After just having watched The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot I am immediately left with the conundrum that I won’t have much to talk about. The premise is simple, an aging World War II veteran and assassin is recruited by the government to come out of retirement to kill Bigfoot. Given the literal title that once was a popular type during the days of old exploitation films, the viewer may expect that this film would follow the footsteps of recent examples of exploitation revival. I know that I had assumptions going in; The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot would either embrace its campy premise and play it for laughs, or the film would play homage to that style and play the premise for action. Given that the movie has Sam Elliott as the main actor of the film, my guess would be the latter. What we have instead is more of a somber and meditative affair that takes its ridiculous premise for granted.
Calvin Barr (Elliott) has reached his twilight years. He is a recluse that dwells on bittersweet and traumatic memories of his past. Not a moment seems to pass before he is reminded of lost love, his days in the war, and the day he killed Hitler. Such an action has haunted him enough, as he said simply killed a man and that didn’t change a damned thing. When the FBI comes calling on him again to save the world from a diseased beast, it takes some convincing.
That’s basically it. This film is almost a sincere take on the types of story one would read in an old men’s adventure magazine. The film, however, takes itself seriously to the point that when the pulpy material eventually makes its way into the story it doesn’t really matter much. What does matter is that the director, newcomer Robert D. Krzykowski, allows Sam Elliott to chew up the scenery. This is very much his movie, and to be quite honest, that is enough for me. I do have some issues with the film, in more than one way it feels like an incomplete thought. The few action scenes are not staged particularly well and the sense of purpose at times feels lost along the way. That being said, aspiring filmmakers should take note of the film’s simplicity. A few rented props and convincing attire can go a long way to bring a small production tremendous value. While ultimately