Of the recent glut of “found footage” horror movies…Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes is one of them. It’s far from the best example of this style, but it’s certainly not the worst. What it lacks in scares, it makes up for in sheer competence — which frankly is more than can be said about a lot of its ilk.
Although it’s largely a forgettable Blair Witch Project retread, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes stands out for two reasons. One, it’s directed by a black guy, Corey Grant, but isn’t an all-black “urban” horror flick (in fact, it’s downright rural).
Second, it brings to fruition the concept that a black character in a horror movie might actually become self-aware and realize, “Hey, I’m a black character in a horror movie. Maybe I shouldn’t be hanging out with a bunch of white people who take pleasure in courting danger that will no doubt be my undoing.”
As such, early in the film, as the lead characters try to recruit their African-American buddy Curtis (Japheth Gordon) to join their camera crew on a trek through the Pacific Northwestern woods in search of a Sasquatch, he lets them know in no uncertain terms that they can count him out:
“How can I put this to you? You are shooting a horror show, and no black man in his right mind is going out into the woods with a bunch of white folks — no disrespect — for a horror show…You need a sound guy who’s dumb enough to get a Bigfoot broke off in his ass, and I know the guy just for you.”
(Black colleague Latonya chimes in to remind them that they don’t have life insurance through their production company.)
Curtis then directs them to a geeky white guy named Kevin, who proceeds to become the surrogate “black guy” in the movie, getting spooked at the first sign of an actual Sasquatch, putting his “let’s-get-the-fuck-outta-here” approach into use by abandoning the other crew members and then, of course, being the first to die at the Big Hands of a Bigfoot.
Consider it cinematic reverse Affirmative Action.