Movie Review: ‘The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot’
Directed by: Robert D. Krzykowski
Starring: Sam Elliot, Ron Livingston, and Caitlin FitzGerald
Plot: A WWII veteran who killed Hitler in secret is enlisted by the CIA to hunt Bigfoot.
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is either the greatest title of all time or the worst. It is hard to say. It inherently conjures images of a crappy exploitation flick that might debut on Saturday night on Syfy channel. Best case scenario, it is a thrilling albeit spoofish take on the genre that might serve as some diamond-in-the-rough cult film. The thing is it is none of these things.
The secret really is in the title. When it first appears on screen at the beginning of the movie. The Man Who Killed Hitler was grouped on one side of the screen. The Bigfoot on the other. The and then was dead center along with a straight-line running vertically. It is then when I realized that the title isn’t stylistically and comedically long-winded. It is more like a double feature. 2 different movies: The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot.
First, The Man Who Killed Hitler is a clever stealth mission where a much younger man, dressed as a Nazi, maneuvers his way into Hitler’s office under the impression he was going to debrief the shithead only to kill him with a makeshift gun. It has an old timey feeling, not quite Indiana Jones, but close. The Bigfoot is about a regretful old man entering a gritty landscape to take on a great beast. It’s a reflection on dignity in the face of sadness told as a pretty dirty adventure yarn. But these are very short chapters in the life of Calvin Barr (played by Aiden Turner as a young man and Sam Elliot as an old man).
The movie really focuses on the “and then” part of Calvin’s life. Both his adventures killing Hitler and Bigfoot are simply prologues and epilogues to his larger life story. Calvin comes home from the war having lost his chance with the love of his life and now sits idly by waiting for all of it to be over. It’s a strong meditative performance from Sam Elliot that wrings a few nice quiet moments of regret.
It is a movie that fights expectations, which is often considered a positive. Surprising people in the cinema is sometimes that best way to make an impression. Here, though, it is a detriment. The title is long and nonsensical but for some reason it kind of rolls off the tongue. I was honestly hoping for the Repo Man/They Live esque B-movie that the title promised. The hard part is they do almost deliver it. It is a great sequence when Sam Elliot picks up a gun and is sent into a quarantined forest to hunt a quality costumed Bigfoot (the hardest part of a Bigfoot movie).
It just left me wanting so much more, but I feel guilty because they definitely succeed at delivering what they really wanted to deliver in the first place. Not a juvenile cult film but a mature character piece about legacy. So, I may have bumped the rating a little bit.