The Mysterious Monsters (1975)
“This may be the most startling film you’ll ever see.”
Coming from the authoritative tones of Peter Graves, surely this has to be taken seriously. Perhaps Graves’ work here as a narrator secured him his gig years later for A&E’s popular Biography series that my family frequently tuned into.
I do think I vaguely recall the trailer for this and another theatrically released documentary, In Search of Noah’s Ark from my early years. The trailers would kick start the imagination of us young ones and of course though we wanted to see these documentary styled exposes’, our parents didn’t rush us out to the big screens to see them. So here I am eons later finally tuning in to see this time capsule featuring Peter Graves bringing the 1970’s crowd up to date on the scientific research and various sightings of the so called Bigfoot or Sasquatch and for good measure and I suppose padding the length of this film out, he’ll also go into detail on The Loch Ness Monster and the Abominable Snowman or Yeti if you prefer.
Featuring a man in a Harry Henderson suit, we’re treated to plenty of reenactment footage from eye witness accounts. Folks like Mrs. Jefferson describing her encounter and teacher Shirley Adams relaying her own experience of coming face to face with the Bigfoot. The famous Roger Patterson footage of 1967 that practically anyone born before 1980 is surely familiar with is discussed and argued over by two men of science. One disbelieving, the other quite sure the footage is authentic and the ape like creature across the pond is the real deal. Thankfully Graves doesn’t have to get in between them to prevent any fur from flying as they’ve been filmed separately.
Graves also digs into the mysterious Loch Ness monster and the various photographs of Nessy taken over the years. The one thing I couldn’t help but notice is the script’s dialogue and eyewitness accounts take the point of view that this is mostly fact. It leaves little doubt that the Loch Ness Monster is in fact real. Deep down, I too would love to believe this is the case but I’ll admit to being sceptical. For more on the Loch Ness Monster and a good deal of fun, get a copy of the Werner Herzog mockumentary, Incident at Loch Ness.
The story sways back to Bigfoot for more reenactments including a boy scout troops up close encounter with the beast and as a Canadian, I’m glad to see that this isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon, the documentary takes us north into the interior of British Columbia where the Canadian version of Sasquatch has been reported. As to phony sightings and misled hunters, watch out for a certain scam artist who gets his kicks running through snowy areas wearing a large set of boot like feet to mislead the Bigfoot hunters.
Some information is shared on the Yeti though I’d much rather watch The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas with Peter Cushing and Forrest Tucker leading the hunt for Hammer films.
Psychics, sound recordings of an apparent Bigfoot’s speech analysed opposite Peter Graves own perfect pitch and even a polygraph test given to an eyewitness to see if he’s just telling us all a tall tale comes back that he is indeed telling us all the truth. It’s all in here and as Graves points out at the final wrap up……
“The volume of evidence seems conclusive.”
I guess you had to be there maybe in the seventies when films like this, Noah’s Ark or The Legend of Boggy Creek were unleashed upon the public to fully understand the interest it generated in the minds of us little tykes. Nowadays of course with channels like Discovery, National Geographic, History etc, there are plenty of shows to feature documentary’s on the subjects that Peter Graves narrates for us in this throwback to seventies cinema and to a degree the P.T. Barnum styled release I would classify this as.
What did I learn?
Nothing I don’t believe I hadn’t heard before though I’m not sure I was aware that a strong stench accompanies most every sighting of the famous Sasquatch/Bigfoot. The authentic footage included within like the Patterson film is fun to revisit though I’m sure it’s out there on youtube by now for one and all to see.