The Sasquatch Gang

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Screen Media Films

NEW YORK -- The ads for "The Sasquatch Gang" promise that it comes "from the guys who brought you 'Napoleon Dynamite,' " but similar mainstream success is likely to elude this teen-oriented comedy. A slapstick enterprise centering on the discovery of a presumed Sasquatch turd, this movie is all too redolent of its subject matter.

Written and directed by Tim Skousen, who served as assistant director on "Napoleon," the film deals with the discovery by the supremely nerdy Gavin (Jeremy Sumpter) and his friends of some mysterious tracks and droppings in the woods, the size of which indicates that they might stem from the mythical Bigfoot.

Unbeknown to the group -- which also includes the plus-sized Hobie (Hubbel Palmer), the minus-sized Maynard (Rob Pinkston) and the sweet-natured Sophie (Addie Land) -- their discovery actually is the creation of slacker Zack (a very amusing Justin Long) and his constantly shirtless friend, Shirts (Joey Kern), as part of a moneymaking scheme to erase Zack's credit card debts.

Predictable wackiness ensues, including the appearance of the high-toned Dr. Artimus Snodgrass (Carl Weathers, no doubt nostalgic for the glories of the "Rocky" films), a self-proclaimed Sasquatch expert who has arrived to determine the turd's authenticity.

The filmmaker attempts to bring stylization to the sophomoric proceedings via such methods as comic book-style interstitials and a time-fractured narrative that seems far too elaborate for the simple story line.

Very much reminiscent of "Napoleon" in numerous ways only minus the wit, the film is made somewhat palatable by its inherent sweetness and its treatment of typical adolescent angst. With such touches as Sophie's decision to wire her teeth shut in order to lose weight and Zack's sheepishness upon producing a pair of reading glasses, "The Sasquatch Gang" demonstrates an admirable sensitivity to its target audience's insecurities.
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