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on July 29, 2015
I was impressed. It is a slow burner so get your popcorn and drinks before hand. Technically this is a horror but not in the old(or new) style slasher type. Does not rely on special effects, gore and nudity to tell the story. Way below shoestring budget type film and I think what I find most impressive about it is almost all of the actors in this film are local folks from around the area in rural Texas the film was shot. That and if you research it, is based on early Texas settler "witness" accounts. The Historical markers are really there. Even if you don't believe in bigfoot, yeti or whatever, historically it's facinating.
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on June 30, 2013
i love 1970s type of movies. this was a homage to that era, kinda like "boggy creek", one of my favorites. for the most part it was what you expect, small budget, no name no actors, etc. i thought is was a good low budget movie.
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on August 2, 2014
I had been eagerly waiting to see this film ever since I learned of it. Paying a homage to one of my faves "The Legend of Boggy Creek", it plays as a vintage 70's low budget horror flick. The filmmakers even contacted the late Charles Pierce (who had done Boggy Creek) for his which Chuck replied if he wasn't running the show, he wanted no part.

(Below riddled with spoilers)

Based on true events, this is the story of a man recently laid off from his job, and (in desperate need of money) decides to open up his land to the local hunters so they may hunt for game on his property, even though he knows his land is inhabited by a savage wild man. Though he has been trying to appease the wild man for some time with offerings, a hunter shoots and injures the wild man, and then all hell breaks loose.

I have read many reviews on this film, and have heard the good and bad things people have said. But I wanted to address the bad:
Yes I agree, I wanted a bigfoot movie out of this too. This is a little different creature feature. I was confused at first about the creature's appearance with it wearing animal skins. This was unlike any bigfoot story I had heard. But then I looked it up online. Some reports say that the original wild man of the navidad was indeed a man, an escaped slave in the 1800's who was a prince of his tribe back in Africa. After escaping, he donned animal pelts and lived off the land for 14 years. Farmers would find their tools missing one day, only to find them returned and sharpened the next day. And he never hurt anyone. He was eventually captured and re-enslaved. Then after the Civil War, he was released. So even though the creature seemed strange to me, to see him running around in animal pelts, I get that side of the story....maybe it was truly a real feral man living off the land and killing people. Look it up, there's scary stories like this everywhere. Once they remove the hood at the last where you can actually see his face, it's pretty scary though brief. There is a very scary picture of his face online, looking like a balding man with a shaggy mustache and beard, and a desperate need to see a dentist. And with all of the creature's growling, it just made it more eerie....for if it was just a man to begin with, and you heard the man say "Rowr!!!", the jig would be up. But still other reports say there have been bigfoot beasts in the navidad region for years, and this movie tells a story of factual events that took place in 1975.

So whichever of those two stories you choose to apply to this film's ending is your choice I suppose. Man or beast, it doesn't really matter, because the story is every bit worth the ride.
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on March 21, 2011
As a child (pre-STAR WARS), comic books, horror magazines and Japanese sci-fi had captured my innocence. These seeds-of-the-fantastic (along with A LOT of fatherly-encouragement) took root upon my things-from-another-world-starved psyche and helped to nurture a more than cursory interest in U.F.O.'s, the paranormal and monsters. In the early 1970's, I was introduced to a frightening film that captured perfectly the mystery, thrill and foreboding of the unknown and one for which I would forever associate with the cryptozoological phenomena that is BIGFOOT/SASQUATCH.

That film was The Legend of Boggy Creek; a low-budget, psuedo-documentary which relied on reenactments to tell the tale of a monstrous nocturnal creature which was purportedly prowling the ominous, lonely backwoods of Boggy Creek, Arkansas and terrifying locals with harrowing after-dark raids on isolated farm houses. The uncertainty of just WHAT was lurking in the murky bottoms of the creek and the ability of the filmmakers to convey feelings of dread and unspeakable horror in the face of abject terror haunts me to this very day. The washed-out look of the film and candid performances from the actual people to whom these encounters were said to have occurred lends an overall sense of realism to proceedings and renders CREEK a landmark in the pantheon of Bigfoot cinema.

