Morgan Matthews is an award-winning British documentary maker. He's been doing it for over a decade with a BAFTA to his name for 'The Fallen' in 2008, as well as helming last year's 'Britain in a Day' with the BBC. However, with his most recent effort, 'Shooting Bigfoot', tongue is planted firmly in cheek with a documentary that approaches the idea of a series of Sasquatches sightings across America with firm scepticism. He tackles the subject matter with a false sincerity that, to the more astute viewers, can only be seen as a subtle, satirical swipe at the kind of folk that believe they've encountered the hairy beast.
As with those who claim to have been abducted by UFO's, the individuals Matthews aligns himself with are quintessential nutters. The way in which he edits and presents the footage is a stroke of genius, because it comes across as both ridiculously funny and very entertaining to watch.
Indeed, there's a distinct whiff of Alan Partridge in the mannerisms and conversations that grace his recordings, notably one scene where Tom Biscardi, a seasoned and highly focused Bigfoot hunter/entrepreneur, is interviewing a man who doesn't wish for his identity to be revealed on camera, only for Tom to say his name at the end of the very first question. It's this kind of humour that comes across as rather amusing as it maintains such brilliance throughout.
In fact, it does a fantastic job at engaging and demanding your attention with the different people he follows. Odd buddies Dallas and Wayne are by far the most likeable and come across as vulnerable and tend to be the ones you sympathise most with. Rick Dyer's an exposed hoaxer, having been proved a liar in the past with his claims of capturing a Bigfoot, so the time he spends with this volatile loner is both intense and amusing, but also quite sad, especially when he admits that he has no friends in the world. These different threads never directly cross over, but are edited around one another to great effect. Each one has something different to the other that's captured on camera and manages to keep the pace fresh and entertaining.
However, and with some issues of clarity and ambiguity, the final 15 minutes sees Matthews thrown into a 'Blair Witch' style scenario. The tone suddenly changes from frivolous bemusement to eerie and a little scary, with the outcome questionable for a number of reasons, which generates some good debate after the film ends.
With the effortless mocking nature of this, 'Shooting Bigfoot' deserves as wide a release as possible. It demands to be seen, and is the type of humour that British audiences should be able to latch on to, so if you get the chance, then don't deny yourself 90 minutes of pure brilliance.
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