Hot Docs 2013: Shooting Bigfoot and Scoring Laughs

By: Addison WylieSBcover

The documentary Shooting Bigfoot follows three expeditions led by four different devoted and off-kilter trackers.

One subject is Rick Dyer. Dyer has had his name besmirched in the world of hunting Bigfoot due to a scam that took the media by storm. Once he finds Bigfoot, he plans to capture it and take its life.

Another hunter is Tom Biscardi, a well known tracker who has no interest in killing Bigfoot, but was involved with Dyer’s hoax. By the skin of his teeth, he was able to somewhat clear his name even if both parties have different stories. He was, and still is, a man who is passionate about the hunt for the elusive creature and will stop at nothing to prove his truths.

The last team of hunters are a couple of best friends. Dallas and Wayne may look unprepared…and that may be true. However, with their prior experience hunting the mysterious beast and their ability to “successfully” make familiar calls to it, they’re the underdogs in this truly oddball story of dedication and the line that’s drawn in the sand between hopefulness and losing your marbles.

Filmmaker Morgan Matthews doesn’t make his subjects likeable or unlikeable, but rather lets their boisterous outgoingness speak for themselves. It works because our main hunters don’t come across as false personalities. Their aggressiveness, frustration, and dedication never feels cooked up by a cheeky editor, but rather by men who are very proud and simply do not think before they speak.

Each hunter, whether they like it or not, picks their on-screen destiny. Dallas and Wayne are goofy, but a hoot to root for and follow on their surreal quest. Biscardi, on the other hand, makes for a great anti-hero. He snarls and gets flustered easily when his team isn’t on the same page as him, but we can’t help but find him interesting when he shows how focused he is to find Bigfoot and how unintentionally hilarious he is when he demands people to get him peach Snapple.

Because Matthews doesn’t tell us what to think, his direction feels natural – even though I wish he was on mic when he asked questions behind the camera. I wasn’t a fan of how the doc would take on a smart aleck attitude occasionally with its music. At one point when Dyer is explaining a past run-in with the creature, the background music swells and gets more dramatic. As I explain it, it sounds as if Matthews is trying to add more tenseness to the scene, but when you see it on screen, it feels as if Matthews doesn’t have the right intentions.


With all the laughs, the eccentricities, and oodles of quotable lines (my personal favourite is when Biscardi is describing how long winded someone is: “You ask him for the time and he builds you a watch!”), it’s unfortunate Matthews drops the ball at the very end.

Shooting Bigfoot has a non-ending that feels as if the director’s patience wore too thin and eventually threw his hands up in the air and gave up. Once you see what happens in the surprisingly creepy last third, you’ll understand why Matthews feels resentment. However, the ending still feels too abrupt and doesn’t end the way moviegoers will want it to.

Looking past that ending – the doc’s only real noteworthy downfall – Shooting Bigfoot is a ton of fun and is strangely fascinating from start to finish.


Catch Shooting Bigfoot at:

Tuesday, April 30 at 8:29 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Wednesday, May 1 at 11:58 p.m. at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Friday, May 3 at 9:30 p.m. at The Royal Cinema

Click here for more details and to buy tickets.

Visit the official Hot Docs webpage here!

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Hot Docs: @HotDocs
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Readers Comments (12)

  1. What is even more disturbing about this movie, is that Rick Dyer has done it again, claimed that not only did he shoot at a real Bigfoot at the end, but the whole last 3 minutes of the film, you see a living breathing Sasquatch charging the camera. Many people have swallowed this story and are now paying Rick Dyer for $149 memberships for inside information and, there is more. He is going to take the fictitious body on tour! And here is your bonus…..he is encouraging his members (also known as Team Tracker) to go to Toronto and sneak recording devices into the theater to record the last few minutes of the film, that he will post in his member area on his website for his top dollar members. A hoax, a piracy attempt and fraudulent behavior by Rick Dyer. Maybe they are making the movie about the wrong creature.

