Remember those ’70s-era 8mm film shorts starring a north-country abominable forest creature? Neither does anyone else. But this fact did not prevent writer/director Tim Skousen from using it as the premise for his debut film Sasquatch Gang, formerly "The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang," an abandoned ode to The Apple Dumpling Gang series starring Tim Conway and Don Knotts, which would also have been a reference to a forgotten artifact from the ’70s.
It seems one might be able to deduce the filmmaker's age from his social and filmic references if nothing else, but Skousen's comic inclinations are easy to map as well: He was the first assistant director on cult favorite Napoleon Dynamite, thus the obligatory cameo appearance by that guy who played the titular character, whose name escapes one at the moment. It's not worth looking up.
As for Sasquatch Gang, it's not worth looking up, either, but the fairly elliptical premise goes something like this: Gavin (Jeremy Sumpter) and his ridiculous friends Hobie (Hubbel Palmer) and Maynard (Rob Pinkston) stumble across some Big Foot footprints and, apparently, Big Foot poop in the woods. How they could possibly know it's Sasquatch poop boggles the mind. In any case, additional ridiculous friends Zerk (Justin Long) and his shirtless buddy Shirts (how clever is that), played by Joey Kern, hatch a scheme to make some money off the, er, findings. It involves the great Apollo Creed, aka Carl Weathers, playing a "renowned" Sasquatch expert, and others. There's a girl with her mouth wired shut (Addie Land) and various escapades that add up to a giggle or two, but not much more.
Wacky characters doing silly things for nonsensical reasons seem to have become the standard paradigm for youth-oriented comedies of late (see all Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller movies), which does not bode well for those of us who prefer that our funny come from the more ordinary characters and circumstances found in everyday life rather than a conglomeration of mulletted, shirtless idiots with delusions of grandeur about things that don't exist. But whatever.
Distributor: Screen Media
Cast: Justin Long, Joey Kern, Jeremy Sumpter, Jon Gries and Carl Weathers
Director/Screenwriter: Tim Skousen
Producers: Dana Brunetti, Jeremy Coon, Randy Holleschau, Adam Kassen, Mark Kassen and Kevin Spacey
Rating: PG-13 for crude humor and language
Running time: 84 min.
Release date: November 30, 2007 ltd., December 7 NY