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Monday, April 02, 2012

What Happened to 'Revenge of Bigfoot'?

On Sunday night, our guest on Beyond the Edge Radio was Bigfoot film historian and author David Coleman. During the conversation about obscure Bigfoot films the title 'Revenge of Bigfoot' was brought up. Simply states, where did this film go? No one seems to I decided that I would look into this mystery.

'Revenge of Bigfoot' was shot in Texarkana, Arkansas during the summer of 1978. The film starred Rory Calhoun, Mike Hackworth, T.Dan Hopkins and Patricia Kane. The film was produced and directed by Harry Z. Thomason. Basically, it was the story of a friendly rancher who befriends an native indian. The local bigot, named Rufus Pickle, tries to run the indian out of town but is interrupted by a Bigfoot. It was released then re-titled 'Rufus J. Pickle and the Indian'...and was shown in several states before it disappeared from the scene.

According to those who have seen the movie it won't keep you on the edge of your seat or get your adrenaline pumping...but it was an entertaining way to spend 90 or so minutes. At the time Rory Calhoun was still considered a bankable star, but the real star of the movie is Mike Hackworth and his portrayal of the character, Rufus J. Pickle. Hackworth was a Texarkana native and a multi-talented guy. He also wrote and sung the theme song for the movie. Harry Z. Thomason is still an American film and television producer and director, best known for the television series Designing Women. Thomason and his wife, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, are close friends of President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and played a major role in President Clinton's election campaigns. When Clinton ran for president in 1992, Harry Thomason produced a filmed biography of the candidate called The Man from Hope, which was showcased at the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

The following is a statement by David C. Bohn from Marion, Ohio: "Way back in the summer of 1978, I was a member of a club, in my home town of Little Rock, Arkansas, known as 'Central Arkansas Filmmakers' – An organization of amateur filmmakers who produced home-made movies on super 8 film. The CAF was where I got my first experience as a film Actor.

In September of that year, I got a call from Marvin Walker, President and Co-Founder of that organization. Marvin told me that we had been invited to appear in a movie being shot in southwest Arkansas, titled: 'Revenge Of Bigfoot'. It seems that Marvin knew somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody who knew Harry Thomason, and word had reached him that Harry was looking for talent, in the form of extras for his production.

I, along with several other members of the CAF, made the trip to Texarkana, one Saturday, that September, and it was quite an interesting and fun experience for all of us, especially me, for I got to meet my first big Hollywood star – Rory Calhoun. Mr. Calhoun was quite an amiable and friendly guy, and even set aside some time for a kind of 'question and answer' session with our members. I even had my picture taken with him, and I have that framed, black-and-white 5x7 print sitting on my nightstand, to this day.

We spent most of a day shooting 2 scenes: One where a hunting party was being assembled, to go and look for 'Bigfoot', and another, later, in a country nightclub, where the monster was to make an appearance, and scare everybody half to death. I managed to sneak in a line, during the 'posse' scene, but I have no idea if it made it to the final cut, for I've never seen the finished product. I seem to remember that we weren't invited to the premiere, and its theatrical release was so short, that I blinked my eyes, and missed it.

Surely, there must be some videotape copies of this movie, somewhere, and I would really like to see it, if anyone knows how to get hold of one, especially now that I've heard and read some good things about it. Meanwhile, if you see it, look for the big guy in a camouflage hunting cap, wearing a Levi jacket, and carrying a double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun. I'm sure you'll be impressed with his imposing presence."

So why is it almost impossible to find a copy of the film today? According to David Coleman, author of The Bigfoot Filmography there have been rumors that the then Attorney General of Arkansas Bill Clinton was actually in the film. Some say that this is the reason why the film was removed from distribution since the Clinton gubernatorial campaign didn't want any association between the candidate and 'Revenge of Bigfoot'.

If anyone has further information on 'Revenge of Bigfoot' or 'Rufus J. Pickle and the Indian' please feel free to let me know. Thanks...Lon

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