In an alternative universe a film titled “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot” would set off alarms at the approaching quasi-fraudulent nature of its existence. I’m happy to report that this film performs in cultish, B-movie fashion, taken up a notch by the compelling lead performance of Sam Elliott and first-time feature director Robert Krykowski’s clever use of history as a metaphor.
In the film, Elliott lives a burnt out life as Calvin Barr, nursing some obvious psycho wounds. And in a narrative that bounces back and forth from WWII to the present day, we observe a young Elliott/Barr (played by Aidan Turner), who takes on a deadly assassination mission that, while successful, also leads to a schism with his dreams of marriage and a happy domestic life after the military.
In the WWII portion of the film, Barr infiltrates the Nazi hierarchy with the aid of the resistance underground. When the time comes to fire the shot, Barr cleverly assembles the revolver from pieces of his uniform, such as using a piece of his belt buckle.
Years late, Barr is contacted by shadowy government types who want to bring him out of retirement. Ron Livingston, Caitlin FitzGerald and Ellar Coltrane co-star.
Krykowski gives the proceedings a realistic tinge, despite the fantastical nature of the plot. In the film, the death of Hitler was covered up as part of a larger complex plot that suggests world tyranny enforced by a men-in-black mentality.
Years after the assassination of last century’s greatest killer, it seems that a Sasquatch has created a viral pandemic in the Canadian wilderness that must be stopped, and that is Barr’s new and mysterious, post-Hitler-killing assignment — Kill the Sasquatch!
When Barr begrudgingly accepts his assignment, he is led to a room full of weapons. “That scope, that rifle, this knife, that’s all,” growls Elliott in his patented deep voice. (Apparently it’s best, per Barr, to go back to basics weapon-wise when hunting for a killer Sasquatch, even one packing a viral load so dense it threatens the future of all of humanity.)
We won’t give you any spoilers, but the cult-y movie plays out well and in the dramatic fashion one can only expect from a film that involves both the assassination of Hitler and the wilderness stalking of a diseased Sasquatch threatening to spark a global health pandemic.
Elliott is currently riding on a career high of recognition following his first ever Oscar nom for “A Star is Born,” and this film adds further meat to his acting cred, even if the plot of the bizarre film, perhaps the first to involve Bigfoot Influenza, came totally out of left field.
“The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot” opens this weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse LaCenterra. Director Krykowski will present the film and lead a Q&A at the Saturday, 10 pm screening.