A short history of cinematic Sasquatch sexuality

A tender moment from “Sweet Prudence”

A tender moment from “Sweet Prudence”

Well, it appears that Sweet Prudence and the Erotic Adventure of Bigfoot (now playing on Cinemax television) was not the first film to mix erotic hijinks with Bigfoot lore.  That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, after all it’s the classic tale – Bigfoot meets girl, Bigfoot loses girl, Bigfoot gets girl back and performs an array of wild sexual positions – so of course its irresistible to filmmakers.  There are not a lot of these Sasquatch crotch operas, but we thought we would give a spotlight to the most prominent ones.

These films all have their roots in the “Girl and a Gorilla” films, a genre that really hit its stride in the 1930’s.  Gorillas were perfect fodder for exploitation films of the era, because they were in many ways still new and exciting, having only been officially recognized by zoologists in 1901.  So little was known about these creatures it was easy for audiences to be swept away be whatever erotic fantasies filmmakers were willing to throw on screen, especially when it was presented as a documentary.  It would be a censorship taboo to show a human male carrying off beautiful native women for carnal purposes…but for some reason when a gorilla did it, that was acceptable.

Documentary Filmmaking at it’s finest

Documentary Filmmaking at it’s finest

1934’s FORBIDDEN ADVENTURE is the Alpha and Omega of the genre, despite really being a hodgepodge of silent documentary material and poorly matched dramatic footage shot in California’s San Fernando Valley.  A group of intrepid white explorers led by their native guides, all of which are (of course) topless women attempt to find the lost city of Angkor.  They discover a temple guarded by gorilla’s that have a strange hypnotic power over the women.  Eventually all hell breaks lose and the bare breasted native girls are dragged off by hormonally charged gorillas for mating.  The film played as a legitimate documentary on the “road show” circuit up until it was discovered that the “native girls “had been hired from a Los Angeles bordello.  Were audiences of the time really gullible enough to believe this was an actual documentary?  Before being too harsh in judging audiences past, remember that you or someone you care about actually considers Keeping Up With The Kardashians to be a riveting real life story – so gullibility has not gone out of fashion.  Naïve, silly, and vaguely racist Forbidden Adventure is a great time capsule of a bygone age.

Eventually the Girl and Gorilla genre was obliterated by a combination of film censorship and actual gorilla’s being on public display in circuses, most notably the famous “Gargantua”.  The great apes just lost their air of mystery, at least until another manlike beast would come along and pick up the torch.

Native (of Los Angeles) Guides

Native (of Los Angeles) Guides

But in the early 1970’s Bigfoot soared into the world’s collective consciousness, propelled by a few seconds of 16MM footage shot by Roger Patterson, allegedly showing a previously undiscovered hairy giant.  Whether authentic or a clever hoax the footage became a cause celeb for bored news reporters and the public at large.  Within months Bigfoot paperbacks and documentaries and sightings sprang up like Dandelions.  It took about an hour for savvy sexploitation filmmakers to seize the opportunity.

Also known as Beauties and the Beast

Also known as Beauties and the Beast

1974’s BEAUTIES AND THE BEAST is the original “Bigfoot Nudie” film, and even features an onscreen narrator/Bigfoot hunter to give a little historical background so it all feels educational- for about three minutes.  Bigfoot exists primarily to skulk around and spy on naked women while they sunbath, and swim.  He abducts several women, but doesn’t actually molest them, which makes the film much more palatable.  Overall the best thing the film has to offer is Uschi Digard, probably the most beautiful woman to ever appear in erotic films.

Uber Bigfoot sleaze – The Geek

Uber Bigfoot sleaze – The Geek

THE GEEK from 1971 is the hardcore equivalent of Beauties and the Beast, and consists of porn actors wandering the woodlands and pausing to have sex.  Eventually Bigfoot sexually assaults one of the women, as her companions make feeble attempts to rescue her.  It’s a seventies porn film, with a slight twist to make it topical.  The actors and even the animals appearing in the stock footage all look pretty embarrassed, and you’ll probably feel their pain.

 

La Bête (The Beast)

La Bête (The Beast)

On the other end of the cinematic scale is La Bête (The Beast) Walerian Borowczyk’s retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  This film has it all – a Bigfoot style beast, strange sex, nasty priests, absurd humor, Freudian overtones, and probably the first full on Sasquatch sex scene with a “money shot”.  But don’t anticipate seeing a “so bad its good” schlock fest, La Bête is a beautifully shot, dream like film that is finally available in its full form on DVD.

Cinema’s angriest Bigfoot – Night of the Demon

Cinema’s angriest Bigfoot – Night of the Demon

There isn’t much Bigfoot on babe action in 1999 NIGHT OF THE DEMON, but it’s the first film to explore the “Weekly World News” favorite headline “I had Bigfoot’s love child”.  This weird hybrid of Bigfoot Hunting and splatter films has the creature killing everyone in sight including some unlucky thirty-five-year-old girl scouts and a biker who is grabbed in the worst possible place while relieving himself.   One of the great “you have to see it to believe it” films.

This is all you ever need to see from “Search for the Beast”

This is all you ever need to see from “Search for the Beast”

1997’s SEARCH FOR THE BEAST is pretty much the bottom of the barrel, featuring the worst acting, script and bigfoot costume on record, and that’s really saying something.  Bigfoot’s sexual moment wherein the beast kills a man who is in the midst of doggy style sex, and takes his place without the woman noticing is both tasteless and ridiculous.  It’s not supposed to be funny; they actually thought this would work.  Pretty sad stuff.

The poster is nice… leave it at that.

The poster is nice… leave it at that.

2002’s APE CANYON Is pretty much a modified home movie and can be painful to watch.  Its main claim to fame is having the female lead violently raped by Bigfoot, but enjoying it – the kind of thinking had gone the way of the dinosaurs by the seventies.  A film that is mainly memorable for its notoriety.

There are also some modern porn videos featuring Bigfoot, where nothing is left to the imagination.  If watching the hairy beast in full on sex wasn’t strange enough one of these videos chose to set it all to the marching music of John Philip Sousa.  You’ll never look at a marching band the same way again.

That’s our summary, but there are certainly more of them out there waiting, to be discovered much like Bigfoot himself.

If you’ve never seen SWEET PRUDENCE AND THE EROTIC ADVENTURE OF BIGFOOT check it out on Cinemax, and also check out www.sweetprudence.com  – there are tons of blog posts, movie clips, trailers and neat stuff there to entertain you.

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All the critics are sweet on Prudence

"There's a truly quaint retro-Russ Meyer vibe running through it that makes it a fluid drenched joy to watch"

> read the full article here!

"There actually is a lot of humor here and most of the time it actually hits its mark. ...which elevates it to the upper echelon as far as skin flicks go in my book."