THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Forty: David Ford

Man vs. Bigfoot and Something in the Woods are a pair of gritty independent Bigfoot films written by, directed by, and starring the same man: East Texas native David Ford.

What the movies lack in budget, Ford replaces with old-fashioned, heartfelt storytelling that’s missing in most Bigfoot creature features.

Both films feature a Christian man trying to protect his family from Bigfoot. The legendary beasts are portrayed as monsters lurking in the woods with seemingly animalistic urges. However, their motivations are initially misunderstood.

The two films are available to watch free on the ad-supported streaming service Tubi.

Released in 2021, Man vs. Bigfoot is produced by GodZone Ministry, Saving Oscar Productions, and Random Media. It’s about a man named Jack who searches for his brother after he goes missing on a hiking trail. Jack soon finds himself in a game of cat-and-mouse with an angry Bigfoot.

Ford’s first Bigfoot film, Something in the Woods is loosely inspired by events reported about the Cowman of Copalis Beach. The story follows the Hartman family and their encounters with a Bigfoot stalking their farmhouse in the late 1960s. Released in 2015, Something in the Woods is produced by GodZone Ministry and Saving Oscar Productions. Tony Gibson also directed the movie with Ford.

A former teacher who works in advertising, Ford grew up in the small town of Harleton, Texas, and now lives in neighboring Hallsville. His interest in acting and filmmaking started after college.

“I have been messing around with a video camera since I was in the seventh grade, doing skits with my friends,” Ford said in an exclusive interview for THE BIGFOOT FILES. “I didn’t get serious about acting until I graduated college and did some acting on the side while being a teacher. I did one indie film with a local guy and realized that I too could probably make a movie after watching him do it. I learned a lot from my first film and just continued to grow with each film.”

Bigfoot sightings in East Texas stimulated Ford’s interest in the popular cryptid.

“My interest in Bigfoot started just through reading the research and evidence over the past 50 years in reports and stuff,” Ford said. “I wasn’t aware that East Texas was a hot spot for sightings at that time and when I read a report of several sightings in my area, well, I had to dig deeper. The more I dug the more I realized the evidence was very strong. Then, in 2015, while out in the woods one evening just before dark, something pushed over a dead tree in the thicket near me. I couldn’t see it, but it was huffing and puffing and running back and forth. The steps were heavy. That got me on the fence, and a couple years later I caught some audio of what I believe were Bigfoot creatures behind my house at 2 a.m. It took a couple months of setting my audio device out to finally get something that to me was conclusive. It sounded like a caveman getting on to a little juvenile for getting too close to the recorder.”

Ford thinks Bigfoot is a primate.

“I do believe the creature is an ape-like species that has been discovered, just not caught,” he said. “There is a mystery as to why we can’t catch one, but they are extremely fast, mainly active at night, and masters of the woods. Usually, when people see one, it’s very brief and they take off running. You got thousands of reports dating back to the 1800s of this same type of species. What is it? I don’t know, but they do have ape-like behavior in their rock-throwing, how they are built, and shaking trees, building teepee type structures, etc.”

Ford scored the ultimate Bigfoot casting coup when Bob Gimlin agreed to a cameo in Man vs. Bigfoot. Gimlin, of course, is one of the two men responsible for the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film, which allegedly shows a female Bigfoot walking along Bluff Creek in Northern California.

“After making my first Bigfoot film, I ran into Bob Gimlin at Ohio Bigfoot Conference, and we became friends,” Ford said. “So, it was important to me to try and get him in a cameo in my next film if it was possible. Bob is a genuine man, and his story has never changed. The stabilized version of his story is proof the creature exists because nobody has been able to replicate that creature with muscles flexing beneath the fur, and stretch fur technology didn’t exist then. There are lots of other points to that video that make the Patterson-Gimlin footage the best evidence we have, and anyone interested can listen to Dr. Jeff Meldrum speak on it.”

While Ford believes Bigfoot exists, he also firmly believes in the existence of God. His two Bigfoot movies feature Christian families in lead roles, but the religious references are subdued and blend nicely into the composition of the characters.

“I try to plant seeds of the Gospel message in a subtle way,” Ford said. “I think it’s important to sow seeds of the truth in a dark world. Science can’t explain our need and want to worship something, and I believe God built us this way, to want to know Him. I also believe that we all will stand before God one day to give an account as the Bible teaches, and I don’t want to be someone who never shared the good news of Jesus. There are like 4,200 religions in the world but only one that rose from the dead, and only one that is based on grace and not works. I have some Christian-centered films lined up for the future, and I plan to make those when the right investors or funding comes along.”

