The Sasquatch Gang, originally titled The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang (an obvious homage to the Don Knotts, Tim Conway classic Apple Dumpling Gang movies from the 70's) tells the tale of a jobless redneck "American born and bred" all around doofus named Zerk Wilder (Justin Long) and his hapless pal Shirts (Joey Kerns). An interesting side note is the fact that the character of Shirts is basically a carbon copy of Napoleon Dynamite’s brother, Kip. Anyhow, due to a reckless credit card purchase at a fast food joint several years ago and the subsequent failure to pay the bill, Zerk finds himself in a bit of hot water with the collections department. He has one week to pay the credit card bill or the agency will repossess his prized Thunderbird. Geniuses that they are, Zerk and Shirts come up with an amazing plan to fake a sasquatch sighting and sell plaster casts of the "authentic" footprints on ebay in order to make the money to pay the bill. Enter Gavin Gore (Jeremy Sumpter) and his rag tag group of fantasy film loving friends Hobie (Hubbel Palmer), Maynard (Rob Pinkston), and Sophie (Addie Land). The kids stumble upon what they believe to be real sasquatch tracks and even a pile of droppings left by the creature. Obviously Zerks plans hit some bumps along the way. Welcome to the Sasquatch Gang.
This film was actually a bit of a delight to watch. It is definitely geared toward the younger set, but it was amusing nonetheless. It is refreshing to see Justin Long do a bit of character acting. The trials and tribulations of the "gang" of friends really has a way of making one feel for their specific situations. Many claim that this movie is basically Napoleon Dynamite: The Sasquatch Edition, and in many ways it is quite similar. I believe that this film, however, gives more than Napoleon ever could. Justin Long is hilarious as he fills out every backwoods redneck stereotype that has ever been suggested and although a bit annoying at times, his pal shirts (so named for his lack of any upper body apparel) does well to Support Zerk in his hare- brained ideas.
The side story involving the kids and the fact that they are constantly being picked on and belittled by nearly everyone around them is fairly engaging. The blossoming love between Gavin and Sophie is actually quite charming and is very cute in the fact that it really feels real. Many of the lines and actions delivered by Hubbel Palmers character Hobie had me chuckling for reason I can’t quite explain. Something about the way he portrays the character just really amused me. I believe this whole thing was pretty well written if you consider the audience that it was written for. Kevin Spacey claims producing credits on this film that could have been much worse than it actually turned out to be. It’s a feel good family film that will amuse all ages. Don’t look for any deep seriousness or an actual philosophical message, but prepare to smile.
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