Somewhere along Northern California’s “Lost Coast,” a small documentary camera crew follows an elderly, paranoid self-proclaimed “Bigfoot hunter” further into the wilderness with the promise of getting a glimpse at the corpse of one of the legendarily shaggy cryptid. What they find as they venture further into the woods, I’ll leave you to discover on your own in director Corey Grant’s found footage horror film, “Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes,” which is available today theatrically and on VOD.
“Bigfoot is known worldwide, and every country has their own version,” Grant tells me when I ask him why he chose this particular creature as the subject of his film. “The Lost Coast” was actually a chance for him, as a longtime fan of the myth of Bigfoot to think about this shared fascination with something which almost no one has seen, has consistently been debunked, and yet still has a very vocal group of believers.
But this isn’t a cuddly version of Bigfoot we’re seeing in Grant’s film–I can say without spoiling too much that the intrepid camera crew will not be bringing this beast back home and letting it live with them in the suburbs. Grant was attracted to the idea of the creature as the ever-present unknown. He tells me that compared to more outright supernatural horror and masked boogeymen like Jason or Michael Meyers, Bigfoot exists on just this side of scientific plausibility, making it more threatening.
The crew in the film, lead by reality host Sean Reynolds (Drew Rausch) seems intimately familiar with the details of the Bigfoot legend, particularly the Patterson-Gimlin film, that 1967 recording by two men which purported to show Bigfoot in motion. You may have seen the grainy, more or less debunked images, but I asked Grant what else, besides this, did he use as points of reference for his film. “I read online articles and that sort of thing, and Harvard has a Bigfoot research organization [The Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center].” He tells me that he also followed details of reported encounters and sightings over the years.
One of the things that surprised him was the nonchalance of many of the reports–that some of the sightings were simply seeing Bigfoot down the street. He says that as his research progressed, it changed the direction of the film a little from the original concept by screenwriters Bryan O’Cain and Brian Kelsey. The fleeting glimpses of something out of the corner of the camera’s frame or something unfamiliar howling in the dark was how Grant was determined to make “The Lost Coast Tapes” scary, likening it to the way “Jaws” was conservative in precisely how much of the shark was onscreen at any given time.
But reading and writing about Bigfoot was one thing–Grant and his crew would have to head into the woods to actually shoot the film, something he tells me gave him some pause as a city native (and I know the feeling). “Oh man, that was scary! [Laughs] Everyday we had to travel an hour and a half by caravan. It was okay during the day, but during the night, you were constantly looking around at noises in the trees.” he says the atmosphere added to the shoot–the setting both beautiful and imposing.
Now that “Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes” is out in the wild and if he had any more horror in his future, he pointed to “The Incident at Ridewater High,” a feature he plans to start shooting this spring.
In the meantime, you can catch his current film in limited theatrical release as well as through VOD.