Not all that bad -- just exceedingly average
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 09/25/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
""I've seen all those campy Bigfoot movies, and they aren't scary." So says one of the young female characters about midway through Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch. She's right, of course, and this film does nothing to change that fact. That being said, I really didn't think Clawed was all that bad of a movie. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but it doesn't leave out any of the necessities, either: unknown "monster," several victims, blood, annoying jock, nerdy guy, and two attractive young ladies. It even throws in the bonus of some beautiful scenery up in the forests of the state of Washington. Unfortunately, though, our Sasquatch isn't much to look at (it looks like what it is, a guy in a pretty ratty looking costume), and all we ever see him do is just stand or crouch out of sight and sometimes run through some fields. The fact that none of the actual attacks appear onscreen is another negative.
While some communities embrace their local "monster," this particular town wants nothing to do with any Bigfoot rumors getting out just before the start of the tourist season. When three hunters are brutally killed up on Echo Mountain, the mayor doesn't even want the local media to find out about it, even if it's just the standard cover story of a bear attack. With his hands pretty well tied, Sheriff Kassel (Jack Conley) can't do much more than let the local ranger, John Eagleheart (Nathaniel Arcand) search the woods on his own until such time as some professional bear trackers can get there. Eagleheart isn't alone in the woods, though. Ed Janzer (Miles O'Keeffe), the lone survivor of the recent massacre, manages to convince some of his drinking buddies to go back with him to kill the thing. Meanwhile, four teenagers also set up camp in the woods as part of a joint project they are working on for class. Jay (Brandon Henschel), your basic dumb jock, has to have an A on this project in order to graduate, and he's been teamed up with one of the smart kids, Richard (Dylan Purcell). Focusing on the grizzly bear as their chosen endangered species to report on, Jay is stoked about getting some killer video of the killer bear up on the mountain. Along for the fun are Jay's girlfriend Shea (Casey LaBow) and cousin Jenny (Chelsea Hobbs), who happens to like Richard for some strange reason.
As you might expect, not everyone who goes into the woods comes back out alive. The product description says the kids are out there to save the local Bigfoot, but that's not true - they just want to get a picture and live to tell about it. It turns out that Bigfoot may not be the biggest threat in the forest, which leads the story into a small transition as it approaches its conclusion. The comedic character of that conclusion dispels any notions you might have of any serious intentions on the part of the filmmakers.
The film has a number of obvious problems, but it all pretty much boils down to the fact that the film lacks substance. After reading other reviews, I was expecting this film to stink to high heaven (as a bad movie lover, I make a habit of seeking out such poorly rated films). Imagine my disappointment when I found Clawed to be no worse than exceedingly average."
More De-Clawed than "Clawed"
William R. Hancock | Travelers Rest, S.C. United States | 10/17/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, let's just get it out in the open; this movie is just your basic 70s/80s tv movie-of-the-week retro-horror flick , a contemporary version of the kind of thing that the broadcast networks would give you weekly in the days before cable, CGI, and Dick Smith gruesome make-up correspondence courses. Like those tv movies of yesteryear ("Snow Beast" springs immediately to mind), this one is judicious in its bloodletting,
formulaic in its plotting, and run-of-the-mill in its cinematic execution.
It does feature some acceptable acting performances and some positively gorgeous scenery...and where else would you get to see Miles O'Keefe doing a homicidal Kris Kristofferson imitation.
In order to pump up its appeal to the hormonal male sales/rental market, some interestingly nubile nymphets are on hand (with arresting thoractic protrusions), and one of these lends her...protrusions...to a brief bit of semi-nudity....all in the spirit of good teenage fun. This spot UPDATES "Clawed" from classic retro-tv fare, as does the amount of blood and gore you DO get to see in this film (as opposed to, say, the aforementioned "Snow Beast").
There has been some mention of plot-holes in some reviews here (such as why does the monster attack the hunters, but merely seem content to chase the teenagers off?). There does seem to be a reason, but you have to dig for it, as it isn't clearly brought forward by the director in his storytelling. The hunters (poachers) at the beginning of the film have been out shooting the woods up (drunk). The killing seems to begin after
the chief butthead hunter finds a place where trees are broken down and arranged as though to cover over something. The psuedo-Kristofferson moves some foliage away and peers into this camouflage work only to see a very humanlike, hair-covered hand lying deathly still within this pile of pine and cedar branches. He is attacked while snooping there and knocked unconscious.
Later on the teenagers find this same pile of branches and spot the hand itside it. The message the filmmaker seems to want to impart is that there was evidently more than one of these creatures out here and that the drunks shot and killed one of them. The mate covered up the body of the fallen Squatch and then went on a murderous rampage of revenge. It struck down "Kristofferson" at first and may have THOUGHT (wrongly) that it had killed him. He returns later, though, looking for it (and the Indian forest ranger), and the creature...either by sight, or scent, or both, recognizes its tormentor and goes after him...AND the flunkies he has brought along with him.
By the same token, either by sight..scent...or both...the Squatch does NOT recognize these kids as enemies and , consequently, does NOT attack them. It watches them..."monitors" their doings... but nothing more. In the end the creature leaves without attacking the remaining humans at all, after it sees "Rich" shoot and kill its primary tormentor.
So you see, there actually IS a story line here...it is just vaguely and ambiguously represented. You have to DIG for it...and you just CANNOT get CAUGHT UP in a story you have to DIG for!
