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Bigfoot Unleashed: Part VII

average rating is 1 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Sep 9, 2023

Film Reviews
Bigfoot Unleashed: Part VII
Directed by:
Don Swanson
Written by:
Joe Fishel
Valena Zitello, Joe Fishel, John W. Iwanonkiw

Forming part of a larger feature ‘The Haunting of Prince Dom Pedro’ but released as a stand-alone short, Bigfoot Unleashed: Part VII draws upon classic horror film presentation in an attempt to ingratiate itself as a self-aware B-movie, but severe lack of substance means its overall oddness is more confusing than charming.


A secretary (Valena Zitello) working for a construction company that is mining in woods of Appalachia finds herself constantly under threat from the legendary Bigfoot, who is angry at his territory being invaded. As she attempts to escape for a seventh time, it appears her luck has finally run out. But Bigfoot may not be as terrifying as he is made out to be…


Bigfoot Unleashed: Part VII is not shy about the fact that it was produced on a very limited budget, and its circumstances of being a segmented part of a longer production mean it is difficult to know exactly what it is looking to accomplish. Judged on its own, it is a highly limited short film that elicits some amusement at the hokey Bigfoot costume it employs and the call backs to B-movies of the 70s and 80s. But ultimately, it contains only the semblance of a storyline that makes little sense to viewers, and ends on a strange, disconnected and unsatisfying note that leads viewers to question what it is ultimately for or about.


Perhaps this was the point – and director Don Swanson was aiming squarely at ‘so bad it’s good’. But even the bad has to have purpose – and Bigfoot Unleashed: Part VII does not. It’s not a straight horror. It’s not a parody (or at least it is not clear what it’s parodying). It’s not a comedy. And it’s not good enough to be undefinable.


Low production values are part of the package, and the film at least tries to work with what it has, and embraces making use of this in place of what it hasn’t. The director tries some innovative shots – such as when Valena Zitello’s character is chased by the titular creature, but these are few and far between.


It’s as though someone forgot to add an actual plot to Bigfoot Unleashed. Beyond an opening title card, viewers would have zero idea about the big business/environmentalist elements to the ‘story’, and the protagonist’s previous history with Bigfoot is told solely through bizarre shots of the actress screaming. Budget restrictions really are the least of the film’s problems – the key question is what does this film try to achieve. It’s a mystery bigger than Bigfoot.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Short Film
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