The Capture of Bigfoot (1979) poster

The Capture of Bigfoot (1979)


USA. 1979.


Director/Producer – Bill Rebane, Screenplay – Bill Rebane & Ingrid Neumeyer, Photography – Ito & Bela St Jon, Special Effects – Gary Zeller, Makeup – Vince Prentice & Tom Schwartz, Production Design – Will McCrow. Production Company – Studio Film Corp.


Stafford Morgan (Dave Garrett), Richard Kennedy (Harvey Olsen), George ‘Buck’ Flower (Jake Turner), Wally Flaherty (Sheriff Cooper), Katherine Hopkins (Karen), Otis Young (Jason), John Goff (Burt), John Eimerman (Jimmy), Janus Raudkivi (Bigfoot), Randolph Rebane (Little Bigfoot)


A trapper stumbles into town with a story about how his partner was killed by Bigfoot. Sawmill owner Harvey Olsen decides he wants Bigfoot captured at all costs and offers $10,000 to any trapper who can do so. Local game ranger Dave Garrett learns that the Bigfoot used to live in peace until upset by a geological expedition. He sets out to protect the creature from Olsen’s intended exploitation.

Bigfoot was popularised by the one-minute long Patterson-Gimin film of 1967. As a result of the buzz about this, 1970s cinema managed to get considerable mileage out of the Bigfoot legend with the likes of Bigfoot (1971), The Curse of Bigfoot (1972), The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972), Shriek of the Mutilated (1974), The Legend of Bigfoot (1975), Manbeast! Myth or Monster? (1975), The Mysterious Monsters (1975), Creature from Black Lake (1976), In Search of Bigfoot (1976), Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot (1976), Snowbeast (1977) and Night of the Demon (1980).

Some of these films had reasonable success at the box-office, although it was not until Harry and the Hendersons (1987) that any of the A-budget producers saw fit to take up the theme. All of these films played the Bigfoot story out with sensationalistic verve, with some of them even trying to convince audiences they were not works of fiction but documentaries. In most cases, the quality of the films was cheap and usually dull. By the 1990s and beyond, Bigfoot has become the regular stuff of horror films, family friendly films and comedies, and assorted Found Footage efforts. (For a more detailed overview see Bigfoot Films).

From the opening moments that contain some dreadfully insipid scenes of a team of huskies romping through the woods, The Capture of Bigfoot sets in with the feel of a trip to the dentist – as something to be endured as opposed to enjoyed. The film is tediously dull – from the flat, banal visual style, to the wholly uninvolving dramatics to the lifeless songs that fill the soundtrack, to the vague attempts at comic relief.

The Bigfoot in The Capture of Bigfoot (1979)
The Bigfoot creature

The dull script is a simplistic morality tale – about the innocent Bigfoot being exploited by corrupt businesspeople who receive their comeuppance in the end. There is an intriguingly novel turn when the plot tries to tie in Sasquatch to Indian legend and magic but this gets no development.

The most convincing part of the film is the Bigfeet themselves, which the makeup team have given surprisingly convincing facial features – although the full size Bigfeet do not convince as being anything more than people in fur suits.

Director Bill Rebane has a reputation for making some very bad films. Most of his other works fall within the sf and horror genre. Rebane’s other films are:– Monster-a-Go-Go (1965), Invasion from Inner Earth (1974), the legendary The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake (1975), The Alpha Incident (1978), The Game (1982), The Demons of Ludlow (1983), Blood Harvest (1987) and Twister’s Revenge! (1988). Who is Bill Rebane? (2021) is a documentary about Rebane and his films.

Full film available here

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