Writer/director Robert D. Krzykowski's new film The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot delivers both exactly what its title promises and very little of what it implies.
Its protagonist, a G.I. named Calvin Barr, is indeed the assassin responsible for the demise of both the Fuhrer and mythical monster. But the scenes sandwiched in between the killings that make up most of the film are nothing like the thriller or schlocky B-movie the viewer might expect from a movie called The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot. Instead, it largely serves as a character study of an aging, lonely man (played by Sam Elliott) who is haunted by his exploits in Europe and the things he left behind at home during the war.
He's deliberate and taciturn, the opposite of a swaggering, guns-a-blazing action hero one might expect. And it's not just his age; in flashbacks to the 1940s, Barr is played by Aidan Turner as a shy and focused young man who lets love slip through his fingers.
It took Krzykowski a decade to get the money and green light to make the movie, and as he tells The Fandom Files in this week's episode, that journey was never about making a pulp flick; the supernatural elements came later, and more as metaphor than anything else.
"I started working on those 10 pages, and at the end of those 10 pages the hero had just killed Hitler, and that didn't leave a lot of room for a story," the filmmaker explains. "After that, I started thinking about Hitler as a monster, a real monster who is spreading the plague of ideas. And I started thinking about, well, if the story were to progress, what could be another monster that's maybe spreading a plague? This plague could literal. And I started thinking that could be Bigfoot. There was something mythic about that, and I could do something almost like a parable with the story."
In this film's small world, Bigfoot is spreading a bad virus that is infecting people across North America at a rapid clip. Barr, for some reason, isn't susceptible to that virus, so the military comes seeking him out for one last mission. And when he heads up to Canada to take on the monster, he's also on a mission to slay his demons.
During his conversation with The Fandom Files, Krzykowski talks about developing the film, shooting with Sam Elliott — he did all of his own stunts — and making the Bigfoot costume with the help of Spectral Motion. Also on the show: a hearty endorsement of Critical Roll, a real bone to pick with a certain James Bond movie, and just about the most energetic fan-fiction reading you'll ever hear!
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot hits theaters on February 8.
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