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Writer and Director: Logan Fry
Cast: Lisa Neeld, Jerry Lynch, Meghana Lynn
Production Company: Lone Buzzard Filmworks
Runtime: 38 minutes

You know this movie was made in the right spirit when it immediately warns you that it may trigger sensitive people who are easily offended by blood, boobs and girls who lose their heads. A warning like that seems more like an invitation to settle back, and enjoy the antics to come.

The opening scene looks like it could have been pulled right out of The Blair Witch Project (1999). Two people are exploring the dark woods of Ohio at night, searching for something sinister. They soon come upon the Cuyahoga Valley Bigfoot in all its red-eyed glory! The movie then jumps back two weeks, to show us how our heroes got into this hairy situation.

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Some of the shots in this early part of the film are reminiscent of the Patterson footage of Bigfoot from 1967. Bigfoot is, in fact, played by Gary Moon and Vince Ciraldo in an ape costume. Hopefully, they got it dry-cleaned between shots. Since Bigfoot is likely always a guy in an ape suit, I consider their portrayal to be very authentic!

It was wonderful to see Jerry Lynch in the role of Newsdesk Reporter Tom Burnham in this film. Lynch also played the villainous Rome, in a Michigan-based indie horror film, Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption (2011). For that matter, Logan Fry and Rance Martin were also in that film. Here, Lynch plays a role that is much more light-hearted and unconventional. His news partner is played by Lisa Neeld who also played Bedelia in The Sandman (1995). It was great to see both of these actors again.

While watching, keep your eyes and ears open for a number of references to head, getting head, giving head and so on. They even eat cookies shaped like bear heads in one scene. It’s all foreshadowing for the gruesome hijinks that are about to unfold. Be sure to hang around after the credits for some more heady silliness.

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In this film, Bigfoot does have a fondness for ripping people’s heads off. The decapitations are cleverly done through the use of green screen and digital effects. The effects are more funny than gross, which is completely intentional. You can even see that the decapitated characters are still breathing without their heads! All of this just adds to the kooky shenanigans and the viewer’s overall enjoyment.

Probably one of the strongest scenes in the film involves a botched robbery at a coffee shop. Some of the funniest moments in the movie all go down in rapid succession during this scene. It’s also where we learn that Bigfoot may actually be afraid of boobs!

Some of the humour will also remind attentive viewers of John Landis’ first film, Schlock (1973), in which a small town is terrorized by the missing link. Both films focus on specific incidents that are almost short stories in their own right. They also both have someone in a hairy ape costume.

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There are various cuts of this movie that were used for different situations. The 38 minute version was the first cut, and was screened twice in the Akron area. Shorter versions were made for inclusion in film festivals with time limitations for short films. The 24 minute version is much tighter, excludes the opening scene, and has shorter versions of the scenes involving the coffee shop and the Bigfoot expert.

To complicate things further, there is another 38 minute version that is more family-friendly. This version is called, Grizzlehead: The Tale of the Cuyahoga Valley Bigfoot (2016), and has all bare breasts discreetly covered with clown faces and Bigfoot heads. Covering boobs with floating heads works for Lloyd Kaufman in his trailers, so why not here too!

To sum up, Gimme Head: The Tale of the Cuyahoga Valley Bigfoot (2016) is a movie that would go great with friends, beer and pizza. Just remember to blow the head off your beer before starting the movie. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

– John Migliore

For more information on the film, check out the links below…

Akron Beacon News Coverage

Nightlight Cinema Splash Page

IMDb Page

Gimme Head Extended Trailer

Effects Video

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