Which brings us to THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD; a sly and inventive homage to early-70's shock-cinema which faithfully and respectfully adheres to a formula similar to other films of it's ilk (BOGGY CREEK included). Operating on a shoestring budget, filmmakers Duane Graves and Justin Meeks move things along at a brisk clip as they depict the (supposedly-true) strange goings-on in the remote Texas town of Sublime. Seems the town (and one local in particular) are harboring a sinister secret - a secret which all but unhinges the town's inhabitants and propels them over a cliff of self-induced paranoia and into a chasm of riotous fear. You see, Sublime is home to a crazed-wildebeast-of-a-man, which prowls a restricted and cordoned-off area of the wetlands and preys upon unsuspecting wayward lovers and over-zealous hunters.

Over-the-top in it's depiction of some of the creature's kills (not even children are spared a gruesome demise at the expense of this beast's ravenous appetite), WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD work's best when it follows the exploits of the hapless few who embark upon ill-advised hunts for the creature and less-so when it focuses on a bizarre sub-plot involving the owner of the land, (on which the WILD MAN prowls) his wife and caretaker. Cinematography (also by Graves) is gritty and captures the despair and unfrequented town of Sublime in all it's remote glory. Graves camera manages to also convey moments of stark helplessness, especially during a scene where the beast ransacks a home.

The WILD MAN itself is an abominable creature; gargantuan, primitive and possessed of enormous strength. Graves and Meeks do an admirable job in keeping the creature cloaked-in-darkness for the majority of the film so that when it comes time for the big reveal, it is both shocking and disturbing.

THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD is a creative diversion from the ususal Hollywood horror-fare and is an impressive effort by the fledgling-filmmakers. Adventurous horror-buffs and those into films with a quasi-cryptozoological bent are recommended to hunt this WILD MAN down at all costs.
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on March 15, 2010
SPOILER ALERT - The Wild Man of the Navidad is about a mysterious creature who terrorizes a rural Texas river bottom belonging to a man who has opened that bottom for hunting in order to pay for his wife's medical treatment. The creature, a local legend, is shot and injured causing it to go on a rampage through the moonshine plagued town which eventually results in it's death, at which point the creature is revealed to be... a Wookilar: the man-pig monster last seen menacing Tim Conway & Don Knotts in 1981's The Private Eyes [Blu-ray].

The film as a whole is interesting, quirky and enjoyable, but ultimately disappointing in its attempt at a fusion of The Legend of Boggy Creek (contextual) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2-Disc Ultimate Edition) (aesthetic). The film itself comes across as a somewhat self-indulgent vanity project (the writer/director team also starring), though it does have several attributes; such as grotesquely engaging non-professional actors, and great locations, and is certainly worth seeing and owning if you are a fan of films like the aforementioned Boggy Creek, or Town That Dreaded Sundown [VHS], as it pretends to that genre in obvious homage to Charles B. Pierce.

All said - I was initially very excited when I heard about Wild Man, but as an end result I'd liken the experience to riding a roller coaster, at a child's theme park: Teasingly precocious at turns but never actually meeting expectations.
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on February 3, 2010
'The Wild Man of the Navidad' definitely has that 70's camp feel to it! When watching it, I could clearly see that it pays homage to such films as: 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', 'The Legend of Boggy Creek', 'Creature From Black Lake' etc. Even though it does pay homage to those films, it doesn't over do it in such a way that it would be ripping off its predecessors. It is truly original and I can easily see this becoming a cult classic over time. It just has to! Besides this being a low low budget flick, I could tell the makers behind it wanted their legendary wild man to say as campy as if it were depicted in 70's cinema. And by that I mean this isn't the scariest beastly-looking man that is seen by todays Horror movie standards (today being the keyword). Don't get me wrong, this wild man does play out a creepy vibe! I love how the wild man is portrayed. It's realistic. It's believable. Some viewers will not get it. I'm going to go out on a limb and say younger audiences these days will be the ones that wont get it when getting their first glimpse at the beast. Having grown up just outside of Shreveport, Louisiana for the past twenty something years, I might be a little biased on this "review". To be honest, once I find out there is a Horror flick that puts on some kind of southern act, I go in with almost a negative attitude right from the start. Well, I'm glad to be wrong! This flick has nothing but locals in it! So in that case, I can't argue about actors overplaying the redneck role. haha.

