Since the famous footage of the crypto critter in 1967, Bigfoot enthusiasts have been taking to the California wilderness in search of more evidence year after year. Such is the object of writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest effort, Willow Creek, which follows Bigfoot believer Jim (Bryce Johnson) and his skeptical girlfriend Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) as they head to the title town in the hopes of snagging a look at the beast. What begins as a good-natured trip into the absurd ends in horror as the couple is at the mercy of the forest and those who dwell within it.
The first trailer for the creature feature is now online, along with its first poster. Unfortunately, Willow Creek uses the tired found-footage technique to get its story across while apparently doing little to advance or innovate the genre. Perhaps there’s more to the style than the trailer shows, much like there’s probably more to the bigfoot story than meets the eye, at least as far as the folks in Willow Creek are concerned. The film appears in theaters and on VOD starting June 6th, and it’s been making the rounds at film festivals of late. Hit the jump for the Willow Creek trailer and poster.
The first look at Willow Creek comes courtesy of EW. Watch the trailer, and then check out the film’s poster and synopsis below:
Described by Jimmy Kimmel as “Scary and the Hendersons” and by writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait himself as “The Blair-Squatch Project,” found footage movie Willow Creek is a radical departure in Goldthwait’s career after directing a string of black comedies (World’s Greatest Dad, God Bless America). In the great American tradition of people venturing into the woods and encountering absolutely pants-wetting terror, what starts as two dorks with a video camera having a lark in a national park metastasizes into something much deeper, darker, and queasier.
Set in Humboldt County, California, Willow Creek centers on Jim (Bryce Johnson, Pretty Little Liars) a Bigfoot believer whose idea of a romantic getaway is to head deep into Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California, video camera in tow, trying to shoot his own Bigfoot footage at the site of the Patterson-Gimlin film. That 1967 fragment of footage purporting to show Sasquatch striding along a dry riverbed became a key artifact in the cryptozoology community, and Jim dreams of nothing more than setting foot on the actual location where it was shot. His long-suffering girlfriend, Kelly (Alexie Gilmore, World’s Greatest Dad), agrees to tag along for the ride, despite the fact that she thinks Bigfoot has about as much chance of being real as leprechauns.
The two stop off first in Willow Creek, the Bigfoot capital of the world and home to an annual Bigfoot festival, where various locals talk to Jim’s camera, warning them to keep out of the woods, singing ballads about Bigfoot, and generally enjoying their 15 minutes in the spotlight while Jim and Kelly have a blast, cracking wise amidst all the touristy Bigfoot kitsch on display. But when they strap on packs and head into the forest via a two-hour drive down a dirt road, they start to feel like they might be in over their heads. Well, Kelly does, at least. Jim, as he approaches what he considers hallowed ground, is in heaven.
That night they’re awakened by mysterious sounds echoing through the woods, and whooping vocalizations that might be Bigfoot, but that might also be locals screwing with them. Either way, they’re not welcome here and so Jim and Kelly decide to get out come sun-up but, as they quickly discover, it might already be too late, and as the sun goes down for the second time and they find themselves retracing the steps of Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin they discover the truth behind Bigfoot and the disturbing meaning of the term “forest bride.”