So, does Ford plan to make more Bigfoot movies?

“I would love to make other Bigfoot films and other movies,” he said. “The problem I face is funding. I made other movies for about $15,000. That isn’t enough to pay people. I just did those movies like that to show what I could do. So, I am hoping to find private investors for my future films. The goal for my next project is $200,000. If anyone is interested, they can reach out to me.”

The best way to contact Ford is his email: davidford75@gmail.com.


RELATED LINKS

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Thirty-Nine: Man vs. Bigfoot

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Sixteen: Something in the Woods

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Thirty-Nine: Man vs. Bigfoot

Man vs. Bigfoot is a low-budget creature feature from David D. Ford, who wrote, directed, and acted in the 2021 film. The movie is free to watch HERE on Tubi.

Ford plays a tormented cop named Jack on leave after a traffic stop escalates into a tragic shooting. He deals with the nightmares thanks to a supportive wife and a new therapy group, although he questions whether he can put on the uniform again.

The film kicks into gear when Jack’s brother Aaron heads to the woods for a solo hiking trip. Aaron calls his wife the first night, reporting strange noises in the night. Not surprisingly, Aaron goes missing. A search party finds Aaron’s cellphone, and Jack spots a shadowy figure in the background of one of Aaron’s selfies.

Ruled as a likely bear attack by authorities, Jack continues to search for his brother. During Jack’s first night camping in the forest, he encounters a Native American trapper named Don Bighorse. The trapper tells Jack, “The protector of the woods is angry and out for blood. I think your brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The protector, of course, is Bigfoot. The trapper reveals he’s seen Bigfoot twice, including one week ago.

The next day Jack encounters the creature, and the movie becomes a cat-and-mouse game between man and beast for the remaining 45 minutes.

The Bigfoot in the film is realistic enough, and the battle between Jack and the creature is a gritty brawl at times. Both seem reluctant to deal a fatal death blow even when the opportunity is there.

Man vs. Bigfoot overcomes a slow start to finish strong with an emotional climax and one of the sweetest final shots ever in a Bigfoot movie. Ultimately, the film is about two creatures — man and beast — struggling with grief over recent tragedies in their lives.

Man vs. Bigfoot also features a cameo by Bob Gimlin, one of the filmmakers of the famous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin video that allegedly captured a real Bigfoot walking along Bluff Creek in Northern California.

In 2015, David D. Ford directed and acted in another Bigfoot movie titled Something in the Woods. Click HERE to read my review of Something in the Woods, which is also free to watch on Tubi.

NEXT UP: Chapter Forty: David Ford. I interview the actor/writer/director.

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.

THE BIGFOOT FILES/Chapter Thirty-Six: The Beast of Fallow Pines

The Beast of Fallow Pines is Book 2 in a cryptid trilogy written by Harlan Graves. The story follows a recently divorced man named David who relocates to his late father’s abandoned cabin in the remote wilderness to escape the painful memories of his past. His only companion is his dog, the Great Pyrenees named Argus.

David, by the way, is the son of the main character from Book 1, The Darkness in the Pines. You can read my review of The Darkness in the Pines HERE.

The Darkness in the Pines and The Beast of Fallow Pines not only share a bloodline, but they also share plots, styles, and tones. Both feature troubled men in the same isolated location stalked by a creature in the woods. Even the warning signs are similar – a decapitated deer instead of a bear, for example.

Before the inevitable encounter, David senses the dark presence of the Beast. Sounds wake him up in the middle of the night. He sees glowing eyes in the darkness. Basically, The Beast of Fallow Pines is the same creature-feature storyline as Book 1 but adds a dog to the mix.

As a fan of cryptid horror, I’m not looking for razzle-dazzle or originality. Just make the Sasquatch encounters interesting, which is what Graves is able to do, and I’m hooked.

The Beast of Fallow Pines gains steam when Argus disappears into the woods. When David returns from his unsuccessful dog search, he finds his cabin ransacked .. and you can guess who the culprit is.

Like his father before him, David must face the Beast in another well-orchestrated fight scene. The author Graves knows how to pack the action and suspense in a gritty man-versus-beast battle. Unfortunately, the book ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, which may leave some readers without a satisfying resolution.

However, there are three parts to a trilogy — not two, and I’m sure Graves will address any loose ends in his third book titled Something in the Woods.

NEXT UP: Chapter Thirty-Seven: Something in the Woods. I review Book 3 of The Beast of Fallow Pines trilogy.

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Sixteen: Something in the Woods

bigfootfiles

(Editor’s note: This review contains major spoilers.)

