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie Jay Delaney, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Common People Productions, 2008
As a Bigfoot researcher I immediately recognized the two main characters of this film, Dallas and Wayne. Even though their lives are very different from my own in many ways, their quest, their passion, is palpable, and not so removed. Dallas and Wayne are real people, and this is an extremely sensitive ethnographic character study of each. Filmmaker Jay Delaney has given us a glimpse into their lives, and their conflicted relationship with one another. They are seen barely holding on under difficult social and economic conditions, in a depressed southern Ohio town, their hopes pinned on the fantasy of making really big money as Bigfoot researchers.
Important facets of the North American Bigfoot research scene are exposed through interviews and footage of Bigfoot legends Mary Green and Tom Biscardi. Dallas and Wayne are swept away in each of these worlds; Green the legendary 'Bigfoot whisperer', and Biscardi the opportunistic self-promoter. Each of these characters are given their due, which adds greatly to the lasting significance of this documentary. These are parallel trajectories in the lives Dallas and Wayne, but also in the lives of many a Bigfoot researcher over the course of the last few decades. Let’s just say that these scenes were very familiar.
Delaney's ability as a filmmaker is in full display as we witness the development of Wayne's character. He is repeatedly interviewed in his living room, out in the woods, and even visiting his old high school haunts. Through these many interviews the portrait of a very sensitive and conflicted human being emerges. This vulnerability imbues Wayne’s character with an endearing quality. Late in the film he learns that he and his wife are going to lose their home to a bank foreclosure, and you just can’t help but to feel his pain. The depths of Dallas's character are similarly plumbed. This is humanity on display, with no artifice and no pretense. These are just two guys trying to get by under very difficult circumstances, their plight further exacerbated by the seeming futility of their quest to prove the existence of Bigfoot, which paradoxically gives them a reason to push on..
The Oscilloscope DVD includes special features; deleted scenes, the eight steps of Bigfoot research, a photo gallery of Dallas’s 'blob-squatches' and the 2001 short video production by Delaney, American Dream. This is a camcorder production where Dallas and Wayne are introduced. Don’t miss watching any of these special features. As a Bigfoot researcher I found it all fascinating, but I also laughed a lot. Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie has been a pleasant surprise. It is a surprisingly complete portrayal of what it means to believe in Bigfoot, and to be an active Bigfoot researcher. If your Public Library doesn’t hold Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie in their collection, they can lay their hands on it fast. Check it out! It is also available on Netflix. I highly recommend this movie.
-watch a trailer for the movie below-