There are good independent films out there. There are even good independent films about nerds, such as "Free Enterprise." Then there's "The Sasquatch Gang," which I unfortunately stumbled across on Showtime one morning and decided to rent so I could watch the whole thing.
The movie is written and directed by Tim Skousen, the first assistant director on the surprise hit, "Napoleon Dynamite." It also has at least one of the same producers and also Jon Gries (Uncle Rico in Napoleon) as a sheriff and a cameo by Napoleon Dynamite himself, Jon Heder.
The material is similar to that movie as well. Like the titular hero of the aforementioned "Napoleon Dynamite," this film revolves around an immature doofus. In this case it's a teenager named Gavin, whose idea of a good time is to stage battles on his front lawn with his chubby friend Hobie and androgynous friend Maynard. They make swords, maces, and phallic instruments that I think are supposed to be spears, out of duct tape and plastic tubing. Then there's Sophie, a clerk at the local video store who thinks she's fat and so has her dentist uncle wire her jaw shut. She also has a crush on Gavin and so they go on a "date" where he teaches her to sword fight.
Now you're probably wondering, what does Sasquatch have to do with anything? Well, one day Gavin, his friends, and Sophie are walking in the woods when they find a big pile of poop and some larger-than-normal footprints. They call the sheriff, who in turn alerts the media, which in turn prompts Dr. Artemis Snodgross (Apollo Creed himself, Carl Weathers) to show up to evaluate the find.
Except the poop and footprints are fake, which would be a spoiler if not for the jumbled timeline the film uses, which actually discloses this crucial fact early on. Mullet-wearing Zerk (Justin Long of Mac commercial fame) is about to have his prized Firebird repoed for racking up $1000 on his credit card (he bought $5 of fast food six years earlier and then never paid the bill, which is probably one of the movie's funnier points) and so with his shirtless friend Shirts, decide to stage the hoax to raise money by selling Bigfoot poop and prints on Ebay.
Then there's some fuzzy story point about if the find turns out to be a hoax that Gavin will have to give away his prized video collection to his nemesis Shane. Yes, though this is supposed to be 2005 he has a collection of videotapes and Sophie's store still rents VHS tapes. I guess DVD technology hadn't reached the Oregon woods yet.
This is all similar to "Napoleon Dynamite" as I said early on, but really it seems like a pale imitation. While Napoleon was the charming tale of an immature doofus (and the immature doofuses around him) finding love and acceptance, there's no such fairy tale story to embrace here. Mostly the story is a confusing mess that probably smells as bad as Bigfoot's poo. The acting by pretty much all involved is just as bad.
You'd probably have to go out of your way to find this movie unless it's showing on Showtime or you have Netflix. Don't go to the effort.
BTW, on a side note the ending credits call the movie "The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang." I'm not sure what's up with that, except maybe the studio decided to shorten the title and no one changed the credits.
That is all.
My score: 40/100 (1.5 stars) (Though it was probably more fun than "Adventureland.")
Metacritic score: 57/100 (2.5 stars)