The Bigfoot movie Something in the Woods is a low-budget, independent film produced by GodZone Ministry and Saving Oscar Productions. The movie is available on Amazon Prime with a respectable rating of 3.5 stars out of 5.

Based on true events, the 2015 film chronicles a blue-collar family’s encounters with Bigfoot in the 1960s. Starring David D. Ford (who also directed with Tony Gibson), Something in the Woods is old-fashioned filmmaking with a deliberate pace and no-nonsense style. None of the characters are flashy, but they are relatable. Ford plays John Hartman, a God-fearing husband and father of two sons, who faces an unknown threat to his family.

something in the woods

Something in the Woods foregoes any hint of mystery near the beginning and totally embraces the Bigfoot plot. For much of its runtime, the movie focuses more on the family’s fears and reactions to the threat rather than the Bigfoot itself. Still, it is a creature feature and delivers all the typical Bigfoot signs: strange hair caught in a barbed-wire fence, nasty odors, vocalizations, missing farm animals, and the footprints.

The Bigfoot in the film looks like a classic Bigfoot, and its motivations are unclear. John’s motivations are clear. He’s concerned about Bigfoot hurting his family and resolves to hunt and kill it.

The scenes I enjoyed most in the film all involved Bigfoot and all of them escalated the eeriness and suspense. In one scene, John is looking for Bigfoot in the woods with his oldest son. When he realizes Bigfoot is stalking them, John tells his son to run home. Then, Bigfoot runs toward the boy. Intense.

My favorite scene involves the youngest son and an unseen Bigfoot outside his bedroom window. It illustrates the contrast between how the innocence of youth reacts to Bigfoot versus the more aggressive response of adults.

Something in the Woods adds an interesting twist during the climax but earns the moment with its consistent, practical storytelling. I enjoyed the movie and recommend it to Bigfoot enthusiasts interested in a story based on real encounters.

NEXT UP: Chapter Seventeen: Bigfoot Trail. I review the 2019 novel by Eric S. Brown.


Lionel Ray Green is a horror and fantasy writer, an award-winning newspaper journalist, and a U.S. Army gulf war veteran living in Alabama. His short stories have appeared in more than two dozen anthologies, magazines, and ezines, including The Best of Iron Faerie Publishing 2019; America’s Emerging Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers: Deep South; and Alabama’s Emerging Writers. His short story “Scarecrow Road” won the WriterWriter 2018 International Halloween Themed Writing Competition, All Hallows’ Prose. Drop by https://lionelraygreen.com/ and say hello.


MORE BIGFOOT MOVIE REVIEWS …

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Nine: Stomping Ground

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Eight: Abominable

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Seven: Willow Creek

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Six: Big Legend

THE BIGFOOT FILES | Chapter Fifteen: Night of the Sasquatch

bigfootfiles

(Editor’s note: This review contains major spoilers.)

Night of the Sasquatch by Keith Luethke is a horror story about a family’s encounter with a clan of Bigfoot. The interesting wrinkle in this entry into cryptid fiction is Luethke tells the story from the points of view of the family and the Bigfoot.

night of the sasquatch cover.jpg

Night of the Sasquatch begins as the typical cabin-in-the-woods trope with newly married couple Wein and Stacy traveling to a mountain cabin for a honeymoon weekend with their five-month-old daughter Valery. During a grocery stop on the way, a stranger appears just long enough to warn Stacy to “stay out of the woods.”

The story soon shifts to the clan of Bigfoot alarmed by the arrival of humans. Living in a nearby cave, the Bigfoot characters have names and distinct personalities, and the males are engaged in a power struggle for leadership of the clan.

Members of the Bigfoot clan watch the human family in the cabin and try to warn them off with rocks. Their action prompts a call to police and a detective’s decision to watch the cabin for the remainder of the night.

The Bigfoot clan members argue over what to do about the humans. Should they leave or attack? Their decision fuels the action-packed climax, ending with acts of self-preservation and humanity in the pulse-pounding finale.

Night of the Sasquatch is an entertaining break for Bigfoot fans and takes less than an hour to read.

NEXT UP: Chapter Sixteen: Something in the Woods. I review the 2015 film directed by Tony Gibson and David D. Ford.


Lionel Ray Green is a horror and fantasy writer, an award-winning newspaper journalist, and a U.S. Army gulf war veteran living in Alabama. His short stories have appeared in more than two dozen anthologies, magazines, and ezines, including The Best of Iron Faerie Publishing 2019; America’s Emerging Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers: Deep South; and Alabama’s Emerging Writers. His short story “Scarecrow Road” won the WriterWriter 2018 International Halloween Themed Writing Competition, All Hallows’ Prose. Drop by https://lionelraygreen.com/ and say hello.