SAVAGE’s premise is a winner; when wildfires rage through the forest, it forces all kinds of animals to relocate, including a giant beast of legend…a bigfoot.
See, hearing that makes my toes tingle. My mind races of shots of raging fires. Rabbits, deer, bears, and birds fleeing falling timbers and clouds of thick black smoke. In my mind, I’m seeing BACKDRAFT meets DAY OF THE ANIMALS with BIGFOOT! I see a final showdown in a flaming forest with our hero and an angered Sasquatch. That movie would be the shit! Am I right?!?!
To give director Jordan Blum credit, he is working with a limited budget and he makes the best of what he does have. There are some pretty nicely paced shots of action and tension as the pissed off Bigfoot attacks anyone to cross his path. There’s a really nicely shot chase scene in the woods where CGI is used to show Bigfoot running that I haven’t seen before in a Bigfoot film. The Bigfoot runs in a more bestial manner, using his arms and legs when he runs. There’s also a very cool scene where the beast breaks through the window, reminiscent of the classic Bigfoot film, THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK. I like it that Bigfoot moves through the trees and hangs his prey there like a lion. And the opening sequence is very well done, setting the tone that this is a director who knows how to put together an original action sequence. All good stuff. These scenes show ingenuity and spunk despite a limited budget.
This is nowhere near a perfect film though. The acting ranges from decent to sub par. Talkback hero Martin “Fear does not exist in this dojo!” Kove chews the scenery as the Quint-like character in this JAWS with big feet story and Tony Becker has a down home charm that makes his role as the local forest ranger feel genuine (even though I don’t think there’s a scene without him holding a coffee cup…and he’s in half the movie!). On the other hand, out of place Anna Enger looks like she wandered off a runway and into the woods and Shane Callahan does an annoying John Cusack impression for the entire movie as a science guy researching the monster. Jack Harrison plays the Bigfoot with menace and power though; the Bigfoot scenes being the highlight of the film.
With a bit of spit and polish, this could be a pretty good film. The pacing is off. Scenes linger a bit and a good editing would do wonders. The story almost makes sense, but some better actors would sell it a bit better. Like I said, there’s a JAWS plot here that doesn’t have the impact it should, but is fun just the same. In the end, SAVAGE gets points for a cool premise, some decent acting from some, and more than a few nice Bigfootin’ scenes—a lot of which can be seen in the trailer below.
Out of 10 toes, SAVAGE = 6 FOOTS, 5 TOES!