In “The Capture of Bigfoot,” fur trappers and hunters go up against a family of winter Yeti

By on March 27, 2019

“Indian folklore calls it Sasquatch. The white man named it Bigfoot. Deep in the snow-covered backwoods it lurks. An elusive, massive beast rarely glimpsed by man, this creature of the frozen north suddenly begins a series of grisly killings. A ski resort is terrorized by these brutal murders. The local township must find a way to stop the beast before it kills again…”

Produced and Directed by Bill Rebane, The Capture of Bigfoot (1979) — now streaming on Night Flight Plus — features fur trappers and hunters going up against a family of winter Yeti!

In the film, famously called one of the five worst films that Troma ever distributed by Troma legend Lloyd Kaufman in his book All I Need to Know about Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger, a couple of rednecks — heroic game warden “Dave Garrett” (Stafford Morgan) and greedy sawmill owner “Harvey Olsen” (Richard Kennedy) — are at odds as to how to deal with the white-haired Yeti that’s been terrorizing their logging community.

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This particular Bigfoot monster has managed to elude capture for more than twenty-five years, but some of the townspeople have had actually been exploiting sightings of the elusive monster, turning it into a tourist attraction which results in quick cash through merchandise sales.

Meanwhile, a young boy befriends the hairy beast, which makes us believe this particular Bigfoot is a super chill and inexpensive babysitter as far as monsters in the woods go.

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The Capture of Bigfoot — Rebane wrote the script with Ingrid Neumayer — was shot entirely on Rebane’s property in Gleason, Wisconsin, in the middle of a freezing Midwest winter (the film’s closing credits attribute the “wardrobe” to Kmart).

The snowy white-haired Bigfoot monster — we’re told it towers over twelve feet tall, amassing 600 pounds of gruesome flesh eating terror — is credited as “The Legendary Creature of Arak.”

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He’s played by actor Janus Raudkivi, who we can only assume he was being blackmailed by Rebane or perhaps he lost a bet and was forced to wear the white fur suit.

Randolph Rebane is credited as “Little Bigfoot,” which alerts us to the fact that nepotism is certainly alive and well in Wisconsin!

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Character actor George “Buck” Flowers plays a booze-guzzlin’ bearded mountain man named “Jake,” and Wally Flaherty plays “Sheriff Cooper,” who impersonates John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart

Nelson C. Sheppo plays “Daniels,” a Medicine Man who guides the hunters. He’s one of the last survivors of the “Arak Tribe” (Rebane sticks to the script that Bigfoot movies have to have at least one obligatory Native American character).

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Flowers and another exploitation film regular, John Goff (who plays “Burt”) had both appeared in Rebane’s earlier film, The Alpha Incident.

Jeana Tomasina (a.k.a. Jeana Keough) — who was Playboy‘s Playmate of the Month for November 1980 — appears here credited only as “Dancer,” boogie oogie oogying in a tight red skin-showing one-piece jumper during the movie’s disco dance party sequence.

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According to IMDB, this was the Wisconsin native’s second film role, and she went on to appear in movies like The Beach Girls and Six Pack (both 1982), and 10 to Midnight (1983).

In some circles she is probably best known for being one of the three long-legged ZZ Top girls (she was known as the “Eliminator Girl”) who appeared in their many music videos, including “Leggs,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Gimme All Your Loving,” and “Sleeping Bagg.”

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One of the highlights is the film’s jazzy 70’s TV cop show-ish score, and there’s a couple of fuckin’ awesome discofied synth-driven tunes (“My Spirit Runs Free” and “Sensuous Tiger”) performed by Mitch Irish and Patty Holzmann, credited as The Friends.

Read more about The Capture of Bigfoot below.

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Released theatrically on November 23, 1979, a few years after peak interest in Bigfoot-related ephemera, Bill Rebane’s The Capture of Bigfoot — also released as Big Foot – Revenge of the Hunter, The Legend of the Yeti, and it was one of several films released as The Legend of Bigfoot — was considered a low-quality addition to the many titles which helped popularize the Bigfoot craze of the 1960s and ’70s.

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Along with several quality documentaries, including The Legend of Bigfoot (a different film than Rebane’s) and Bigfoot: The Mysterious Monster (both released theatrically in 1975, we have the latter streaming on NF Plus) — there were many fictionalized Bigfoot movies.

1972’s Legend of Boggy Creek was a drive-in smash hit, and generated enough interest that it spawned two sequels, Return to Boggy Creek (1977), and Boggy Creek 2: The Legend Continues (1985).

There were also movies like Creature from Black Lake (1976) — filmed at Caddo Lake, as was The Legend of Boggy Creek — and Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot (1978) and The Curse of Bigfoot, filmed in the Three Sisters Wilderness in Oregon.

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The Capture of Bigfoot — originally released by Studio Film Corp, and re-released in 2010 by Troma Entertainment — actually belongs to a smaller sub-set of albino Bigfoot movies set in the snow-covered woods, which makes this North American Bigfoot actually more of an Abominable Snowman.

This grouping includes an excellent 1977 made-for-TV movie called Snowbeast, starring Bo Svenson, Yvette Mimiex and Clint Walker (track it down if you get the chance).

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Other Himalayan-set “Yeti” movies include The Snow Creature (1954), and The Abominable Snowman (1957), and more recently, Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century, and Abominable (we have both streaming on Plus as well).

Watch The Capture of Bigfoot on Night Flight Plus.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.