[Guest Post by Snoqualmie Resident Susan Burk]
When I was asked to attend the premiere of the movie Hunting Bigfoot, a film by local Taylor Guterson, I didn’t hesitate.
I hadn’t been to a theater since the Covid outbreak, and the premiere was taking place at our local gem, the North Bend Theatre. I watched the trailer for the movie and wasn’t sure if I would see a documentary, a drama, or ???
I arrived at the theater to a large crowd, anxious to get inside and grab their seats for the premiere. Many of them posed for a photo with Bigfoot, who was found hanging around outside. I couldn’t help but notice the young lady wearing the Bigfoot shirt or the gentleman wearing a Bigfoot mask.
OK, it was actually Chewbacca, but I didn’t want to burst his bubble. I knew I had to talk to these two and get their take on what we were about to see.
Caris Carter, 14, of North Bend, sporting a Bigfoot shirt, was excited to be at that premiere. She became obsessed with Bigfoot after seeing an episode of Destination Truth.
Knowing Caris is a fan of all things Bigfoot, her mom, Mary McManus, spotted the upcoming premiere during the Strange North Bend Walking Tour and bought tickets for the whole family. I asked Caris if she thought Bigfoot was real or not, and while she’s not convinced Bigfoot is real, she thinks it’s certainly possible
Next up was Rich Morgan of Duvall, who I’d spotted wearing the Chew.. er… Bigfoot mask. He was attending with his wife Aurora, another fan wearing a Bigfoot shirt. When Rich moved to Washington state 7 years ago, he saw several shops with Sasquatch/Bigfoot gear and realized there was a strong connection between Bigfoot and the Pacific Northwest. He started reading more about the legend, and it took hold.
Being big fans of the North Bend Theatre, Aurora kept an eye on the summer movie schedule. When Hunting Bigfoot was listed, she knew with the movie showing at their favorite theater, it being about Bigfoot, and having been shot locally, they had to attend.
I settled into the theater surrounded by the many locals who’d been part of the film in various ways. As the lights went down, I still wasn’t sure what to expect. Cut to John, a man who is essentially homeless by choice, putting all of his efforts into proving Bigfoot existed after his own sighting many years ago.
We’re also introduced to members of the Sasquatch Saviors, who have caught Bigfoot Gold Fever. Ben, the lothario wanna be believer in Bigfoot but easily distracted by the woman around him. Chris is a big talker who wants the world to know that people who believe in Bigfoot aren’t dumb. While the goal is the same for all three, they all think they know best, resulting in hilarious interactions.
I don’t want to give the story away, but I will tell you that this is best described as a mockumentary and well done. I found myself laughing out loud many times. I did have to ask myself if the experience would be the same at a theater that wasn’t full of locals that made it more like a party than a showing, but the lines are great, and I think it would carry outside of our community.
Did he really see it? Or was it just in his head?
As he emerges from yet another long slog in the Northwest wilderness, John’s resolve remains undiminished. Long estranged from his family, John checks in to grab some provisions and touch base with some fellow sympathizers and true believers before resuming his all-consuming quest—to verify the existence of a Sasquatch he claims to have witnessed.
In Hunting Bigfoot, Seattle-based filmmaker, Taylor Guterson (Old Goats, Burkholder) skillfully melds the worlds of narrative feature and documentary film to capture this portrait of a broken man obsessively pursuing personal and professional redemption in a world where many of those close to him think he’s crazy.
Hunting Bigfoot Cast:
John – John Green
Ben – Ben Cockman
Chris – Chris Williams
Sarah – Monica Lynn (and her dog Coco)
Along with many other locals. Were you in the movie? Let us know in the comments below.
If you didn’t get to see the movie on the 6th, you have another chance Thursday through Sunday at 6 pm. Check out the North Bend Theatre website for all the details.