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Sasquatch/Encounter with the Unknown (1977, 1972) - Blu-ray Review

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Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot - Blu-ray Review

2 beers Bigfoot Country is certainly very scenic and so full of wildlife that it certainly becomes a spectacle.  But, much life “squatching” itself, it can be a little … too quiet.  The lead-off movie in this grindhouse drive-in combo seems to be suffering from the “you had to be there” syndrome.  Because, yeah, in order to really dig what amounts to an overblown nature film, you had to have been there when Bigfoot was at the height of its pop culture craze.

 

"Get the popcorn and the beer ready for this twofer.  Code Red has done genre fans and drive-in fanatics a favor with this release."


 

Heavily narrated, this twofer blu-ray release from Code Red features two low budget docudramas from the 1970s that will make for a lo-fi supernatural evening at home.  Whether good or not is up to you.  Seriously.   Neither of these flicks have much mojo.  I mean, in Sasquatch there is a badger attack which is pretty heinous, but nothing much happens until the very end. Encounter with the Unknown, which originally made the rounds in 1972, professes to be based on true stories, but these horror tales are more urban legend than anything else.

Both of these films will be appreciated more with heavy drinking. You just have to have a lot of patience in order to make it to the end credits as neither flick is all that great.  Sasquatch, partially narrated by actor George Lauris, was filmed in the Pacific Northwest.  Encounter with the Unknown, hosted by Rod Serling (Twilight Zone) was filmed in Texas. Notice the scenery.  It’s somewhat integral to each movie, highlighting a lot dangers inherent within the environment.

While director Ed Ragozzino is to be commended for some of his wildlife shots in Sasquatch, the film can’t escape its hokeyness.  I understand that, if you saw this film as a youngster, it probably scared the bejesus out of you.  There is an awful lot of suspense as a team of goes deep into Oregon looking for Bigfoot and there are clues about of its existence.  But this film is more about nature than anything else.  It’s a poor man’s version of a Mutual of Omaha production…mostly. 

Encounter With the Unknown - Blu-ray Review

Encounter with the Unknown is more of an episode of Unsolved Mysteries than anything else.  It tells three stories and operates as a collection of reenactments.   With little suspense in its wind-up, the film is about a witch, an unknown Ozark legend, and a hitchhiker; the pitch delivered isn’t a strike, mind you, but – and this is mostly true for the middle story – anything involving holes to Hell can be VERY unsettling. 

Directed by Harry Thomason, this exploitation film does have a good feel to it.  These tales are indeed creepy but, at the very beginning when the roll-out script is actually different than what the narrator is reading, you know the flaws will sink the super serious subject matter.  With a cast of S.F. Brownrigg regulars, the film will definitely have its fans.  And, yes, it is superior to Sasquatch.

Get the popcorn and the beer ready for this twofer.  Code Red has done genre fans and drive-in fanatics a favor with this release.

Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot (1977)

Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
102 mins
Director
: Ed Ragozzino
Writer:
Ed Hawkins
Cast:
George Lauris, Steve Boergadine, Jim Bradford
Genre
: Horror | | Adventure | Mystery
Tagline:
An incredible journey into the supernatural.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Listen you well to my word. One by land, two by sky. Look to the heptagon for it is there. Seven times around go the three of you and may your reward be just and true."
Theatrical Distributor:
North American Film Enterprises
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 9, 1977
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 6, 2016
Synopsis: Rod Serling (TV’s Twilight Zone) phones in a shocking trilogy of UHF television level thrills! Two by air, one by sea! A spell curse hits 3 frat kids as a homicidal mother feels that they are responsible for her son’s death, while the old lady that actually pulled the trigger is at home collecting her social security check. Innocent people are killed as the homicidal mother will stop at nothing to gain her twisted vengeance. Each frat boy meets with the most painful deaths that you will ever encounter in a family film. An inbred son’s dog falls into the gates of hell only for his uncle/dad (standout performance by Robert Holton) to go down into the pit, which turns into heavy metal terror. If you want to see a true face of death, be careful not to look at his horrible face when he comes out of the hole! The last story is about a dead girl’s ghost (Rosie Holotik, Don’t Look In The Basement, Horror High) who hitches a ride only to urinate in the back seat of the unsuspecting friendly driver’s car. All three terror stories are told and then also retold at the end for all those people who didn’t get the punch line the first time around. Starring BoxOffice champ Bill Thurman (Gator Bait), outrageous funny man Gene Ross (Here Comes The Judge fame), comedian Charlie Dell, and Robert Ginnaven as the business class riding priest!

 

Encounter With the Unknown (1972)

Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime: 90 mins
Director: Harry Thomason
Writer: Jack Anderson, Joe Glass
Cast: Rod Serling, Robert Ginnaven, Gary Brockette
Genre: Horror | Mystery
Tagline: An incredible journey into the supernatural.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Listen you well to my word. One by land, two by sky. Look to the heptagon for it is there. Seven times around go the three of you and may your reward be just and true."
Theatrical Distributor: American National Enterprises
Official Site:
Release Date: November 1, 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: November 6, 2016
Synopsis: Three eerie tales based on actual events are enacted in this film. First, three college students play a prank on a geeky classmate, who is accidentally shot and killed. His vengeful mother forecasts the deaths of the three young men she holds responsible, on 7, 14, and 21 days hence. And, one by one, her grim predictions come true. Next, a ghoulish sound emanates from a mist-shrouded hole in the Earth near where a Missouri boy has lost his dog. The boy's father is lowered into the hole and lets out an agonizing scream! Finally, a senator returning home from a party finds a lost girl on a bridge and learns from her father that she died years earlier!

Encounter With the Unknown - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Code Red DVD
Available on Blu-ray
- November 6, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Code Red presents both films with an untouched HD transfer.  The image looks to be transferred from 16mm.  It is grainy and has numerous splices.  For the drive-in crowd this will be a riot.  The aspect ratio is 1.78:1 and the sound carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, which are both adequate for the demands of the watching.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Fans get a long thought lost promo for Sasquatch.  It is very interesting and does the job of building an anticipation for the movie. 

  • Sasquatch Promo Reel
  • Code Red Trailers

Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot (1977) - Trailer

Encounter With the Unknown (1972) - Trailer

Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot - Blu-ray Review

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