Armed with a title as enticing as The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, you could be forgiven for thinking this was from The Asylum (of Sharknado fame). However, it’s a surprisingly character-driven piece featuring yet another formidable performance from recent Oscar nominee Sam Elliott.
As a young man, Calvin Barr (played by Poldark himself Aidan Turner) served in WWII and completed a top-secret mission, assassinate Adolf Hitler. In his twilight years (now played by Sam Elliott) Barr is tasked by the government to track and kill mythical creature, The Bigfoot. Not a spoiler, it’s right there in the title. It’s 1980 something, and Calvin Barr is living a quiet life with just his trusty dog for company. While his mission four decades ago remains classified, government agents track him down to enlist his set of skills to stop a deadly virus from spreading by killing the source, Bigfoot.
There is a strong case to made that a film that carries such an intoxicating title couldn’t possibly live up to its set-up. An edge of your seat WWII thriller and a monster movie might not seem like natural bedfellows, but writer/director Robert D. Krzykowski manages to make it work. Well, more specifically, Sam Elliott’s game performance is what elevates the whole enterprise to another level. At no time does he treat the material as the B-movie homage it is, he gives genuine depth to the older Barr, conveying the weight of his extraordinary life with little more than an expression or a grizzled grumble.
Considering the title, a few more laughs or a deeper lean into the absurdity would have gone a long way. However, Krzykowski injects pathos as he examines weighty themes such as regret, loss, love, and accepting mortality. The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is a bold fusion of genres achored with another unmissable performance from Sam Elliott.
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is out now on DVD.