No, that is not a typo.
A few months ago, I was on a flight to Salt Lake City from Atlanta, GA. Normally I read on the plane, but this was a long one, so I decided to watch a movie instead.
You know how sometimes you’re scrolling through a list of titles and you see one that that catches your eye in such a way where you just have to watch it? Well let me tell you–when you see a movie entitled The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, you will stop. I guarantee it. And when I saw it starred Sam Elliott as the eponymous man, well, I was hooked.
So there aren’t a lot of surprises in the plot of The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot. Before the film ends, Sam Elliott’s character will kill Hitler. And then the Bigfoot. But this movie isn’t going to go the way you think. It’s not a farce or a clever send up of horror. It takes itself very seriously, and there are only a couple of scenes where the filmmakers tongue is planted firmly in cheek (the swastika hands on a wrist watch springs to mind).
Otherwise, the movie plays it straight, presenting a serious story of a highly trained military asset, sent into deep enemy territory to kill Hitler, only to be called back into action decades later when the Bigfoot needs too be taken down as well. There’s a story of love lost, of brothers estranged and reconnected, of a life of regret and the creeping desire to end one’s own life. In fact, the movie plays better as a drama than it does anything else. There were times when I almost had tears in my eyes.
Seriously. In a movie called The Man Who Killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot.
I’m . . . conflicted. On the one hand, I actually liked this movie. It was slow at times, and overlong, but it had some real highlights. The weird aside where the creepy Russian dude shaves the beard of a younger version of Sam Elliott’s character? Great. The execution of the plot to kill Hitler? Excellent. And the movie is, frankly, star-studded. In addition to Sam Elliott, there’s Aidan Turner, Ron Livingston, and Larry Miller.
But it feels like there’s a missed opportunity here, too. A movie about killing Hitler and Bigfoot needs more humor. It needs more satire. It at least needs some. In the end, TMWKHATTB falls short of what it could be. It’s good, but not great. And sadly, it does not live up to the promise of its name.