VOD Releases: Sasq-watch! (2017) - Reviewed

 The legendary creature known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch has existed as a part of American folklore for centuries, with stories first told by Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest. The creatures’ popularity has grown over the years and is probably only outmatched in its obsession by people who are interested in the search for aliens and UFO’s. There are still many people who believe in its existence, most notably cryptozoologists, and continue to seek out evidence that proof that it is more than myth or folklore. Bigfoot is a veritable pop culture phenomenon and is as popular and recognizable as any sports figure or movie icon, being featured in countless books and movies. Most films depicting the creature tend to fit in the horror genre, with only Harry and the Hendersons really falling into the comedy genre. 

The new film Sasq-Watch! is a strange and surprisingly hysterical foray into the comedic realm for the Bigfoot legend that is reminiscent of comedies such as Hot Rod and Strange Wilderness, or television series like The Office or Parks and Recreation. While the antics are slightly more toned down than those movies or TV series, it still contains a group of unusual characters, some witty dialogue and funny physical comedy scenes, and a standout performance from Adam Herschman.

The story involves a pair of brothers, Nigel and Oscar, who have gotten funding for a sasquatch expedition, in which they hope to find conclusive evidence of the creature and win the $500,000 prize from the Damien Hogel Foundation Nigel is the more obsessed of the two brothers, while Oscar is the more dimwitted one along for the ride. With the loss of their original guide and the arrival of their competitor Claus, they must enlist the help of a rugged outdoorsman and a female companion in hopes of finding the mythical beast first. 

The film is shot in a documentary style similar to The Office and Parks and Recreation, mixed with a few cinematic scenes, vignettes set to music, comedic bits, and an animated sequence. Nigel provides narration throughout the film along with on-camera interviews, which most of the cast does as well. There is a plot and the mild dramatic moment that you might expect from this type of comedy, but it is mostly a setup for the various bits that the writer has come up with. That being said, depending on your taste in comedy, it’s wildly funny. As with the films and television shows mentioned above, most of the humorous moments and scenes are borne out of the characters being played completely deadpan. The acting is spot on from the small cast. 

Paul Brittain (Nigel) and Adam Herschman (Oscar) are the focal point and subsequently get the most screen time and the best moments. They are very similar to other comedy duos like Abbott and Costello or David Spade and Chris Farley, in that one plays the straight man and the other plays the bumbling fatty. As mentioned previously, it is toned down and the performances are not quite as outrageous as those other duos. But, it works for this film and adds to the believability of these characters. Brittain is good in his portrayal of Nigel, but is far out staged by Herschman who absolutely kills it as Oscar. Whether it was written that way or it was Herschman’s delivery and mannerisms, it seemed like he had all of the best one-liners and onscreen moments. 

Christine Bently plays the sort of stereotypical bitchy hot chick, who isn’t happy with being forced to go on this wilderness adventure. Neil Flynn portrays Samson, the crazy guide that they are forced to hire. Both Flynn and Bently have significant screen time, but they end up taking a back seat most of time and are there mostly to further the plot and antics of Brittain and Herschman. They do both still manage to get at least one moment to stand out. Tim Meadows plays Claus in a minor role and as always the former SNL cast member manages to delivers the typically perfect Meadows performance. 

Available now on VOD, Sasq-Watch! is a movie that will only appeal to a certain niche audience that enjoys comedies with quirky characters and outlandish situations. If you enjoy any of the above mentioned films or television shows or are a fan of Saturday Night Live, then this may interest you. 

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