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Is Bigfoot a rampaging serial killer?
That’s the question seeking an answer — well, more or less — in a fur-raising new docuseries on Hulu.
The three-part program “Sasquatch,” premiering Tuesday, April 20, explores a wild theory that the mythical creature may be responsible for long-rumored murders and disappearances of three unidentified Mexican men in northern California in 1993.
But is Bigfoot really the prime suspect in a decades-old string of cold cases about men reportedly torn limb from limb, for whom no bodies were ever found — and which exist only as horrific hearsay?
That depends on who you ask.
The out-there legend of Sasquatch has long peppered movies (“Harry and the Hendersons,” anyone?) and trashy 1970s TV (“The Six Million Dollar Man”) and taunted celebs such as Rob Lowe and Megan Fox, who consider themselves believers — and even led to 1970s investigations by the FBI. He (or she?) has resulted in wackadoodle sightings from California to Utah to Oklahoma to upstate New York, leaving behind only blurry, grainy photographic evidence — at best.
Yet far-fetched stories still circulate among avowed Sasquatch “hunters,” who open up in the docuseries about widespread whisperings they’ve heard.
“There’s the one story about a guy out in Weitchpec [in California] who got pulled apart,” relates Bigfoot-seeker James “Bobo” Fay in the program. “Like, all four of his limbs and head pulled off. That was back in the early ‘70s. Man, when they see you, they see a big, old slab of meat walking out there.”
Adding to the film’s intrigue: The trio of men who are the show’s jumping-off point allegedly were part of an influx of migrant workers toiling on then-illegal, prolific and competitive cannabis farms deep in the foggy redwood forests of Mendocino County.
With that detail, things just get weirder, as some even say the beast may have a hankering for hemp.
“There’s been rumors up there about 10-foot-tall pot plants — the buds on top are all snapped off,” Sasquatch hunter Jerry Hein suggests in the doc. “Well, it’s Bigfoot. They eat ’em like corn. Plus, they get a nice, little buzz off it.”
‘This place is f–ked up beyond belief.’
David Holthouse, investigative journalist in ‘Sasquatch’
But Brooklyn-born “Sasquatch” director Joshua Rofé — who also worked on the 2019 docu-series “Lorena,” about the infamous, penis-lopping wife of John Wayne Bobbitt — is less focused on proving or disproving tall tales. With the help of investigative journalist David Holthouse, who interviews the subjects, Rofé sets out to learn why people would believe outlandish rumors in the first place.
“This is a ghost story. We set out to make a documentary hunting down the source of this ghost story. Not trying to prove the existence or not of this mythical beast, but to find the source of this absolutely insane story about a Sasquatch murdering three people,” Rofé told The Post. “And so it was a wild thing to suddenly sit down with people who said, ‘Yes, I’m aware of that story. And I also believe that it happened.’ ”
Rofé added that he was “clear-eyed going in that the subject of Sasquatch is something that is not taken seriously by most people,” and that he wanted to treat his interview subjects “with dignity and respect,” rather than outright skepticism. Rofé and Holthouse even interviewed Bob Gimlin, who with his late friend Roger Patterson is known for the most famous footage, from 1967, ever captured of Bigfoot.
“I wanted to treat them the same way I would somebody whose testimony in a court case was the center of a project, you know what I mean?” Rofé said of the show’s subjects. “Just, this is a real person. This is what’s important to them and this is what’s true to them. And so let’s hear what they have to say.”
For Rofé, the question being asked was less “Is Sasquatch a serial killer?” than “What was the culture that existed that would essentially birth and then breed a story like this?” he said.
As Holthouse notes in the series, “There’s a current of belief in supernatural forces that runs deeper up here than I think in most places.” But while doing backwoods interviews with suspicious strangers who felt inherently threatened by outsiders, the filmmakers discovered the subject matter was far more dangerous than daffy.
“This place is f–ked up beyond belief,” Holthouse asserts in the doc. He says that there is “widespread” and “overt” racism in the area, a place dotted with missing-person flyers and populated by “hippies” listening to Grateful Dead while also “packing AR-15s” and maintaining backyard survivalist bunkers.
“You go asking around about three dead men and the question you get back the most is, ‘Which three dead men?’ ” he says.
A source who was an ex-cop even sent Holthouse a cryptic text message at one point, tipping him off about risk amongst the redwoods. “I feel morally and ethically bound to warn you that you are venturing into dangerous territory. Unlike you, I live here and have a family to protect,” the message read, closing with, “Please be careful.”
Rofé backs up those off-putting assessments of the insular, visitor-averse area residents who may have secrets to hide or, worse, bloodthirsty impulses.
“The thing that people should be most afraid of is not the boogie man in the woods,” Rofé said. “It is our next-door neighbors who will usually commit acts of violence that will then terrify, you know, everybody on the block or everybody in the neighborhood.
“It was very scary,” Rofé added. “We did enter a sort of underworld, you know, for lack of a better term. And, you know, we were really mindful to try and not overstay our welcome.”
He said that Holthouse sometimes went on interviews solo when a camera crew couldn’t join him — which wasn’t necessarily a good idea.
“My worst fear was that David was going to go into the woods to meet somebody in a situation where none of us would be allowed to go with him — and that he would not come back,” Rofé said. “And that was his worst fear as well.”
Without spoiling too many of the film’s eventual conclusions, Rofé’s assessments zero in on one more grounded, if unnerving, possibility about the real murderous culprits lurking in the woods, one echoed by Holthouse himself.
“No, I don’t think f–kin’ Bigfoot did it,” Holthouse declares in the docuseries. “No. I don’t believe in Bigfoot, but I sure as hell believe in greed and that greed turns people into monsters. It’s not Bigfoot making all those people disappear in the woods.”
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