Director: Robert D. Krzykowski
Writer: Robert D. Krzykowski
Stars: Sam Elliott, Aidan Turner, Ron Livingston, Caitlin FitzGerald
For a title that reads like the greatest exploitation film you’ve never seen The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot is surprisingly nuanced but don’t worry the title isn’t just window dressing and it’s certainly not what you expect.
Sam Elliott plays Calvin Barr an older man who has certainly seen that life can be a cruel bitch. As we see from the opening shots and subsequent flashback Barr is man with a haunted past and a head full of bad memories. Within a few minutes we see Calvin’s life ethos in play out, when he is robbed and reluctantly wails on some would be car thieves we follow Calvin’s lonely life to his home, where he sheds some tears over what just happened. We see Calvin getting his hair cut by his brother (a fantastic Larry Miller) and hanging out with his dog. Interspersed through all this are flashbacks of Calvin’s younger days and what happened in the days leading up to (including his burgeoning love with Maxine played by Caitlin FitzGerald) WWII and Calvin’s exploits in WWII, all leading to a knock on Calvin’s door. The FBI wants him to hunt down the bigfoot, who happens to be carrying an extinction level virus and one agent (Ron Livingston) knows about what Calvin did in WWII. Calvin turns down the opportunity before he decides to face down what he sees as his possible salvation or is it just his army days of following orders kicking in?
Sam Elliott is just outstanding in this film, it has to be one of his best performances and in a storied acting career that is large praise. He plays Calvin, laconic and principled which was just perfect, it’s Elliott’s show but Aidan Turner who plays the young Calvin is great as well.
Writer/Director Krzykowski has created something wholly unexpected, with ruminations on your place in the world, your legacy and what you stand for. Managing to imbue the film with some real heart with some great writing that is spot on. The film has a melancholy pall across it but in the last ten or so minutes of the film, it just becomes a sad film with the emotional core of the film really becomes present in these final minutes.
Sliding in some deeper issues under the cover of an outlandish yet truthful title, The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot is a low key triumph. Whilst it’s early in 2019 this will likely be in my one of my top ten films. Just brilliant.
The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot in Theaters, On Demand and Digital on February 8th, 2019.
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78