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HISTORY

The film opens with the following written statements: "All the events dramatized in this motion picture are based upon the reports of actual eyewitnesses."
       End credits close with the written statement, "We Gratefully Acknowledge the Cooperation of: American Museum of Natural History, New York; British Museum (Natural History), London; Royal Geographic Society (London); The University of California at Los Angeles; Rudolph Zallinger, Peabody Museum, Yale University; The Academy of Applied Science, Boston; The Big Foot Information Center, The Dalles, Oregon; The Loch Ness Investigation Bureau, Scotland; American Yeti Expeditions; The Daily Mail (London, England); The San Francisco Chronicle; Rochester (Minnesota) Post-Bulletin; University of California Press; The Humboldt Times, Eureka, California; The Klam-ity Kourier, Willow Creek, California; The Skamania County Pioneer; Alan Berry; B.F. Records, Redding, California; John Green; Cheam Publishing Co., Ltd.; National Park Service; US Department of the Interior"; and, "Portions of this film taken from, 'Land Of The Yeti.'"
       According to the 16 Feb 1976 Box, The Mysterious Monsters opened in early Jan 1976 at twenty-four theaters throughout metropolitan Philadelphia, PA, DE and southern NJ. Television advertisements for the film were carried on PA stations, as NJ had no commercial television broadcasters at the time. The ads included scenes in which a “hairy monster” breaks through the window of a home and terrorizes the occupant, and prompted Paul G. Rosenfeld, executive director of the Mercer County, NJ, Community Guidance Center, to lodge a protest with the television stations carrying the ads, and Media Networks in Syracuse, NY, which distributed the ads. He was also considering a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenberg, a mental health professional, stated that ... More Less

The film opens with the following written statements: "All the events dramatized in this motion picture are based upon the reports of actual eyewitnesses."
       End credits close with the written statement, "We Gratefully Acknowledge the Cooperation of: American Museum of Natural History, New York; British Museum (Natural History), London; Royal Geographic Society (London); The University of California at Los Angeles; Rudolph Zallinger, Peabody Museum, Yale University; The Academy of Applied Science, Boston; The Big Foot Information Center, The Dalles, Oregon; The Loch Ness Investigation Bureau, Scotland; American Yeti Expeditions; The Daily Mail (London, England); The San Francisco Chronicle; Rochester (Minnesota) Post-Bulletin; University of California Press; The Humboldt Times, Eureka, California; The Klam-ity Kourier, Willow Creek, California; The Skamania County Pioneer; Alan Berry; B.F. Records, Redding, California; John Green; Cheam Publishing Co., Ltd.; National Park Service; US Department of the Interior"; and, "Portions of this film taken from, 'Land Of The Yeti.'"
       According to the 16 Feb 1976 Box, The Mysterious Monsters opened in early Jan 1976 at twenty-four theaters throughout metropolitan Philadelphia, PA, DE and southern NJ. Television advertisements for the film were carried on PA stations, as NJ had no commercial television broadcasters at the time. The ads included scenes in which a “hairy monster” breaks through the window of a home and terrorizes the occupant, and prompted Paul G. Rosenfeld, executive director of the Mercer County, NJ, Community Guidance Center, to lodge a protest with the television stations carrying the ads, and Media Networks in Syracuse, NY, which distributed the ads. He was also considering a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenberg, a mental health professional, stated that the image of a monster invading a home was deeply disturbing to children. He claimed to have received complaints from several parents to that effect. A spokesman for television station WCAU in Philadelphia replied that the ads were only shown during “adult programming” hours of 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., placing the responsibility of censorship on the parent rather than the broadcaster. Rosenberg argued that, “The intent is harmful.”
       Reviews of The Mysterious Monsters were lukewarm, with the 1 Mar 1976 Box, the 30 Jul 1976 LAT, the 30 Jul 1976 HR, and the 4 Aug 1976 Var, all in agreement on the film’s value as entertainment, but only the Box review stated that it made a convincing case for the existence of creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Feb 1976.
---
Box Office
1 Mar 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Mar 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 1976
p. 2, 11.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jul 1976
p. 15.
Variety
8 Oct 1975.
---
Variety
4 Aug 1976
p. 22.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Wolper production
Schick Sun Classic Pictures Presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
Gaffer
Gaffer
Key grip
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
COSTUMES
Big Foot cost
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Big Foot makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Assoc in prod
Mgr prod op
Prod coord
Prod coord
Casting
Transportation capt
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Post prod supv
Post prod services
Exec in charge of prod
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Bigfoot: The Mysterious Monster
Release Date:
January 1976
Premiere Information:
Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware openings: early January 1976
Los Angeles opening: 28 July 1976
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
86
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

A large, apelike creature growls as it travels through a forest. It stops at a lake, and a father and his young son run in terror when they see it on the opposite shore. In the Pacific Northwest, scientists make plaster casts of footprints that are eighteen inches long and seven inches wide, believed to belong to an eight-foot-tall, five hundred-pound monster, known by several names, including “Sasquatch” and “The Skunk Ape,” but most commonly as “Bigfoot.” It has been consistently described as appearing to be half man and half ape, covered with hair, and having a powerful, foul odor. There were three hundred sightings in the U.S. between 1965 and 1975, but many scientists do not consider eyewitness accounts to be evidence. However, gorillas were also considered to be mythical until the late 19th century. Other recently discovered animals include the Komodo dragon, the okapi and the giant panda. There have also been cases such as Ishi, the last of the Native American Yahi tribe, who lived undetected outside Redding, California, for fifty years. Other species have been considered extinct only to be rediscovered, such as the coelacanth fish. A similar case is that of the Loch Ness Monster, a dinosaur seen by thousands in Scotland, but believed to be a myth by scientists. A firsthand description is given by Rev. Father Gregory Brusey, followed by photographic images of the monster, all of which have been rejected by science. In 1960, movie footage was taken by engineer Tim Dinsdale, which was determined by a British government agency to depict a creature that was five feet high and ... +


