Catchy title, right? But while The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is a movie title that instantly grabs the attention and has you thinking of all sorts of bonkers excesses, what we have here is a far more delicate and poignant picture than that admittedly fun title would initially conjure up.
With the unfaltering charm of Sam Elliott as Calvin Barr – the man responsible for doing what the title suggests – this is a film that is more of a character piece than it is any sort of elaborate over-the-top gimmick offering. Starting off by looking at Elliott’s Barr, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot finds a former soldier living his small town life with the company of his trusty hound and a fractured relationship with his brother. Thanks to flashbacks featuring The Hobbit’s Aidan Turner as a younger version of Calvin, we see how this World War II warrior did indeed manage to off Adolf. But as we soon see, the sacrifices made by Calvin back then are still felt to this very day. And then, we see the FBI turning up at the door of the older Calvin Barr with one last mission: to hunt down and kill Bigfoot.
To discuss the plot of The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot really doesn’t do the movie justice. The handling of the World War II action is absolutely stunning yet heartbreakingly tragic from first-time director Robert D. Krzykowski, while the more modern-day task involving Bigfoot manages to keep things grounded and keep you onside despite the obvious stretch of logic. Whether in the then with Hitler or the now with Bigfoot, however, we have a feature that is magically constructed by Krzykowski and fantastically delivered by its minimalist cast.
Where the performances are concerned, Sam Elliott is on stunning form as a military veteran clearly loyal to serving his country yet paying the price for that same loyalty. Playing equally as a PTSD showcase or as a lost love tragedy, Elliott brings his absolute A game in a turn that runs the gamut of emotions. Likewise, Aidan Turner manages to hold his end of the bargain up, too; mimicking Elliott while also bringing his own tricks to the table. The likes of Ron Livingston and Larry Miller impress in supporting roles, but the other clear standout is Caitlin Fitzgerald as Maxine, the burgeoning love interest of the younger Calvin Barr. Fitzgerald brings an honesty and class to the role, making you realise just why Calvin regrets letter her slip away as he instead went hunting Hitler.
Is The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot a perfect movie? Of course not, for very film films are. But it’s a film that is far, far better than you might expect from a movie that has a title that could’ve so easily been the setup for a shlocky gimmick picture that skewed towards the “so bad it’s good” approach. Instead, we have a thoughtful, sincere, poignant and beautiful looking effort that could well be a true hidden gem of 2019.
Elsewhere on this release, there are some mightily fun special features, not least the engaging and interesting making-of that highlights how this picture was developed over a 12-year period. And again, bonus material such as this just further serves to make this an overall great release that you should definitely consider adding to your collection as soon as you can.
Special Features: Audio commentary with Robert D. Krzykowski / The Making of The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot / Joe Kramer interview / Short film / Deleted scenes / Art gallery
THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ROBERT D. KRZYKOWSKI / STARRING: SAM ELLIOTT, AIDAN TURNER, CAITLIN FITZGERALD, LARRY MILLER, RON LIVINGSTON, RIZWAN MANJI / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 15TH (DIGITAL), MAY 6TH (BLU-RAY/DVD)