What does make this "true events" story different from the other flicks I've mentioned, is that there is some splatter involved, but nothing too over-the-top. If those of you can understand its campy approach and not look at it as just being silly, than you will enjoy it for what it's meant to be. The images captured in 'The Wild Man of the Navidad' are beautiful!
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THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD cost nearly nothing to make, so how could it be so good? Because, it makes the best of its ultra-limited resources! Even though the creature is barely glimpsed, the local hicks are perverse drunks w/ guns, and the "hero" is a cowardly doofus; somehow, this combination works! I generally hate bigfoot, yeti, sasquatch films, so this one surprised me. Don't expect a zillion-dollar, hollywood spectacular, and you just might enjoy this one...
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on November 29, 2010
This review may be somewhat biased due to the fact that I live on the Navidad River in Morales, one of the rural communities that the Wildman was thought to have lurked about. The other community being Sublime, which like Morales is just a gas station with surrounding farmhouses and ranches. So, this was quite a kick seeing a horror film based on the 19th century history of this area. Especially, since my family has been here for five generations. Can't say I have seen too many moonshine distilleries or sasquatch around here though unless by sasquatch you are referring to some of the locale. Note that I said 19th century as in 1800's. This movie was set in the early 1970's to give it that old drive in Texas Chainsaw Massacre feel(The film makers mentor and executive producer is one of the original directors/writers/producers of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The aforementioned being Kim Henkel. Like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre though, it is only very loosely based on actual events. One of the actual events being the "posse" that was formed at the climax of the film. I have been told that my great great grandfather was part of that posse but the ending of that posse scene was quite different than the ending in the film.

While this is a horror movie, I would venture to say that this is more of a character study and anthropology observation. In a way, the monster is like the zombies in Dawn of the Dead (1979)where the creatures might as well be hurricanes or terrorists and it is the community or society where the shortcomings occur.

Other things to point out is how much this film looks like it was filmed in the 1970's. But as a game, try to find anachronistic props in the film. Most them being of the firearm and vehicle variety. The photography and locations are pretty breathtaking for what these guys had to work with. The gore conjures up images of some of Tom Savini's techniques in Day of the Dead.

All in all, this is definitely worth checking out if you are any kind of gritty horror fan.
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on September 28, 2010
This film ROCKS! Not only does it perfectly capture the feel of the '70s, but also of the rural areas of south Texas, populated by colorful chracters that are genuinely weird. Not "Hollywood weird," but honestly off-kilter individuals who weren't all cast from Gossip Girl. The atmosphere is PERFECT! Very similar to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Firday the 13th. Gritty and clunky, but again, not in the Hollywood style. It feels like a film pulled together by people who were there, on scene as or shortly after, the events unfurled. The "monster" is awesome. Not some computer generated video-game thing, but a realistic, mutated...well...whatever the hell it's supposed to be. It runs, jumps, disembowels people, and in general behaves most horribly. Just the way a terrifying man-beast should! The ending too is very realisitc, and doesn't feel engineered the way most modern horror films are. The directors, cast, crew, and producers (some are all the same) should be applauded and you should definitely check out this movie. It's by far better than any of the recent "reboots" or "reimaginings" or whatever they call them these days. I hope these guys continue to make movies like this, since it's increasingly obvious that Hollywood, the studios, and even most "film makers" are absolutely devoid of any new ideas, style, or talent.
Buy it!!!!
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on September 28, 2009
Made on no budget, this was a decent first feature. The genre gets a reboot; this is very grindhouse, go-go 70s-style, so you'd need to be a fan of those to enjoy it.
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