Austin Film Fest 2019: The VICE Guide to Bigfoot

The VICE Guide to Bigfoot

One journalist is seeking to find the story that will go onto define his career in Sasquatch Cinematic Universe installment The VICE Guide to Bigfoot.

Atlanta-based journalist Brian Emond is on a mission.  At first, it’s to interview a rapper in Atlanta.  Following this, the film takes us on a journey through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Brian’s career isn’t going in the direction that he wants so he jumps at the opportunity to search for Bigfoot.  Brian goes on the trail with a cryptozoologist (Jeffrey Stephenson) to find the mythic creature.  Will Bigfoot be found?  This is the beauty of the journey.

The goal here is to examine evidence and explore Bigfoot sightings.  Even in a film running under 90 minutes, the joke can only go so far.  There are times during this film that one can’t help but moan and groan at the attempts for a laugh.  Again, this just speaks to how tough it is to make a Sasquatch comedy work.  Do you go for all comedy or do you try and work in some horror.  This film goes all out for comedy and it just doesn’t work that well.  At least, in my case.

The other thing to remember here is that Zach Lamplugh and Brian Emond’s script isn’t just a Bigfoot story.  No, there’s another level of satire that they’re going for: making fun of the way VICE reports on stories.  It’s on this level in which the film does work but again, the joke can only go so far.  Think of it this way:  if this were on SNL, a few minutes would work great.  But as a feature-length film?  The idea just doesn’t hit as hard as it needs to.

Yes, it’s true.  There is no escaping the Sasquatch Cinematic Universe.  While the focus has largely turned to animation, this mockumentary delivers another live-action installment.  But is it an installment truly worthy of being in the Sasquatch Cinematic Universe?  The animation films go after our emotions while the live-action films all too frequently fall short.  I’m sorry to say that this installment goes the same way of previous live-action films.

The VICE Guide to Bigfoot may be the newest member of the Sasquatch Cinematic Universe but the joke runs past its expiration.

DIRECTOR:  Zach Lamplugh
SCREENWRITERS:  Zach Lamplugh & Brian Emond
CAST:  Brian Emond, Jeffrey Stephenson, Zach Lamplugh, Nicholas Hollins, Dexter Ferguson, Jenna Kannell

The VICE Guide to Bigfoot premiered during the 2019 Austin Film Festival. Grade: 3/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.