Well, this here is interesting! You don’t see a film within a film each and every day, let alone end up seeing the movie that’s within the film long before the main film is actually finished – are you following me? “Bigfoot Unleashed, Part VII” comes from a movie called “The Haunting Of Prince Dom Pedro,” which is currently rumored to be released in 2025. It is the story of a secretary at a construction site who “has survived six previous Bigfoot attacks” and dares to ask, “Will she survive attack number seven?” Like I was tellin’ ya – all of this is interesting & you learn most of this shortly after pushing play.
Now, while I don’t recall director Don Swanson obtaining permission from my family to use the Bigfoot footage in this film, I’m ultimately okay with it. I don’t know for a complete fact that I’m related to Bigfoot; I just know that I’m hairy enough to have been called The Missing Link for most of my life. With that said, I loved the sense of humor that this film started out with as it cycled through six wildly similar chapters of “Bigfoot Unleashed” to catch you up on what you might have missed so far, and I can vouch for the fact that it was more than clever enough to have me laughing out loud within the first minute. Think about that for a brief moment here – that’s no easy accomplishment by any means. To achieve genuine laughter before a mere sixty seconds into anything we watch - is nearly as rare as an actual Bigfoot sighting would be, so credit to both director Swanson and writer Joe Fishel for pulling that off.
“Bigfoot Unleashed, Part VII” is intended to be a send-up…an over-the-top parody of yet another wild accounting of the legendary myth in nature, and it is one that absolutely works brilliantly in this lo-fi short film. The humor is more than tangible – these jokes land big-time if you didn’t sit down with the intention of adding to your research on Bigfoot for your university thesis. For the rest of us who fully understand this is meant to be funny, you’ll see material that works incredibly well right from the drop as you cycle through the brief history of parts I – VI or the scene shortly after where our heroine reaches the gate screaming for help. I want to be as clear as I can be – I wasn’t just chuckling a bit; I was genuinely laughing – and I want to thank both Swanson & Fishel for that…I needed something like this today. The whole world’s been too damn serious lately & a little Bigfoot was just what I needed.
As we stumble along with our fearless heroine trying to escape this merciless monstrosity of nature, we see scenes of Bigfoot dragging his claws menacingly on the side of tunnel walls, just like a maniac like Michael Myers would do with a knife - on his way to cut someone up. “Someday…but not today,” she proclaims as she takes a breather, resting against a tree for a moment before continuing to defy her fate and try to escape this mythological beast. The shots of Bigfoot are true to form in that you see him quickly - but don’t get too much of a close-up look at him all that often, and he makes it even tougher by expertly hiding in the forest in ways no human eye could possibly ever spot him. As our heroine stumbles in the woods and catastrophically hits her head on a rock, we have to wonder if there will ever be a part VIII, or if part VII will be the official end for this beloved secretary of a construction company.
This is, honestly, quite awesome. The aftermath is just as good as the beginning, and all the right attention to detail is there for this parody to keep you laughing. For instance, listen to the radio broadcast as the police show up, and you’ll have another chance to catch up fully on the previous six parts of this tale (you know, in case you missed them all) by learning how each ended up. Will part VII have a different ending? Will the beast ever be captured? Will this secretary ever return to her office? There are so many questions and only seven incredible minutes for them to be answered in this short film!
I don’t know how else to put what I’ve just seen other than to say it completely hit the mark, like Robin Hood splitting the arrow. Fishel, who also plays Bigfoot, and Swanson collectively achieved exactly what they set out to do, and they nailed it perfectly. Much credit to Valeno Zitello as well for her intensely dramatic performance – keep a sharp eye out for her during the next award season – this film practically couldn’t exist without her! Let’s be real here…”Bigfoot Unleashed, Part VII” has a very short timeframe to make you laugh, and it’ll go on to prove that it can several times within its seven minutes. I don’t know how it plays into the larger movie that this film will eventually become a part of, but I can certainly confirm they’ve got me interested in “The Haunting Of Prince Dom Pedro” if this is the kind of smart humor and filmmaking we’re in store for. I feel like Swanson and Fishel somehow truly defied the odds here – I’m giving this four & a half stars out of five, happily…and I’m still not sure exactly how they pulled that off. I’ve seen many things similar to this that have fallen as flat as a week-old soda pop, but “Bigfoot Unleashed, Part VII” seemed to do everything right. Fingers crossed that they’ll make part VIII!