Courtesy of Austin Film Festival

THE VICE GUIDE TO BIGFOOT is a mockumentary written by comedian Brian Emond and Zach Lamplugh, an Editor at Adult Swim, who also directed. The film stars Emond as a journalist at Vice, who is fed up with his job and tired of only being assigned clickbait stories about nothing. Lamplugh plays Emond’s producer, who seems to enjoy his job a little too much for Emond’s liking. Emond and Lamplugh, as well as other members of the cast, use their real names in the film.

Emond is approached about doing a story covering the existence of Bigfoot and when he begrudgingly agrees, he is paired up with a Cryptozoologist named Jeff, played by comedian Jeffrey Stephenson. Jeff has a YouTube channel where he alleges he has encountered Bigfoot and knows where to find the creature. THE VICE GUIDE TO BIGFOOT certainly isn’t the first Bigfoot mockumentary I’ve seen, and unfortunately, a lot of the jokes fall flat, but some of the comedic elements of the story work in the film’s favor.

The first stop in the search for Bigfoot is a Bigfoot convention in Atlanta. Atlanta also happens to be where Emond, Lamplugh, and Stephenson are part of a real-life sketch comedy group. After the convention, Emond goes camping with Jeff in hopes of finding some proof of Bigfoot’s presence but freaks out after their camp is trashed the first night. Jeff remains calm because he believes Bigfoot trashed their camp. He then proceeds to get the team lost and I mean horrifically lost. 

Stephenson takes his role as the Cryptozoologist seriously and gives the most sincere and amusing performance of the film. When they stumble upon a dead body, Jeff is convinced it is the work of Bigfoot. Emond isn’t so easily persuaded Bigfoot killed the man when he discovers what appears to be gunshot wounds on the body. 

Emond, Jeff, and the rest of the team soon realize they have had the misfortune of wandering into the wrong part of the woods, and it isn’t because they are in Bigfoot territory. 

There are a few moments when this almost feels like an actual Vice documentary and I would have liked to have seen the film keep up that momentum. THE VICE GUIDE TO BIGFOOT doesn’t cover any new ground in terms of Bigfoot mockumentaries, and the comedy doesn’t always work, but it does manage to be entertaining.

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