Review: The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot
The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot (2019)
Sam Elliott: Calvin Barr
Aidan Turner: Calvin Barr (younger)
Caitlin Fitzgerald: Maxine
Ron Livingston: Flag Pin
Larry Miller: Ed
Written and Directed by: Robert D. Krzykowski
I suppose there was no way a movie titled The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot could live up to my expectations. But, a certain level of ownership is required on my part. After all, what can I honestly say I was expecting from this movie? Showdowns with Hitler and Bigfoot, I suppose. And Robert D. Krzykowski's picture delivers both. It also presented other pleasures, too. Mainly, Sam Elliott's performance as the titular Man, a WWII vet who indeed shot Hitler and is now being asked by the U.S. and Canadian governments to hunt a virus-carrying Sasquatch. What kind of movie does that sound like to you?
Calvin lives in one of those small towns that only exist in movies. Picturesque. Quaint. Everyone knows you. It's not without some menace, as we see when Calvin easily dispatches of three would-be muggers. He carries the weight of his past wherever he goes. He looks tired and melancholy. Yes, he killed Hitler, but he doesn't take much pride in it. Doesn't seem to have stopped Hitler's message from carrying on, he muses. Calvin lives out his days visiting his younger brother, going through keepsakes from the past, and brooding about that fateful day with the Fuhrer. We see the assassination play out in a series of flashbacks. We also learn Calvin was deeply in love with a teacher named Maxine. His mission took him away for a long time. She moved on. It appears he has been unable to.
So, when the government comes knocking on his door and explains the whole Bigfoot situation, Calvin declines, but eventually agrees because it's right there in the title. The hunting of the creature is swift and efficient and we see parallels to the hunt for Hitler. Calvin takes no pride and is even remorseful for the act. There is a moment after he kills the beast where he breaks down. All the years of heartache seem to be coming out. It's a nice moment, actually.
But, what is this, though? It feels like a character study of one man's grief, guilt, and regret told as a campfire tall tale. There's a mythological aura to the whole thing. This is a brooding picture; a wild, strange movie with a ridiculous premise told with a deadly straight face. And when that straight face belongs to an actor as charismatic as Sam Elliott, you pay attention.