31 Days of Horror 2022: Gilbert Speaks on “The Wild Man: Skunk Ape”

With Halloween just around the corner, I had the pleasure of watching and reviewing Ryan Justice’s The Wild Man: Skunk Ape. After several young girls go missing in the Florida swampland, three young documentarians try to find out if a serial killer is responsible or if there is a more sinister explanation.

The Wild Man: Skunk Ape

Directed by Ryan Justice, and starring Lauren Crandall, David E. McMahon, Michael Pare, Julian Green, Mike Reed, Tom Parnell, and Sean Michael Gloria, The Wild Man: Skunk Ape follows three young documentarians who are trying to solve the mystery of a missing Florida girl. Sarah (Lauren Crandall) is the type of reporter who will not stop to get her story. Her boyfriend Brandon (Julian Green) and cameraman Tim (Mike Reed) want to pull out when things go south, but Sarah drags them deeper into danger.

The townsfolk of Ochopee, Florida are not forthcoming of any information. They don’t trust strangers, but that doesn’t stop Sarah from visiting the parents of the missing girl. The local Sheriff (Tom Parnell) tells Sarah that Dale (David E. McMahon) might have some information for them. Dale is a conspiracy theorist who has been hunting a creature called the Skunk Ape. Dale thinks that the Skunk Ape and Bigfoot are one and the same and that this creature is responsible for all the missing girls. Why only girls?

Sarah, Brandon and Tim camp out in the swamps with Dale and wait for the Skunk Ape to show up. The trio begin to bond with Dale when not only does the Skunk Ape show up, but also the military. This is where the film becomes bizarre, and the action becomes more dangerous.

Conclusion

I was surprised how much I enjoyed The Wild Man: Skunk Ape, despite the subject matter. People have been trying to find Bigfoot for years. In an era when the government can zoom in on any particular area via powerful satellites, I doubt there is any large creature that can go unnoticed for very long. Even though I get a little motion sickness with all the camera movement that is common in documentary forms, the documentary presentation actually helped me bond with the characters.

Dale is a hoot with his crazy theories, but he had one thing right – “Never trust the government.”

I loved Mike Reed’s Tim, the voice of reason that kept begging to go home. Unfortunately, the two characters that I wished more time was spent on was Sean Michael Gloria’s X, and Michael Pare’s Captain Stryker. We do find out the sinister reason that the military was kidnapping the girls and that Dale was right the entire time.

I give The Wild Man: Skunk Ape an A+ and I do recommend it.

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