Seth Breedlove’s films and non-fiction series have always been a hidden gem in the world of cryptozoology, but Small Town Monsters latest production “On The Trail Of… Bigfoot” may just be the definitive documentary on Bigfoot.
The series succeeds at being equally as informative and entertaining as it is approachable to captivate the casual viewer to enjoy, and engaging enough to keep Bigfoot buff’s attention. The search spanned around 14 states, and featured a who’s-who of cryptozoology with Loren Coleman, Shannon Legro and eye witnesses and investigators. Breedlove documents history, behavioral patterns, investigations, theories, role in culture and folklore, and field research.
The film is exquisitely shot, as Breedlove’s wide shots of nature provide the film with a beautiful backdrop of Americana and the vastness and greatness Earth provides. One challenge filmmakers of these subjects always face is a way to communicate the factors of the elusive elements of Bigfoot combined with the vastness of the geographies that are explored.
“If Bigfoot exists it would have to be intelligent enough to know to avoid people and there are certainly plenty of places to go throughout the U.S .where you can remain undetected,” said Breedlove. “ Even a state like Ohio has massive, unpopulated, forested lands that are protected from encroachment. I think that's what surprises so many people who rarely get into the woods is just how isolated and unexplored some areas of this country are. (particularly a place like the Pacific Northwest). Couple that with a purported creature that would have apelike intelligence, along with reports of them moving at ridiculous speeds as well as being a master at remaining elusive, and there's some cause for at least considering the possibility they're out there. “
One of the film’s best scenes comes from when the crew captures on camera a mysterious glow. While shooting at Area X they were able to catch the glow of eyes on camera. Judging from the placement of the eyes, and all the crew’s collective experience, its a rarity to catch an unexplained encounter after all the filming and searching. Although the immediate impact wasn’t felt on the director, Breedlove would later appreciate the convincing high strangeness that took place that night.
“The eye shine was kind of ‘whatever’ to me at the time,” said Breedlove. “ I was excited to be seeing something strange, but it was still some sort of green eye shine; something I've seen plenty of here in Ohio from deer. The ‘weird’ part of that incident for me was that there was a glow from the eyes in a location where no visible light could have been reaching for the eyes to reflect. They also moved sideways across the hill while still staring at us down in the camp. That part is a little difficult to explain in writing but it was one of the creepiest things I've ever seen. Still, it wasn't until we heard the rock hit the tin roof, followed by the whoop and laughter later that night that I had a change of mind about the existence of these things. There's only two things that can throw massive rocks in the woods; humans and apes. To the best of my knowledge there are no humans sitting on a hillside outside of camp at 2 a.m. waiting to get shot up by the armed members of the NAWAC that were with us, and there are no known apes in the Ouachita Mountains, which really only leaves an unknown ape as the likely culprit.”
Into The Fray’s Legro has spent so much of her cryptozoology career helping others share their strange stories, but this time had another opportunity to be in an area where Bigfoot sightings can occur. Investigators like Legro feel that is important to show the logistics of how a real hands-on field research works to those who can’t logistically make it out on an expedition and the general public new to this area of study.
“ I think many people that are truly enamored with the subject of Bigfoot may listen to others relay their experiences, sometimes for years, and never go out in the woods,” said Legro. “
Legro offers a hypothetical for those who are brave enough to venture into the woods on their own.
“Some have the opportunity to go in the woods daily, every weekend, etc. but this alone comes with sacrifices even if it's nearly your own backyard. Time lost with family or friends that either can't, or won't tag along on an excursion, expenses for fuel, meals, lodging, and wear and tear on vehicles, adds up incredibly quickly. Travel time alone, even within your own state would likely eat up all your vacation time at work. And, let's not omit some of the gear frequently involved with Bigfooting, thermal and night vision devices alone, can easily run in the thousands of dollars each.”
“On The Trail Of… Bigfoot” isn’t the only big production for Small Town Monsters, as docs “Terror In The Skies” and “MOMO: The Missouri Monster” are all slated for 2019 release. As of this article’s publication, Small Town Monsters has raised over $46,000 via a kickstarter campaign to help fund the films. “On The Trail Of…Bigfoot” is out March 29.
-By MIKE DAMANTE