South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival – As part of the SXSW Online 2021 lineup of “Episodic Premieres” — episodes from series set to begin airing soon — the first episode of Hulu’s new docu-series, Sasquatch (2021), will be making its world premiere. Put together by docu-series veterans Joshua Rofé (directing), the Duplass Brothers (executive producers), and others, Sasquatch details the journey of seasoned investigative journalist David Holthouse piecing together the truth behind a crazy story he once heard involving Bigfoot, a weed farm, a supposed triple-murder.
As an investigative journalist, David Holthouse has taken on everything from going undercover to report on drugs to infiltrating neo-nazi gangs. In the early ’90s, Holthouse found himself working on a pot farm in Mendocino County, where one evening, one of the employees rushed in from the night to detail a horrific and incredible story of a Bigfoot having torn apart the bodies of three men in the woods. Having hitherto kept such an unbelievable story to himself, Holthouse can no longer resist finding out whether the murders actually took place, nor resist finding out whether Bigfoot could be a possible murder suspect.
Throughout the episode, David Holthouse retraces his steps from almost 30 years ago, calling old contacts and speaking with sasquatch enthusiasts, dubbed “squatchers,” in an effort to find new leads for the creature’s existence, or at the very least, confirm whether the rumors of a woodland massacre are true. Centered around “The Emerald Triangle,” an area of the Pacific Northwest known for being a hotbed for Bigfoot sightings as well as for cannabis farms, Sasquatch is a pretty straightforward follow-the-host-documentary, though it does introduce theatrical elements such as eerie and chilling establishment shots of the forest, spine-tingling music, and building excitement with reenactments.
The team successfully sneaks in a few educational tidbits as well, giving legitimacy to this seemingly outlandish documentary premise of weed and Bigfoot. In detailing this famous cryptid’s history, there is even an opposing viewpoint offered of Bigfoot being peaceful and helpful to humans rather than aggressive and murderous, along with a brief history of the local Native American long-held cultural belief of the existence of Bigfoot. Furthermore, the film does not skimp on the beautiful shots of the Pacific Northwest that most Bigfoot documentaries customarily show off, detailing the thickly forested land that dutifully keeps the secret life of these ancient ape-men hidden from believers, non-believers, and apparently, a handful of curious pot-smokers as well.
Bigfoot enthusiasts will be pleasantly surprised to find Bob Gimlin himself featured as a commentator in this first episode, famous for the Patterson-Gimlin 1967 Bigfoot video, arguably the best (alleged) Bigfoot sighting footage to this day. This episode ends on an enthralling cliff-hanger and it has certainly whet my appetite towards watching the final two episodes. After its SXSW world premiere, the 3-episode docu-series Sasquatch will begin streaming on Hulu on 4/20 — a fitting day, indeed, for this documentary about Bigfoot, a weed farm, and a murder mystery.
Sasquatch reviewed as part of our South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival coverage.
7.75 out of 10
|Sasquatch – Episode 1 “Grabbing at Smoke”|
|RATING:||NR||No Trailer Available|