A large, apelike creature growls as it travels through a forest. It stops at a lake, and a father and his young son run in terror when they see it on the opposite shore. In the Pacific Northwest, scientists make plaster casts of footprints that are eighteen inches long and seven inches wide, believed to belong to an eight-foot-tall, five hundred-pound monster, known by several names, including “Sasquatch” and “The Skunk Ape,” but most commonly as “Bigfoot.” It has been consistently described as appearing to be half man and half ape, covered with hair, and having a powerful, foul odor. There were three hundred sightings in the U.S. between 1965 and 1975, but many scientists do not consider eyewitness accounts to be evidence. However, gorillas were also considered to be mythical until the late 19th century. Other recently discovered animals include the Komodo dragon, the okapi and the giant panda. There have also been cases such as Ishi, the last of the Native American Yahi tribe, who lived undetected outside Redding, California, for fifty years. Other species have been considered extinct only to be rediscovered, such as the coelacanth fish. A similar case is that of the Loch Ness Monster, a dinosaur seen by thousands in Scotland, but believed to be a myth by scientists. A firsthand description is given by Rev. Father Gregory Brusey, followed by photographic images of the monster, all of which have been rejected by science. In 1960, movie footage was taken by engineer Tim Dinsdale, which was determined by a British government agency to depict a creature that was five feet high and six feet wide. Similar footage was obtained by the Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau from 1967 through 1972, along with sonar images. One photograph shows a fin that is eight feet long and four feet wide. Dr. Robert Rines, a participant in an expedition, believes that thirty to forty of these creatures live in the loch. An infamous 1952 mishap that killed speedboat pilot John Cobb has been attributed to turbulence created by the monster. Back in the U.S., Bigfoot sightings have become more frequent as civilization continues to encroach on the creatures’ habitat. Similar animals are said to exist in Asia, such as the Almasty of the Caucasus and Pamir mountains, and the Yeti of the Himalayas. While climbing Mount Everest, explorer Eric Shipton photographed a set of large footprints; he later recalls the eerie feeling of being in “the presence of something quite unknown.” Artifacts, such as a Yeti hide and a mummified hand, may serve as evidence. Whether the Yeti is a primitive human or another form of anthropoid, it is likely that it migrated across the Bering Strait land bridge into North America. British explorer David Thompson became the first European to encounter Bigfoot in 1811. Other encounters, including the capture of a fur-covered humanoid in 1884 and prospector Albert Ostman’s abduction by a Bigfoot family in 1924, still have not convinced scientists, nor have other recent eyewitness accounts. Dr. Tippett explains that eyewitnesses are too often unreliable, and hard evidence, such as a bone or hide, is required. He would expect that remains of the creature would have been discovered if it existed. Anthropologist Dr. Lawrence Bradley argues that remains are rarely discovered in the forest, as animal carcasses are usually eaten by other animals. He has never found any bear or mountain lion remains during any of his expeditions in the wild. Dan Malockney describes his Bigfoot sighting and wonders why a footprint cannot be considered evidence if a fingerprint can. Scientists have proven that footprints can be easily distorted, especially in the snow, although former big game hunter Peter Byrne says it is impossible for bear tracks to resemble footprints the size and shape of those left by Bigfoot. Ray Pickens creates counterfeit Bigfoot tracks with a pair of modified shoes, but anthropologist Grover Krantz explains that a fraudulent print is easy to distinguish. Ed McLarney, a journalist, recalls finding a set of tracks spread further apart than any human stride. A recording of possible Bigfoot vocalizations are subjected to computer analysis by Dr. Robert Sheldon, who determines that the creature in question would have a fifty percent larger larynx than that of an adult male human, and would likely be fifty percent taller. While vacationing in British Columbia, Canada, Hal Williamson found a hank of hair following a Bigfoot sighting, which, upon analysis, could not be attributed to any known animal. Robert Morgan, who had a sighting in 1957, leads an expedition with the goal of obtaining photographic evidence. The expedition yields no photographs, although hair and fecal droppings are discovered. Analysis of feces show that Bigfoot lives on roots, grass, tree shoots and berries. The hair’s origin is unknown. Though a supposedly mythical creature, “Sasquatch” is listed among the state’s fauna in The Washington Environmental Atlas, published by the Army Corps of Engineers. Photographs of a frozen corpse known as the “Minnesota Iceman” may be the only hard evidence of Bigfoot, but the corpse disappeared in 1968. Psychic detective Peter Hurkos visualizes and draws a picture of Bigfoot, based on a plaster footprint locked inside an attaché case. Several recent sightings are described, including one from a Native American named John Green, who passes a polygraph test administered by former detective William Stenberg. Another eyewitness, Jerilou Whelchel, recalls her encounter during a hypnotic trance. Among the most compelling photographic evidence is 8mm movie footage taken by Roger Patterson in 1967, which was deemed authentic by scientists Grover Krantz, Donald W. Green, Dmitri Donskoy and John Napier. Dr. Geoffrey Bourne of Emory University debates the film’s authenticity with Krantz, who defends his position. From the available evidence, Bigfoot is nomadic, travels in small groups, has been known to eat small rodents and seafood as well as plants, is nocturnal, and generally avoids confrontation. Some suggest that Bigfoot is evolved from the extinct Gigantopithecus, while others believe it is a primitive form of human. This latter opinion is supported by William Lawrence, who tried to shoot one of the creatures, but was discouraged by the look of intelligence in its eyes. Many believe that Bigfoot does indeed exist, and as its habitat shrinks, its presence will become increasingly apparent. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.