Big Fur

I have been writing film reviews (and other types of reviews) for over a decade. During that time I have seen films I never would have unless I was tasked with reviewing them. Obscure films. Small films. Films on subjects that normally would not have caught my attention. Dan Wayne’s (first film) film Big Fur definitely falls into that category.

At first you might dismiss a film like this. A documentary centered around a taxidermist from rural Alberta named Ken Walker, who not only believes in Bigfoot, but is making a female version of the sasquatch to enter into the World Championships for taxidermy. Oh, and he, after despite being married and being a father to two, has spent some time searching for love and seems to have finally found it. With a female taxidermist, of course. Tell me you are not now interested!

Again, though this is not a subject that I would normally be interested in, it was presented in an interesting way. As an almost vegan, I find the whole taxidermy thing rather grotesque. The idea of shooting, stuffing then mounting something that used to be alive as “decoration” seems barbaric to me. This documentary made me look at it differently.

That is the sign of a good film. Educating the viewer. Showing that taxidermy really should be seen as a way of introducing or familiarizing us with animals we don’t see every day, endangered animals like the giant panda or those which are extinct like the saber-tooth tiger which Ken made and entered in the World Championships. It is also an art form. One which involves skills like sculpting and painting. Ken Walker deems it the original art form that began with cavemen. The representation of animals like early humans did on cave walls.

We follow Ken from beginning to end of his construction of the lifesize female sasquatch which he is going to enter into the 2015 World Championship. A labour of love he named “Patty”. While he really wants to win, what he really hopes to come out of this is that a hunter comes to him with the body of a real Bigfoot. He wants proof of the creature he has believed exists since he was a young boy.

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