Posted by: Craig Woolheater on August 27th, 2013
… Willow Creek, is currently making film festival rounds and is probably his biggest step in a different direction–not only from his early stand-up, but from the canon of his film creations: Willow Creek is a found-footage film about Bigfoot. And although it is not without humor, Willow Creek, is definitely a horror movie.
“It’s a scary movie. It’s a departure from my other movies. There’s comedy in the beginning but then it goes pretty straight-up horror,” Goldthwait told Boise Weekly.
Willow Creek, which was shot on location, is about a couple who hikes into the remote woods near the small hamlet of Willow Creek, Calif., searching for the site of the famous Patterson/Gimlin footage–the few seconds of grainy film showing a giant, hairy man-like creature walking through the trees.
Comparisons to Blair Witch Project are inevitable. Found-footage is a well-trod genre and Goldthwait’s film contains the standard ingredients: young people, scary place, mythical creature. Goldthwait said he knows the found-footage format is kind of played out, but his take on it is different.
“I only have 67 edits in this movie,” Goldthwait said. “Usually you have 1,200-1,400 in a movie, but I wanted it to feel like they really were just turning the camera on and off.”
Goldthwait also included something he felt was missing from other movies in the genre.
“I think sometimes in found-footage movies, they don’t concentrate too much on the chemistry of the [characters]. And that was really important to me–that you believe these are real people,” he said.
That authenticity was important to Goldthwait, which might be an odd thing to consider in the context of Bigfoot, but makes perfect sense considering Goldthwait’s longtime love of the legend.
“I took a Bigfoot vacation,” Goldthwait said, with no trace of irony. “I actually put 1,400 miles on my car just driving around to all the famous Bigfoot sites in California. And when I got to [the community of] Willow Creek, I was kind of thinking of a different movie. But when I got to WIllow Creek, this just seemed to be the movie to make because of the people I met there. And I found the town very interesting.
“The other thing was, I always wanted to try my hand at a suspense movie. I’m always jealous when I watch a Tarantino movie and you’re at the edge of your seat most of the time and there’s nothing going on. I’m like, ‘How do you do that? How do you make suspenseful stuff?’ That was my goal.”
Reviews of Willow Creek would indicate Goldthwait achieved his goal.
Indiewire.com called it “the monster movie of the summer,” adding that the film is “a unique representation of the tension between those who scoff at the Bigfoot legend and others willing to accept the mythology as gospel.”
Fearnet.com said Goldthwait’s film “is a refreshingly matter-of-fact horror/thriller … a calm, cool, creepy little winner.”
While Goldthwait has no plans to retire from stand-up, it’s anyone’s guess what Willow Creek may mean for his career. Regardless of what happens, he has a new subject to mine for stand-up material and, in making the film, Goldthwait learned something about himself.
“[The vacation] was a gift to the 8-year-old me,” Goldthwait said. ” I’ve always been fascinated by [Bigfoot] and what it represents and how it shows up over and over again in so many different cultures. And it took me a while to realize it, but I like the outdoors. If you go looking for Bigfoot and you don’t find him, the byproduct is you went camping.”
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Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.