THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Fifty-Four: Path of the Beast 

Bigfoot: Path of the Beast is a creature feature fueled by vengeance when a man’s wife disappears, and he blames Sasquatch. No one believes him, of course, so he’s compelled to produce the body of one of the creatures.

Released in 2020, Path of the Beast is available to watch free on ad-supported streaming services Tubi and The Roku Channel. 

Written and directed by Justin Snyder, the plot is intriguing. I mean, what would you do if you thought a Bigfoot was responsible for the disappearance of a loved one? In this film, the main character John’s reaction is to drink alcohol. Snyder, by the way, also stars as John. 

The movie opens with a trip to the forest where John is hoping nature helps his wife Sarah cope with her depression. When she hands back her wedding ring to John, he walks away in disgust. Moments later, Sarah vanishes in the woods. 

Flash forward three years later, John is a raging alcoholic, and his family wants to institutionalize him. He knows Bigfoot is responsible for his wife’s disappearance and spends much of the movie in the woods trying to find concrete proof of the creature’s existence. 

There’s another plot line about a private investigator who’s hired by Sarah’s family to follow John, but for the most part, it’s all about John trying to find Bigfoot. He does encounter Sasquatch and even bags irrefutable evidence, but escaping a forest full of the creatures is not so easy. 

It’s obvious Snyder did his homework on Bigfoot, and a brief final encounter between John and the creature near the end hits its emotional mark. Also, I liked the final shot. It gives Bigfoot an unexpected layer of compassion.

Path of the Beast only has a 2.7 (out of 10) IMDb rating. Most of the negative comments complain about the acting, but fans of B-movies in general praised the film for its creative take on the Bigfoot genre. The 93-minute runtime is a bit padded, which is typical for low-budget movies aiming for feature length. 

With such an interesting story, I wondered how much better Path of the Beast would have been with a larger budget for the Bigfoot costumes. I know I probably complain too much about the lack of more lifelike creature makeup in these films, but the realism of the Sasquatch can elevate or relegate a Bigfoot film. However, I understand budgets are tight on independent features, and I’m glad creators like Snyder have the passion to make these kind of Bigfoot movies.

All in all, Path of the Beast is better than most of the Bigfoot B-movies I’ve watched, and I think diehard Sasquatch fans will enjoy it. A bonus is the movie plays the actual Sierra Sounds over the opening credits. Recorded by Ron Morehead and Al Berry, the Sierra Sounds are the gold standard in Bigfoot vocalizations. They sound as haunting today as they did when first recorded in 1971.

NEXT UP: Chapter Fifty-Five: The Hunt. I review the 2022 novella by Eirinn Cunningham.


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