As for the very end of this movie ( AFTER the biology teacher gets the shaft), I found the last image quite tantalizingly ambiguous. Many old Native American legends describe "the Big Man" as a Spirit Being; not a permanent inhabitant of our woods and mountains, but a kind of interdimensional "slider" that comes and goes in our reality. The last scene of this movie shows the "Squatch" as standing in the woods as though meditating, then turning to walk away. And then it vanishes into thin air...something that has been described in the book "Bigfoot", by B. Anne Slate and Alan Berry, and "The Locals", by Thom Powell. Is this what the director is implying here? That Sasquatch "comes & goes" in our world, but isn't a permanent fixture? Interesting if he is, but how does one know for sure WHAT all these directorial subtleties imply? I sure don't.
If you like grue and gore and fast-breaking , relentless horror, then skip this one. If "hurling horror" isn't your cup of tea, though, and you want something a bit less intense...while still kinda scary-spooky...then "Clawed" might work well enough for you ( though the BEST
boogery bigfoot movie out there in the DVD marketplace right now is, unquestionably, "Abominable")."
Biff Fearless | Cape Coral, FL USA | 09/10/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The latest film in the Sasquatch genre (there are enough now to call it that) is really pretty much just ho-hum. It isn't good (and what self respecting Sasquatch film would be) and it really isn't bad enough to elevate it to win a Golden Yeti as best Sasquatch film of the year. Not a lot of action here as it seems most of the killings, and with a crew of ignorant redneck hunters in the movie you can rest assured there will be killings, occur off-camera. I can understand this choice by the fimmakers as this Sasquatch is particularly rubbery and stiff. The film does feature a quick glimpse of Roslyn WA where Northern Exposure was depicted, particularly the Brick bar and grill. The film-makers took a big risk however in not casting Lance Henriksen in this Sasquatch outing as he has become synonomous with Sasquatch filmography (check him out at IMDB.com he has been in several other gigantopithecus extravaganzas)"
"Save The Bear, Kill The Mayor..."
Robert I. Hedges | 05/11/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch" (also known as "The Unknown") is a supernatural horror-thriller set in the northwest with a ridiculous premise, a lot of overacting, and a plot you've seen variations on many, many times before. It seems that Echo Mountain is Sasquatch central, and killings have begun with the deaths of poachers on the mountain. Authorities suspect bear attacks, but wise old Sheriff Drake Kassel (Jack Conley) and Native American spiritualist and Park Ranger John Eagleheart (Nathaniel Arcand, who gives the best performance in the movie) suspect otherwise. Of course tourist season is starting and the mayor wants the story buried so as to not interfere with tourist season. (Wasn't there a little movie about a shark that had a similar backstory? Oh, never mind.) Anyway, in a different subplot two high school seniors, one a brainy geek and one a stupid jock, are assigned to do a project on endangered species together over spring break by their abusive teacher. (How exactly is it fair to jeopardize the smart kid's grade when nobody else has been assigned a joint project. Wait...oh, never mind.) Of course the two boys dislike each other and that provides much dramatic tension (in the minds of the filmmakers at least.) They secure two girls and go camping to do a videotaped project on endangered species; apparently the teens had seen "The Blair Witch Project" by the looks of it. I guess the library was too obvious of a way to gather information.
Of course the poachers and teens collide in the woods in a wholly predictable mess. The bigfoot stalks both parties, but only attacks the poachers, who have some kind of weird vendetta against Eagleheart. We learn many things from this cast, most of which you probably didn't want to know. First there's the obligatory story about how the white man tormented Native Americans a couple of hundred years ago (which is not relevant to the story, but gets some ideology into the film,) then there's the detailed information about how yetis can smell menstruating women. The bigfoot nose knows.
The cast constantly irritated me, especially the dumb jock Jay Kelter (Brandon Henschel,) who I waited in vain for the entire movie to die in a horrible Sasquatch massacre. Of course the boys learn that they have much in common and bond in the woods while they are chased hither and yon by the bigfoot. Eventually they run into the remnants of the poacher sect ("We may be dumb, but we ain't stupid.") The stupidest of the poachers (and the biggest overactor of the film) gets ahold of one of the teen girls and takes her hostage in an attempt to lure Eagleheart into the open for a duel. This is perhaps the stupidest plotpoint in a film filled with discontinuity, poor editing, and questionable character motivations. Predictably, the geeky teen saves the day, everyone sees the bigfoot, and they capture it on videotape as the Sheriff shows up to wrap up the investigation.
With ten minutes or so left to run, with the poachers dead, the teens friends, and romance in the air, you would expect that the most unbelievable part of the movie had passed. Wrong! The students give their report on Sasquatch to their unimpressed teacher, and in a convoluted and totally implausible scheme frame him as foisting fraudulent bigfoot video on the public, leading to the mayor to rail against him, and obviously leading him to the unemployment office. My question: did they graduate? If they didn't do well on their project, the answer was no, so I guess not. Maybe for their summer school makeup coursework they can take a field trip to Loch Ness.
The film closes with an extremely hokey pseudo-spiritual monologue from Eagleheart, and raises the question of whether bigfoot is a corporeal being or some kind of trans-dimensional traveler of the space-time continuum. At that point I didn't know, and I didn't care.
I generously gave the film two stars for a semi-scary bigfoot (better than a lot of other movie bigfeet anyway,) and some unintended hilarity suitable for lovers of B-movies. It's nothing you haven't seen in some form or another, but it's not the worst bigfoot movie I've seen by a long shot. It comes with a "Making of Clawed" feature and some deleted scenes, which is more that I expected of a film in this genre. Bigfoot completists should see this; people who enjoy bad movies may enjoy it as well, but general audiences should stay far away from Echo Mountain and its footwear-challenged residents."