Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 7th, 2011
William H. “Bud” Hoffman, a film editor for Universal Studios for most of his career, died November 2, 2011, in Midwest City, Oklahoma, after a long illness. He was 81.
During his time at Universal, Hoffman spent five years working for Alfred Hitchcock. He was an assistant editor on The Birds and received screen credit for his work on the director’s Torn Curtain. Other feature-film credits include 1968′s The Hellcats and 1970′s Bigfoot.
Rhett Bartlett notes that Hoffman “teamed up again with the director of The Hellcats, Robert F. Slatzer, to edit Bigfoot a 1970 sci-fi schlock film about the giant monster kidnapping bikers. Slatzer never directed another film.”
Bigfoot is characterized as a 1970 horror science fiction film, which in spite of its low budget consisted of some well-known actors and family namesakes in the cast.
The film starred John Carradine as “Jasper C. Hawkes,” an idealistic and chatty Southern traveling salesman. Robert F. Slatzer directed and Chris Mitchum, Joi Lansing, Doodles Weaver and Lindsay Crosby co-starred. Producer was Anthony Cardoza and the film was a “Gemini-American Production.”
Portions of the film were allegedly shot in undisclosed mountain wilderness locations where the legendary creature Bigfoot was said to have been sighted.
The film is risqué and has sexual implications. It was a “boobs and bikers” flick, actually, which often played at drive-ins. (Is there a Bigfoot in the background, somewhere, above?)
The basic plot involves people who are captured by Bigfoot. There is a group of hunters trying to track down Bigfoot, bumbling at first, especially at rescuing the captured women. But do they do better at catching the gigantic ‘King of the Woods’ alive for public exhibition for profit victorious in the end? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
The film also involves hip young college people riding cheap imported motorcycles while they too try to rescue the captured young women.
In the middle of the film, the skeptical sheriff’s department and the ranger’s station are notified of the women’s disappearance, but to no avail on the part of the authorities, with respect to them actually successfully searching for the missing women. The unlikely hero of the motion picture is a hardy, gun-toting elderly mountain man who had previously lost one of his arms during a historical encounter with Bigfoot (the encounter is not shown as a flashback) and one of the relatively dim-witted dynamite-armed bikers. The mountain man hero’s wife, a Native American, predicts “bad medicine” (for Bigfoot, that is) just before the final man-vs-Bigfoot showdown.
Reportedly, some of the outdoor scenes in Bigfoot (1970) may have been shot near Red Bluff in Northern California because the woman (Joi Lansing) piloting the old-looking airplane calls out, “Red Bluff Radio,” during the distress transmission. Tehama County, California, is a mountainous wilderness where some hairy forest biped sightings have been known to have occurred. Tehama County was formed from parts of Butte, Colusa, and Shasta Counties in 1856. Famous early figures known for Tehama County include Kit Carson, who took part in a fight that gave name to Bloody Island and Battle Creek, Jedediah Smith, John Fremont, and William B. Ide, the first and only president of the California Republic.
William Hoffman’s final movie editing effort appears to have been 1976′s American Reunion. A few years earlier, Hoffman had concurrently begun to do a considerable amount of work in television, serving as a film editor on mid-1960s animated sci-fier Captain Fathom, on the Rod Serling series “Night Gallery” and “McCloud.” He edited nine episodes of the brief 1972 series, “The Sixth Sense,” and later worked on a number of telepics in the early 1970s: “She Cried Murder,” “The Six Million Dollar Man: Solid Gold Kidnapping,” “Skyway to Death,” “Killdozer,” “A Cry in the Wilderness” and “Man on the Outside.”
Hoffman was born in San Diego. His 42 years in the film business were interrupted for two years when he served in the Navy.
Tiring of California, he moved for the last 10 years of his life to live in Oklahoma.
Hoffman is survived by his wife, Cary Randolph (Sheets) Hoffman; a daughter; and a son.
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