The review Stomping Ground contains spoilers so, if you are adverse to that, too bad. Just kidding! Go check my final thoughts and rating at the end of the review and decide for yourself if you’d like to see it.
For all you fans of Gruesome Magazine and the HNR podcast, I’m sure you heard the statement “I like to see Bigfoot in a Bigfoot movie”. The best Bigfoot movie I’ve seen is Exists written by James Nash and directed by Eduardo Sanchez. Exists contains a great story and plenty of Bigfoot. On the other end is Willow Creek written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. I personally did not see it due to there being no Bigfoot in the Bigfoot movie. Somewhere in between these two lies this little film Stomping Ground written by Andrew Genser and Dan Riesser and was directed by the latter.
Stomping Ground looked like it was shot by an amateur film student from an online film school however with better editing it would have been a bit more effective. The other drawback I found with it is that most of it takes place in daylight. I don’t know about you Grue-Believers but I like my horror films dark and dreary. The acting in the film was adequate for the most part depicting a redneck lifestyle with the outside city slicker that needs to come to grips with the circumstances they face to save his relationship and his girlfriend.
Stomping Ground is the story of Ben played by John Bobek and Annie played by Tarah DeSpain as a couple from Chicago. Annie takes Ben home to North Carolina at Thanksgiving to meet approval from her mother and friends. Amongst a cast of forgettable characters two other main characters are Paul (Jeramy Blackford), Annie’s high school sweetheart and Jed (Justin Giddings) who is the friend the plays the part of the lovable hillbilly.
At a post Thanksgiving dinner party Ben is introduced to a lot of guys that are/were sweet on Annie. Ben copes with this by drinking himself into a stupor which we do find out is a coping mechanism of his. During the party our four main characters get into a discussion about Boojum the local Bigfoot legend. It is decided that they along with two other friends Stan (Michael Lee Kimel) and Marcy (Sarah Simmons Turner) will embark the next day on a camping trip to track down Boojum.
The camping trip mainly consists of a pissing contest between Paul and Ben. The old past love versus the current lover, my junk is bigger than yours challenge. As goofy as it was it did work for this movie because you grow to root for the city slicker Ben against the over-confident redneck Paul who has full intensions of putting an end to Annie and Ben’s relationship. Ben remarks that he like Jeb in the movie and I have to agree with him, all though he was played a bit over the top, he was my favorite character.
Things we find out on the trip: Annie was rushed out of the woods as a child by her frantic father after he seen Boojum which eventually drove him insane and eventually to his death. Ben uses alcohol and sarcasm to deal with his fear of losing Annie. Paul is a grade A jerk and Jeb is just a good old boy.
Originally Boojum was thought to be friendly, that is until the bloodied bodies of Stan and Marcy are found by an old abandoned mine in the woods. As our crew of four is trying to escape the woods Jeb injures his leg and they get lost and stumble upon a hunting cabin where they take shelter. Ben is convinced that Paul is playing a joke trying to scare him so he and Paul venture out to discover what the sounds are as they exit the cabin about 100 feet they spot Boojum. This was a perfect play for Paul so he hits Ben in the back of the head with the butt of his shotgun and retreats toward the cabin to tell Annie that Ben took off leaving everyone else behind. While Annie struggled to get away Ben was able to get to his feet and return. Following him was, yep you guessed it Boojum who dominates Paul as Annie, Ben and Jeb lock themselves in the cabin. Paul’s head gets to join them as Boojum throws it through the window.
Daylight breaks, our now crew of 3 exits the cabin and Boojum scoops up Annie and takes off with her. Jeb shows Ben how to use a gun, Ben tracks down Boojum and Annie, Ben shoots Boojum who cries out in pain and runs away. Back to the cabin to get Jeb and they all live happily ever after.
All in all this was by no means a good movie but taken for what it was it ended up being a fun little film. We did get some Bigfoot in our Bigfoot movie. The costume was decent but the mask over the face was fairly awful. If you are looking for a great Bigfoot movie go watch Exists but I recommend watching Stomping Ground first because you will see the difference between excellence and okay-ness. Did I like it? It was okay to watch. Would I watch it again? No, I will watch Exists instead.
Stomping Ground (2 / 5) on the Thug Meter