November 15, 2006

Review of Sylvanic

Cryptomundo reader relik murdoch attended the showing in Edmonton of Sylvanic, which included the twelve seconds of new Bigfoot footage talked about here on Cryptomundo. Here is relik murdoch’s review of the event.

Sylvanic Premiere

This message is for those curious but unable to see the 30 minute “documentary” called Sylvanic, supposedly showcasing new, never before seen Sasquatch footage. Well, I just saw it here in Edmonton. First, I’ll have you know that I have always believed that Sasquatch could exist and I have been fascinated by them my whole life. I was hoping that this could be the beginning of the “Sasquatch are proven era” but after seeing it, I feel I owe the Sasquatch community my interpretation. Sylvanic is just a fictional short film, and a poorly made one at that. Call it a poor man’s Blair Witch Project, if you will.

Sylvanic Premiere

Before the film started, the main guy, Todd Standing, was live and in person on stage. He gave a brief, vague description of the film. He told us that the film is a real-life, authentic documentary; a Bigfoot expedition at a secret location, a snitch on his crew, trigger-happy Sasquatch hunters. He tells us that the government has since, conveniently, barricaded the area, Sylvanic, forever. It made me wonder if a real-life “Smoking Man” might even be involved in this. At this point, I was actually still giving him the benefit of the doubt. And then the movie started.

It was pretty much right off the bat when they showed a short preview clip of some dude crying. He was being interviewed in a studio about some tragic Sasquatch event. He is clearly an actor. He is acting. You can just tell that he isn’t a genuine, real person. My two friends and I got this vibe immediately as we nudged and whispered, “Fake”, to confirm this. I had a feeling this would have been too good to be true but I still felt duped and upset. Next, we move right into the Sasquatch footage which has already lost all credibility now that I figured out this is really just someone’s lame film project. I reminded myself that my $5 admission was for charity, a good cause. The first clip is the quick, dark, blurry one that’s on the internet. It’s pretty inconclusive but not noticeably fake. Next is the much anticipated, too hot for TV, other clip. It, too, is pretty inconclusive. It could have easily just been a guy in a suit. Despite Standing’s claims, I didn’t see it do anything superhuman during the few seconds of shaky footage. The Patterson footage remains at #1 in my books. From here things take a turn for the worse.

The rest of the film follows the fake handy-cammed story of a group of teens who are accosted and tormented by Sasquatch while thrill seeking in the majestic Sylvanic. No more fake sasquatch footage though. I found the rest painful to watch. I had a hard time focusing on anything other than to make sure that the kids, along with the rest of the cast (rescue workers, the news reporter) were indeed actors, which wasn’t a hard thing to do. Although, I must say that there was one older fellow with a cap that I thought stole the show, acting-wise. The story was brutal too. A sasquatch somehow throws a kid into a creek or something, he nearly drowns, is revived and then pulls out a handgun? You lost me. The performances were at a high school drama class level and were the main factor for this not even being entertaining. Except that now, in a weird way, this has become a mystery within itself. Is there anything real about Todd Standing or is he simply just an actor/film maker? Is he a genius of some sort? (yeah, right) I hope I will get some closure in the aftermath of this.

I was afraid this would be Blair Witch wannabes. I just didn’t want it to be. I feel bad for the people, myself included, who came expecting something legitimate, possibly history changing and instead got treated to this stinker. At least do it on April 1st. I feel even worse for the poor suckers that believed it. Bravo.

Now, a few days later, I am still trying to piece together this whole stupid Sylvanic thing but there have no reviews or even mention of it by the media since its showings, but here is my take. It was a one time publicity stunt done by a crappy film maker who suckered in the local media and Sasquatch community by saying it was a real documentary when, once you see it, you can tell that’s not the case. Looking back, the actual Sasquatch footage and description of it (about the first 5 minutes of the 30 minute film) is the most believable and entertaining part, which isn’t saying a whole lot. He made it a non-profit charity event to help make up for how lame it was and to limit any backlash.

About Craig Woolheater
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.

Filed under Bigfoot, Bigfoot Report, Breaking News, Cryptomundo Exclusive, Cryptozoology, Hoaxes, Reviews, Sasquatch