THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Forty-Four: The Beast

The Beast: A Bigfoot Thriller by Armand Rosamilia is an unabashed creature feature starring a ferocious Bigfoot on a mass killing spree in New Jersey during the summer of 1986.

Published by Severed Press in 2019, The Beast boasts a solid 4.2 (out of 5) with 65 ratings on Amazon. Overall, top Amazon reviewers praised the depth of the characters and the action but wished the author fleshed out the story more.

The Beast follows a pair of teenage twins, Jeremy and Jack Schaffer, who are polar opposites. Jeremy is a geek who plays Dungeons and Dragons with friends Kathleen and Randy, while Jack is a promising athlete who thinks a bit too highly of himself. It’s classic nerd versus jock.

However, the family dynamics are complicated by the twin’s unfaithful father and desperate mother. Bigfoot doesn’t care about human drama, though. The beast pounds an old man and his dog to slush by the end of Chapter 1 and sends another man to meet his maker in Chapter 9 before reality hits the fan for residents of the sleepy New Jersey town. In between, hints of the Bigfoot threat are sprinkled among the tense moments in the Schaffer family drama.

Of course, the initial suspect is a bear on the loose, and soon police officers, park rangers, and news crews are on the crime scene. One police officer, Sara Caine, seems to be the only one with the right combination of common sense and courage to solve the case. But with 250 acres of woods to scour, Sara knows the “bear” hunters will soon be the hunted the moment they enter Bigfoot’s home territory.

When the locals start hunting the “bear,” all hell breaks loose. The author Rosamilia ramps up the action and suspense in a thrilling climax, placing the twins, their friends, and their family in the path of the relentless Bigfoot.

The Beast finishes with a furious clash and a curious twist. Thankfully, both provide what readers of cryptid horror fiction often crave. After all the dust is settled and the blood is dried, The Beast is pure B movie fun in book form with a definite Jaws with claws vibe.

NEXT UP: Chapter Forty-Five: One Step Too Far. I review the 2022 novel by Lisa Gardner.


THE BIGFOOT FILES

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Thirty-Seven: Something in the Woods

Something in the Woods is an old-school creature feature that ramps up the woodsy horror and delivers a satisfying climax to The Beast of Fallow Pines trilogy. While the first two books in the series featured solemn adults dealing with their grief alone, Something in the Woods lets loose with young adults drinking beer, smoking pot, and having sex.

If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, here are my reviews of Book 1 (The Darkness in the Pines) and Book 2 (The Beast of Fallow Pines). Click on the book titles for the links.

Written by Harlan Graves, Something in the Woods instills the vibe of a Friday the 13th film as four campers battle for their lives against a force of nature hellbent on horrific violence.

The story opens with two couples, Will and Laney and Bryce and Brittany, pumping gas at one of those rundown stations you see in most hillbilly cannibal movies. They encounter a strange, old man (wearing ragged flannel and patched jeans, of course) who warns the group to stay away from Fallow Pines.

“There’s something in the woods,” he says. “Sometimes hikers go up into those pines and never come back down again.”

Naturally, the campers go up into those pines, and we’ll get to see if any of them ever come back down again. Why are dire warnings from old-timers always ignored by young adults in horror fiction? Nobody likes a party pooper, I guess.

By page 6 of the 35-page story, the author Graves rewards readers of the first two books with a familiar sight that leads to more clues and eventually another intense battle with the Beast of Fallow Pines. As I stated in my previous review, Graves masterfully writes riveting fight scenes between humans and the Beast, which is the strength of all three tales.

Like Book 2, Something in the Woods finishes on an ominous note. The final sentence blends doom with a shred of hope, signaling the end of a trilogy worth reading for fans of cryptid horror.

NEXT UP: Chapter Thirty-Eight: Letters from the Big Man. I review the 2011 film directed by Christopher Munch.