UPDATE, April 17, 9:45 a.m.:

A representative of Bleeker Street, the independent film company that produced Sasquatch Sunset, emailed the Outpost to let us know that the movie starts Friday at the Broadway Cinemas in Eureka.


Original post:

Ready for the Arcata Plaza drum circle.


PREVIOUSLY: FORNICATING BIGFOOTS! The Trailer Just Dropped for Locally Filmed ‘Sasquatch Sunset,’ an R-rated Dramedy Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Others in Furry Suits


The good news: Today is opening day for Sasquatch Sunset, a new feature film that follows a family of the famously reclusive cryptids. It was filmed entirely here in Humboldt County’s own redwood forests! It stars Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Keough, unrecognizable in full-body fur suits!

The bad news: It’s not showing at any of our local theaters — not yet, anyway. We assume the movie will eventually find its way to one or more of our local theaters, but until then we’re left to skim critic reviews. 

The consensus? Sounds like this thing is pretty good! Directed by brothers David and Nathan Zellner, the R-rated faux nature documentary reportedly features lots of gross body humor, including graphic Bigfoot sex and copious poop-throwing. But reviewers also describe the film as “poignant,” with L.A. Times critic Amy Nicholson saying, “it holds up a mirror to our own narcissism.”

In a rave review for the New Yorker, Richard Brody says the “scruffy but finely nuanced drama … depicts a wide spectrum of Sasquatch life” and, in doing so, contains “many psychologically resonant moments.”

Not every critic has been so taken with the movie, though. In Paste, for example, Felicia Reich takes issue with how the brothers Zellner portray the lone female member of the Sasquatch family, who’s often made to carry “the universal burden of womanhood that spans species.”

“The pain and distress of the film often comes at the expense of our heroine … ,” Reich observes, “and considering the agony her brothers and deadbeat father put her through, a single instance of righteous indignation just wasn’t enough for me. I was left with a thirst for vengeance that was never quite sated.”

Most reviews are positive, though. (The movie is currently carrying a 79 percent “Tomatometer” score on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes.) The San Francisco Chronicle’s longtime reviewer Mick LaSalle opines, “It’s a special movie that can make you laugh out loud numerous times at gross comedy and then make you think and feel something, too.”

Earlier this week, the Chronicle’s Datebook also published a behind-the-scenes report on the making of the movie, which includes descriptions of the full-body foam latex hair suits worn by actors and their flexible masks, which were thin enough to allow facial expressions.

In the Datebook story the Zellners address the challenges and importance of filming here in our neck of the woods:

While Eureka and Arcata were their base hubs, David Zellner said “we went pretty much in every direction” to film on private land as well as state and national park locales. “It’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and we really wanted the film to have epic landscapes,” he said over Zoom with his brother from New York. “From the start we knew we wanted to shoot in those primordial, old-growth redwood forests.”

Still, “it was very difficult,” David confirmed. “That’s why not many people shoot up there. It’s hard to get to, and to get on location. Just navigating the woods is a challenge on its own, but then you’re adding a whole crew, people in costume, makeup effects and those sort of things. But that was important because we really wanted to ground this world we’re creating with a sense of naturalism. That’s why we didn’t want to shoot on a soundstage.” 

Still not sure whether this one’s for you? Watch the preview below to get a better sense of the whole vibe.