The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot

Fantasia Fest 2018: ‘The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot’

In regard to all-time great movie titles, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot doesn’t really pose an argument as much as end the discussion completely. It’s the most beautiful collection of words that have ever been strung together, honestly. The title is badass, straightforward… and still, somehow, totally misleading. If I’m alone in this, I’d be surprised – but when I heard that the legendary Sam Elliott would be starring as the guy who killed Hitler AND Bigfoot, I assumed that the film at hand would be serving up the tastiest kind of cinematic cheese. I expected over-the-top violence, genre grittiness, and an amusing, Arnold-versus-Predator style showdown. My expectations have seldom been more wrong. 

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot held its world premiere at Fantasia Film Festival on July 20th, and talhough it’s not at all the sort of film I imagined that it would be, it’s a movie that I won’t soon forget. Written and directed by Robert D. Krzykowski, the film stars Sam Elliott as Calvin Barr, a mythical man of tremendous-yet-silent accomplishment. Many years after he was tasked with assassinating Adolf Hitler, Barr is once again approached by the government to eliminate a plague-carrying Bigfoot, who is putting the citizens of Canada and North America at risk. Rather than delivering the silly genre film that it could have been, Krzykowski’s work turns out to be a thoughtful meditation on life, love, and growing old.

the man who killed hitler and then the bigfoot

The history of Calvin Barr is shown in flashbacks throughout the film, and although he’s accomplished what many would consider to be greatness, he’s done so without celebration or recognition. Now an old man living with only his dog, Barr is faced with harsh truths in a life that has become stale and monotone. In the grand scheme of things, those achievements have ultimately meant nothing. They do not bring him peace or the slightest bit of happiness. He never wanted to take a life, after all. He was just doing what he was told to do. In one of the flashbacks, Barr is informed that he will be cursed, and in many ways, he always had been… cursed not in his mission, but in his life. Damned to loneliness. Damned to age and hang around while the world around him continues changing. Damned to never be recognized.

In many ways, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot plays like a celebration of Sam Elliott himself, who has never been better. Like Elliott, Barr has left a quiet legacy of work that speaks for itself, and though he’s well past his prime, he continues doing incredible things. If this were the last role that Sam Elliott ever took on, it would be a fittingly poetic final chapter. This won’t be his final task, however – and selfishly, I’m glad about that.

You should be, too.

About Captain Howdy

Movies are my air. You can find me writing about them, specifically my adoration of the horror genre, in various places, such as: 1.) The white tile floors of abandoned Kmart buildings across America 2.) The back of Taco Bell receipts when cashiers ask me to take the online survey 3.) Your mom's diary

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