tisdag 18 oktober 2011
I am truly a sucker for 70s exploitation, the cheap rawness of all those fun low budgetmovies that poured out back then which is why I got interested in The Wild man of the Navidad. Part of me was a bit weary of it not being to reproduce that certain mood but the reviews seemed to tell something otherwise. So I bought it and watched it. And liked it, for all its various (but small) flaws.
The dvdcover boldly proclaims "From the producer of The Texas chainsaw massacre" which usually wouldnt mean anything but from the look of the movie I would say that the filmmakers did an excellent job in emulating the look of Tobe Hoopers classics, with our without pointers from Kim Henkel. The movie is set in Sublime, Texas, the type of small town that seems to have about sixty inhabitants, all living in rundown houses miles from each other and only meeting each other at the local bar. For years everyone has been afraid of the legend of The Wild man of the Navidad, a bigfoot/Sasquatch type of creature but for Dale S. Rogers this is a bit more real. For years he has kept his lands closed due to the fact that the creature lives there but when he loses his job he decides to open it up for hunters, fully realizing what will happen. And it doesnt take long before people start to disappear.
First of all, The Wild man of Navidad really does an excellent job in creating that very special atmosphere through some nice filters, especially since it was all shot on digital video, a format not particulary gritty. The Texas in this movie is hot and dirty, just like we expect it to be. Most of the actors, at least in minor roles, seem to be people that just had the fortune of being near the locations and are accordingly poor, something that actually serves the movie well. Sometimes you feel like you are watching some sort of weird documentary about the eating habits of the local inbreds. Another strength of the movie is its fun story, with the audience following the downfall of its sleazy characters while the titlecreature starts to kill everything it can find. And the titlecreature? Good stuff. It sort of resembles the beastie in that swedish classic Invasion of the Animal people aka Terror in the midnight sun. In a good way.
If there is anything I would like to moan about is that the goreeffects are rather cheap, mostly consisting of bits of torn meat flying around as the Wild man tears its victims into tiny little pieces. But that is about it though I suppose some people will have a problem with the amateur acting of the bitplayers. If you are a fan of bigfootflicks, 70s exploitation cheeze and , uh, "grindhouse", there is a fair chance you will like this. I sure did.