2010 horror comedy
Rating: 14/20 (Kairow: 10/20)
Plot: Jimmy Tupper is a complete loser. He's a Starbucks employee by day and nothing more than an alcoholic joke to his friends by night. And nothing about him indicates that his future will be drastically different. One night, his friends decide to dump Jimmy, who has passed out once again, in the middle of the woods and leave him. When he doesn't show up for work the next day, his friends go looking for him. They find him, beaten and bloodied and raving about having to fight off a goatman attempting to drag him away. When his friends don't believe him, he decides to camp out in the woods with a camera in order to capture footage of the Goatman of Bowie.
Warning: Spoilers! I generally try to avoid including spoilers, but I can't help including him while writing about this one.
Sometimes when I watch a movie, I can't help thinking of the rating I'm going to give it. Here's my thought progression as I watched Jimmy Tupper Vs. The Goatman of Bowie with my good friend, Kairow.
OK, I knew this was one of these Paranormal Activity/Blair Witch/Cloverfield found footage deals going in, but this party scene at the beginning is absolutely brutal. This is looking like a 3/20.
I like this Jimmy Tupper fellow. His friends sure are mean though. But at least it's sort of funny. This might be a 6/20.
What's this graduation footage doing in here? Who are these people talking about a Barbie doll collection? Back to a 2/20.
I'm penalizing this a point for making me dizzy.
Oh, my God. Nothing is happening here. I hope Kairow will speak to me again after this. I'm sure glad my wife didn't come to see this. Is this even a movie? 2/20 still.
This is almost like one of those jokes that was almost funny but then isn't funny at all but just keeps going and going, the Brett Favre of jokes, and eventually becomes funny again just because of its endurance. I'm bumping this up to a 7/20.
Marshmallows and bacon! 9/20.
Uh oh. I'm not sure this movie's going to have a goatman in it. I paid to see a freakin' goatman! If I don't see a goatman by the time this ends, I'm taking the life of everybody in this theater. 7/20.
My God! Look at that goatman! 15/20!
The ending! Goat men? Absolutely bad ass! 36/20!
I really enjoyed this movie. The found footage stuff makes the first sixty minutes seem almost endless. It builds anticipation if it doesn't quite build enough tension or suspense. Now, I think I have a lot more tolerance for this sort of thing than most people. I appreciated Tupper's meanderings, and I like how his character gradually deepens as he blathers on about making comic books or how he hates his friends. And his explanations of his plans to lure the goatman to his camp are hilarious. In a way, he reminds me of The Grizzly Man's Timothy Treadwell as his most pitiful. I was completely fooled into thinking this would end one way, then fooled into changing my mind about how it would end, and finally being way off with either of my guesses. At first, I figured this was going to add up to nothing at all, that there would be no goat man, that this was an almost Theater of the Absurd type of found footage parody, a mash-up of Blair Witch and Waiting for Godot. Even though I know how the movie ends now, that's still probably not too far off. The found footage stuff is realistic. There's nothing in this that feels contrived, but that might make this less entertaining for less patient viewers. A violently quivering camera, even during scenes that aren't supposed to be the least bit suspenseful, also adds to the realism, but again, this might make Tupper tedious for a lot of the audience. Most real of all, is the performance of lead actor Andrew Bowser, the same guy who directed this unless there are two people named Andrew Bowser working on the same project. He's a very believable loser, and I really felt I was experiencing all of this with an authentic person instead of just a character in a horror movie. One question, however--quite abruptly, this changes from a found footage thing to a more traditional horror movie at the end. Kairow liked it more at that point, but I thought the juxtaposition was strange, and I'm not sure I understand why it changed abruptly. Still, that last fifteen minutes is pretty rad.
I saw this at the Indianapolis Museum of Art as part of the Indy Film Festival. It was the only movie in the festival with the word "man" in the title.