It might be well made and well cast, but The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot is too achingly sincere and tedious for its own good.
Call me old fashioned, but when I see a movie title like The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot, I expect certain things. The feature debut of writer/director Robert D. Krzykowski has some of them. It has Hitler, depicted in fragmented and frequent flashbacks. It has Bigfoot, briefly, depicted as a man in a blatant monkey suit (hey, just like the Patterson Footage!). And it has Sam Elliot, playing a kind of hilarious pastiche of himself, which isn’t mandatory but is always welcome. But where’s the silliness? Where’s the over-the-top embrace of schlocky B-movie nonsense that is strongly implied by both the title and the premise? Well, like Bigfoot himself, it’s nowhere to be found.
What we have here instead is a tediously po-faced and achingly sincere character study of a man – Calvin Barr, played by Elliot – who did indeed kill Hitler and who does indeed kill the Bigfoot, and is remarkably sad about it. The film is proudly humourless, surprisingly competent and weirdly dull; all about the last things you’d expect from The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot.
Nevertheless, Calvin lives in some no-account U.S. town where he gets his hair cut by his brother (Larry Miller) and spends each evening in the local bar, where he’s occasionally harassed by muggers whom he promptly dispatches just to let the audience know that Sam Elliot doesn’t play. That’s probably why the government would like to enlist him in the hunting and killing of Sasquatch, which in this case has brought with it some kind of virus that Calvin is predictably immune to. This takes a remarkably long time to be explained and amounts to very little in the end, making The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot’s lean 98-minute runtime feel roughly thrice as long.
Credit is due, mind, for the basic competence of the visuals and staging – Krzykowski is evidently a solid filmmaker, and he’s supported by a production team that includes Douglas ************* Trumbull, although you’d never guess from the quality of the monkey suits. It’s a bizarre film, this, one with obvious talent both in front of and behind the camera, but it promises something it can’t deliver: Fun.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.