PrintE-mail Written by Paul Mount

Review: The Lost Coast Tapes / Cert: 18 / Director: Corey Grant / Screenplay: Bryan O’Cain, Brian Kelsey / Starring: Rich McDonald, Drew Rausch, Ashley Wood, Noah Weisberg, Frank Ashmore / Release Date: September 3rd

“It doesn’t like being called a hoax” warns the tagline for this new search-for-Bigfoot horror schlocker. On that basis it probably wouldn’t much appreciate being called ‘crap’ either but hey, we like to live dangerously so bring it on Sasquatch!

A North Californian “Bigfoot hunter” claims to be in possession of the dead body of one of the legendary mountain-dwelling monsters and a discredited news reporter assembles a ramshackle team and sets off to prove that it’s all a big fat hoax on a new ‘reality‘ TV show (’Bigfoot Brother‘, anyone?). Feel our despair as the caption “the following footage was an attempt to document that discovery” slips onto the screen. We’re in ‘found footage’ territory again and I’ve just about stopped banging my head against the wall…

This gimmick, so far past its sell-by date now it’s started to biodegrade into something else, does this tiresome effort no favours whatsoever. Welcome to ninety-odd minutes of contrived shaky-cam filming, self-conscious performances and, despite the baffling 18 certificate, absolutely nothing scary whatsoever. Sean Reynolds (Rausch, recently seen in Battleship so it‘s not been a good year for him) takes his motley crew of filmmakers out into the wilds of California where they meet up with Bigfoot-killer Carl Drybeck (Ashmore) who regales them with fanciful stories about his encounters with mountain-beasts. Sure enough before long there’s much a-growling coming from the forest and during the night they’re attacked by something vicious and savage and generally unseen, presumably for budgetary reasons.

The Lost Coast Tapes reminded us of recent found-footage nightmare Tape 407 which consisted of dropped cameras showing images of running feet with lots of screaming and gasping and occasionally a quick glimpse of a monster scuttling by. This isn’t quite as bad because as, inevitably, Sean’s team are dragged away screaming into the night (and one cast member gets spectacularly impaled), it manages to get a little more intense as a dazzling light show and thundering soundtrack suggests that whatever Bigfoot is, it sure ain’t something which has come down from the mountain looking for a snack. Otherwise there’s much shrieking and ‘Oh my God!” dialogue and the inevitable dead-stop ending which leaves far too much unexplained and left us wondering why the Hell we’d bothered.

Even by the law of diminishing returns which has long since set in with ‘found footage’ movies, The Lost Coast Tapes really isn’t worth the effort. These are tapes which really should have stayed lost.

Extras: None

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