Beauties & the Beast
Directors: Ray Nadeau
& Marius Mazmanian

Director: Jay Delaney

Director: James "Bubba" Cromer

Director: Shawn Hunt

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

There Are Never Enough Sasquatches!
(Cinematic Sasquatches Part VI)

Beauties & the Beast If what always disappointed you about Ed Wood films is too much artistic integrity & a complete lack of enormous bare bobbling boobies & humping hippies in the woods, then Beauties & the Beast; aka, The Beast & the Vixens; or Desparately Seeking Yeti (1974) is what you've been waiting for.

If the voice-over didn't state that this is a bigfoot, you might mistake him for a bucktooth Viet Nam vet who vanished into the wilderness & found a fur coat.

Set on the southern border of the Pacific Northwest, this sexploitation flick is an astonishingly cheap tale featuring a California Bigfoot who becomes sexually enamored of generally-naked hippy maidens (notably Uschi Digard & Jean Gibson aka "Valdesta") at a nudist camp, & starts lugging them back to his cave.

Beauties & the BeastThe bigfoot's activities are interupted by many events that do not require the creature's presence, sundry excuses for unexciting sexploitation sequences, with no story to speak of. So we don't get to see much of the sasquatch, who won't return until near the end for some semi-heroic action.

Through the middle of the film there's lots of "nudie cutie" stuff which dominated the softcore market since the 1950s, only now it's 1974 so it can be pushed a little further.

There's not a whole lot more here, beyond softcore, but the girls are actually good looking (which can't be said of everyone in the trade).

And there's even one splendid though laugh-worth dream-sequence of "nudie cutie shoot-out" version of High Noon (1952), just for the girls-with-guns fetishists.

The bulk of the film is a nonsensical tale of hippy swingers & a couple ex-cons' stolen loot, never completely developed since the real purpose of the footage is to show just lots of women's flesh to meet the needs of the seedier adults-only cinemas of the 1970s.

Beauties & the BeastAlthough, surprisingly enough, such films also made the drive-in movie circuit where whole families would be exposed to boobs & crotch-shops driving home from shopping).

The condition of films as down-market as this one is today rarely prestine. This one's long been available on the grey market in very poor condition, though there was formerly a vhs copy that was substantially better so a good copy must still exist.

It's sometimes very funny if you're in the mood for uber-schlock, & it's a real part of the history of adult cinema, pitched as it was to the "chicks & gorillas" deviants of the era. For some modern viewers it may even be sexy, though that'd require imagination since it's not really on the screen.

Not Your Typical Sasquatch Movie Not Your Typical Bigfood Movie (2007) is a lovely documentary about two unemployed old gents, Dallas & Wayne, who obviously love each other & commit their lives to the quest for Bigfoot.

These guys fall just short of Brokeback Mountain style woodland adventurers. They've invested all their dreams of a bright future on finally being taken seriously with their "evidence" of sasquatch encounters.

They sweetly combine traits of the heroic, the naive, & the foolish as they tramp about Appalachia, finding at least moments of escape & freedom from the truths of a world that has provided them with so few practical rewards.

In a world that could easily have beaten them into submission, they have instead embraced folly & friendship such as makes life worthwhile. By the end you may no longer think they're crazy, & if deluded, pleasingly so, because this is a good movie about loveable coots.

The Long Way Home The no-budget comedy The Long Way Home: A Bigfoot Comedy (2007), set in the mountain wilderness of North Carolina, is hands-down brilliant.

With something of a documentary tone, the look of the film is cheap as all hell, & yet every hick performance is wholeheartedly convincing.

Incredibly I've seen reviews that tore this film to shreds. Ordinarily I'd say such things are a matter of taste, but really, for once, it seems like some people just didn't get it, & found the "home made" cinema verite approach to microbudget comedy somehow inaccessible.

As a comedy this is so pokerfaced & sincere that I've seen it called a thriller. And if anyone really thought they were supposed to respond to this film as action-adventure, thriller, or horror, they'll be just so disappointed.

The Long Way HomeBut anyone with admiration for truly off-the-beaten-track independent cinema will delight in this films subtly bizarre nuttiness.

Right from the hysterical opening when a fat old lady is screaming, "Romaine! Romaine! Somethings got the chickens!" I'm unable to suppress giggles.

A Miami newspaper reporter pursues the truth behind bigfoot sightings in a series of interviews with wackier & wackier believers, nonbelievers, & witnesses, who are always just an inch shy of over-the-top so that the humor never passes from real human comedy into outright parody.

When the reporter begins to "believe" & starts a descent into disappointment & bitterness that his life & career suck, his quest for a highly individual truth becomes a twisted sort of internal heroism.

The Shrieking Four teens or twenty-somethings go in the woods in The Shrieking (2008) where they encounter a brown-furred ape-like creature. Filmed in 2005 & shown to select audiences the following year, the film failed to get distribution, & was eventually re-dated 2008 to disguise its history of being unwanted even by distributors of the world's worst junk.

And yet judging it from leaked scenes -- I've not seen the entirety of the film -- it's no worse than the low-end of what does get distributed. The director admits to being inspired by the Boggy Creek films set in the South, which were low-low-low budget.

So The Shrieking is set in the mountainous woods of Pierce County, North Carolina -- though filmed in all-too-tame woods near Charlotte. The director grew up in actual sasquatch country of the Pacific Northwest (where we also have a Pierce County), & manages to make the deep south seem like the northwest's temperate forests.

It begins with the discovery of a large footprint. "Three toes?" asks one of the two interchangeable gals. "Maybe it's Bigfoot" says one of the two interchangeable guys. The dialogue never gets any better than that.

As the hikers are picked off one by one, the ape suit is filmed as little as possible & mostly in darkness. The sound FX of a lion's gurgling are scarier than the costume, but only because one worries it was a sick lion, poor thing.

Some of it is suspenseful enough as microbudget horror goes. When one of the girls gets snatched in the night & lifted upward into the dark, that was well staged. But you really gotta be trying hard to like much about this film.

The reluctance to show gore means the focus is on character. And while these aren't the worst indie-actors by any means, they're really not good enough to carry the film instead of a better monster suit or gore. Still, if I spot it finally out on dvd, or if they send me the whole thing for review, I'll give it another viewing in its entirety for a more complete assessment.

Continue to:
The Abominable Snowman & Other Cinematic Yetis

Or return to Cinematic Bigfoots Part VI:
Can It Be? Even More Sasquatches
Or start over from Cinematic Bigfoots Part I:
The Horror of Sasquatch

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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