With the Hunter of the Year competition underway, an amateur hunter teams up with a man searching for the mythical Bigfoot in the comedy mockumentary Hunters’ Crossing.
The year is 2017 and so far we have had two independent feature films based around a Bigfoot (Sasquatch, Yeti) and both are comedies. First we had The Bigfoot Hunters and now we have the equally wacky Hunter’s Crossing from director Zach Zeman, Following in the footsteps of the likes of Christopher Guest and Sasha Baron Cohen, Hunters’ Crossing is a mockumentary in the same vein as This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, Borat and with a little bit of The Office thrown in for good measure. All done on a minuscule budget.
Hank Williams (Noah Schindler) is a wannabe deer hunter. Having dreamt of winning the Hunter of the Year competition since it was created five years ago, he is determined to win the big prize. Whilst in preparation, Hank meets Trevor Farleys – a man who has been searching for the ever elusive Bigfoot since he was just a young boy. Along with Willis Hampton, an aging bear trapper, the trio try to complete their goals as a team.
Whilst Hunter’s Crossing does show some true potential (especially with breathing personality into a plethora of characters by the team) it does all come across on screen as a group of friends having a laugh and acting the ape in front of a camera. This may not be what Zeman and his team wanted to achieve, but it is what it is. This is not a problem though, as the camaraderie and strong bond gives the independent feature an added layer of charm and one that I liked. Yes, there are technical issues throughout – such as exterior shots being blown out, when a simple ND filter could have fixed the problems, sound issues when lav mics could have helped etc – but all this can be forgiven, especially if you take this film for what it is, a group of friends learning the crafts of filmmaking and comedy.
As for the comedy side of things, the film certainly has its moments. The dialogue can be humorous and watching the actors bounce off each other is a joy too. I’m not sure how much was scripted and how much was improvised, but I really believe the group show some real potential. The next Broken Lizard? Possibly, should they keep practicing, learning and listening. As long as they stick to their strengths, they should go far. A word to the wise though, unless you can afford some superb make-up and prosthetics – don’t have someone who is clearly around nineteen play a 50-year-old man, it’s just not believable. In fact, I believed in the crappy costume Bigfoot more than I believed that teenager to be half a century in age.
To finish, Yes, Hunters’ Crossing has its flaws and could have been shortened, but I am for one am pleased I was given the chance to watch the film. Zeman and his team show some real potential in the comedy genre and I’m sure they will be able to craft some true gems in the future.