It’s not very often that a movie, especially a genre movie, comes along which you can call – without a shadow of a doubt – unique. The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is exactly that rare thing, in fact it’s hard to know where to begin reviewing it. Part action flick, part comedy – though of the darker, wry variety – part viral outbreak movie, part historical spy drama, part creature feature and part love story, though a much smaller venture it stands head and shoulders above many of the blockbusters around today.
Calvin Barr (played in the present by Oscar nominee Sam Elliott and in flashback by Poldark’s Aidan Turner) is an old man who walks his dog to fill up his days and frequents his favourite bar to pass his evenings. But Calvin’s hiding a big secret… He’s actually a legend, the man who secretly infiltrated a Nazi base and killed Hitler back in the war (the person we think of as Hitler in the bunker was actually a double). Someone who’s also not averse to kicking a few arses when street thugs want to steal his car.
Hardly surprising then, that faced with a disease that the equally legendary Bigfoot is carrying which might wipe out humanity – and Calvin just happens to be immune to (of course he is, he’s Calvin Barr!) – the government call upon his services to save the world once again. After much soul-searching, because Barr is a hero who can’t abide killing, he sets off into the wilds of Canada to track and bring down the big fella before all is lost. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Yes, this film will make you laugh (there’s an air of Ash from Evil Dead II about the bit when Calvin chooses his weapons to go after Bigfoot…and indeed when he fights him), it will make you think (chiefly about the nature of evil and can it really be contained?) but it will also make you cry (when you’re faced with the mistakes Barr has made in his life, the major one being in his relationship with schoolteacher Maxine, played to coy perfection by Caitlin FitzGerald). With solid support from the likes of Larry Miller (the overprotective dad in Ten Things I Hate About You) as Barr’s younger brother and Ron Livingston (another famous dad, this time from The Conjuring) as the G-Man who’s sent to talk Calvin around, you’ll be forgiven at times for thinking that this little gem is doing its best to snag some major awards. And you know what, it deserves every single one of them!
Special Features on the disc release include a look behind the scenes, a director’s commentary, deleted scenes, an Elsie Hooper short film, Joel Kraemer interview and a selection of storyboards. Very highly recommended! Paul Kane
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot will be available on VOD and digitally on April 15th and DVD & Blu-Ray on May 6th