MVD Visual: Bigfoot or Bust (2022) - Reviewed

Images courtesy of MVD Entertainment Group

There was a time when 73-year-old American writer-producer-director Jim Wynorski was second to (as well as protégé of) Roger Corman as a new kind of king of B-movie exploitation trash ala Chopping Mall, Sorority House Massacre II and most notably The Return of Swamp Thing in 1989.  A garbage peddler once of the most delightful order, the filmmaker definitely earned his spot in the annals of low budget American exploitation horror.  

But like most indie filmmakers working in the film medium, the tools of the trade changed from celluloid towards digital and while the technology has resulted in many visually diverse projects such as David Lynch’s Inland Empire or Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, it has exposed others like Dario Argento, Werner Herzog or in this case Jim Wynorski into an embarrassing light.  Still, that’s the least of the problems in Wynorski’s insufferable new film Bigfoot or Bust. 
Produced and released by MVD Entertainment Group in one of their first original productions, the no-budget bigfoot romp is like an even cheaper version of John Landis’ Schlock with mostly frumpy middle-aged strippers making up the cast.  Consisting of some idiot running around in a bigfoot costume while the cast of crusty cougars comprised of Melissa Brasselle, Becky LeBeau, Christine Nguyen, Cindy Lucas and Lisa London frolic about when they aren’t doing wrinkly stripteases on a trampoline, Paul Logan sometimes shows up while an offscreen Wynorski can be heard laughing in between takes when he isn’t inserting himself into the picture with random cameos.  Wynorski still has longtime soundtrack composer (and now also cinematographer) Chuck Cirino by his side who shoots the proceedings decently enough when he isn’t drunk on drone photography of opening vistas of desert mountaintops, but even he doesn’t seem to be trying too hard with this endeavor.

Something about a group of big breasted women trying to find bigfoot while another group of also big breasted women from another galaxy are trying to find the creature as well, watching this misery is a bit like performing self-sacrificial penance.  For every good or great movie yours truly has had the pleasure of watching, including two Wynorski titles, there are ones like this that rear their ugly head.  

Softcore pornography without the sex, nudity or money shots and without the humor lurking in such like minded hipster comedy flicks such as Final Flesh, Bigfoot or Bust is the equivalent of the director throwing himself a private party, filming home movies of it and releasing it on store shelves as product.  Like Lloyd Kaufman or Andy Sidaris before him, Wynorski isn’t going away anytime soon but whatever spark of imaginative exploitation was on his mind has long since fizzled out.  A real shame considering how much fun Chopping Mall and The Return of Swamp Thing still are. 

--Andrew Kotwicki