This is a review for the SF Indie Film Festival, buy tickets for Thursday, January 31st here.
Despite the completely bizarre and outlandish premise, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot is a surprisingly somber film at times. It does indeed deliver on what you’d expect from its title, but the short action sequences pale in comparison to Sam Elliott’s absolutely stellar acting. Unfortunately, I think this movie will have a hard time finding an initial audience because of its blend of poignant drama and wackier B-movie elements.
The story mainly follows a man named Calvin Barr, jumping back and forth between two different points in his life: His time as a young soldier (Aidan Turner) on a mission to kill Adolf Hitler, and decades later when he’s a retired war hero (Sam Elliott) tasked by the American and Canadian Governments with slaying a sasquatch that’s said to be patient zero of a deadly plague.
I know that synopsis sounds like a great time for those hoping to enjoy dumb fun B-movie schlock, but The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot never really, truly embraces its craziness. However, it has the surprising elements of a slow burn drama to keep it consistently engaging.
To me, the slower scenes building up to the titular events are the most compelling moments in The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot. We see a budding romance that’s cut short due to Calvin going off to war, and his life afterwards is one of solitude and sadness, which Elliott drives home with a genuinely powerful and moving performance.
Although, the film’s action sequences are far less impressive. They aren’t awful, but it’s fairly easy to tell that The Man Who Killed Hitler and The The Bigfoot didn’t have quite the budget it needed for them. The editing, choreography, and costumes in the more frantic scenes definitely stand out as the weak points of the movie overall.
With all this in mind, I’m not sure who I can recommend The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot to. I’d imagine that its premise is too strange for those who want to watch an engaging drama, and the dramatic moments (bolstered by Elliott) take the focus away from the zaniness one would expect from a movie about a guy hunting high-ranking Nazis and mythical beasts.
That’s not to say I didn’t like it though. I found myself glued to my screen through the majority of The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, mostly because of Elliot. And while I don’t think this movie will work for most audiences, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gains a cult following in the next couple of years or so.