  2. Anyone who watches this compelling trailer clearly sees the intensity of its scenes with Rick Dyer. Rick did shoot and kill a Sasquatch, and those who think this is a hoax will know the truth when they have a chance to see the HD footage filmed during the encounter. He has a body and the world will know it shortly…I recommend that those who doubt him wait until they see the film and assess the coming evidence before making absolute judgments about the incident. Those who decry Rick’s attempts to have the footage shared with the world are missing the obvious confidence with which he made the suggestion, and the desire he has that you know the truth as soon as possible…if there’s no Sasquatch, wouldn’t he rather you not see the movie at all?

    Memberships in Team Tracker are no different than those of any other organization; in addition to receiving information that is shared within the group, you can make your dues back many times over from deep discounts on expedition trips and merchandise. You are free to make whatever choices you like, including joining us or not, but anyone who makes the choice to prejudge this incident as a hoax is doing so without the knowledge required to properly assess it. Those of us who know that it’s true have spent the past six months applying logic and critical thinking to hundreds of hours of corroborating revelations from Rick Dyer, Musky Allen, and many others who have knowledge of this event. PINK

    • Rick Dyer has claimed for months this film will prove the absolute existence of Bigfoot. As the days have dwindled down to the approach of this film, the mystery continues and Dyer is now backing off his original statements, and pushing back the date, he will reveal the body to the world. Strikingly similar to the 2008 claims and subsequent hoax. You just can’t take Dyer or any of his staunches supporters at face value, there is always a buck to be made in Bigfooting, Like Dyer said in 2008 when caught hoaxing, “Everyone knew we were lying; it’s Bigfoot, it don’t exist”. Enjoy the movie folks, I heard it is quite a story.

    • Keep on selling those memberships, Pinkfoot. Rick will hose you in the end, and you will be in denial for months. There are those who won’t forget what they’ve done this time.

  3. It’s funny how the haters get to this so soon….lol

  4. Infamous or famous – some people just don’t care which one, they’re attention whores!

    If Rick Dyer shot a bigfoot in Texas, he wouldn’t drag the body to Las Vegas only to ‘reveal’ the shooting months and months and months later in some two-bit documentary film in Canada… he’d have held a huge press conference and he would’ve been front-page of the worldwide news immediately!!!

    But when you got nothing, you got nothing except ‘just wait, just wait, just wait….’

    No thanks Rick. Go down in history as a scam-artist if you like, but I’m not watching. It’s boring!

  5. good stuff!! this is awesome either way but for me im a believer!!!

  6. Well Rick that is because the haters as you call them outnumber your supporters 1000 to 1

  7. Mr. Dyer, let’s make something clear with respect to what a large portion of the Bigfoot community believes. Many of us may not believe that you have shot Bigfoot or that you have ever truly even seen a Bigfoot, however, that’s not to say that we don’t believe Bigfoot really exists. Moreover, no one single piece of film conclusively proves that there is a Bigfoot. As well, no one single eyewitness proves that there is a Bigfoot. To most of us, however, the combined evidence of eyewitness testimony, reports of sightings dating back hundreds of years, along with the analysis of the more reliable video footage; prove, although not conclusively, that there is a Bigfoot creature out there. But to suggest that people in the Bigfoot community are haters because they don’t believe you or are jealous of you is error on your part, as your last hoax destroyed any and all of your credibility you may have had. If they are skeptical toward your claims then it is clearly warranted on their part. It would be foolish for people to just blindly take your word on this subject matter. It’s no different than a law enforcement officer that has perjured himself during an official proceeding and in the process destroyed his own credibility; the officer will likely never be able to testify in court again because he has already shown in the eyes of the law, as well as the eyes of his own agency, that he can no longer be an honest and credible witness. I believe that the same thing has happened to you. Short of producing an actual body, most people will not believe the claims you have made.

  8. If you are stupid enough to believe Rick Dyer, at nothing but his word, you deserve to get fleeced by Rick Dyer

  9. I saw Rick Dyer’s Bigfoot. I was a severe skeptic who was invited to see the body. I took pics and released them, and still to this day, Rick Dyer can not prove it is not the Bigfoot Body. The Pearce Pics still are the only authentic visual record of Rick Dyer’s Bigfoot.


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