The Wild Man of the Navidad
Running time:86 minutes
This film is directed by Duane Graves and Justin Meeks, but probably the most recognizable name associated with the film is Kim Henkel. Henkel is probably most known for his work on the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre but also worked on other notable films such as: Eaten Alive, The Unseen, and Leatherface, Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, just to name a few.
Another interesting aspect to the film is that it is based on a real legend and true events. The Wild Man of the Navidad legend is believed to be one of the first sightings of Bigfoot in Texas. It was first widely reported in 1837 throughout the early settlements along the Navidad River bottoms, circa the modern-day town of Sublime, Texas, in Lavaca County. The movie is based around this legend and around the journals of Texan Dale S. Rogers.
As, you can see the Film has a lot going for it and it appears the research has been done. I can tell you that I did enjoy the film, even though I understand many will not. The film has an overall 70's feeling to it, which again may not be appealing to some, but I liked it. The film is what many would consider very low budget. It is rather slow moving but I still found the characters interesting enough to keep me watching. While watching the film there is a sense that you are just watching normal people doing things they do everyday.
Another aspect of the film, that I liked, was the fact that there was only a handful of professional actors and some of the cast was made up from local town folks. While again, this may seem to be something not good, it works out very well. In fact, one of the best performances was by Edmond J. Geyer, a local, who plays the sheriff in the movie. He does a very solid acting job, as do several others. Even the narrator, William 'Mac' McBride, done an amazing job and he was another local person who not only did the narration but played in the film.
The Wild man/Bigfoot is where the film was a little disappointing for me. The suit is noting more than various animal skins sewn together and is just not bigfoot looking to me. While this may have been the plan, I can't help but think the limited budget played a part in the wild man costume.
The heart of the film is old classic drive-in horror movie from the 70's and on that point it succeeds. I know many will dislike this film just because of it's low budget and slow pace. People looking for a really good bigfoot movie, will probably be disappointed in this film as well. So, even though I liked the film, I know most people will not and for that fact I have given it a lower score. I guess I appreciated it for the historical documentation and the classic horror feel, more than most will. The film has a Legend of Boggy Creek type appeal to it with sprinkles of humor. The DVD version I used for this review has some very good extra features. One in particular was of the locals talking about being in the movie. So, if you do end up watching this film, make sure to watch the special features.
This film is definitely not for everyone.
Here is my final rating.
Rating: 2 out of 5
This post by Thomas Marcum, Thomas is the founder/leader of the cryptozoology and paranormal research organization known as The Crypto Crew. Over 20 years experience with research and investigation of unexplained activity, working with video and websites. A trained wild land firefighter and a published photographer, and poet.
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