Review: 'Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot' is a waste of time

By Tom Long
Special to The Detroit News
Sam Elliott in "The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot."

There are a few things that should be known upfront about “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot.”

First off, and most importantly, it’s not near as much fun as the title might imply. In fact, you get the feeling the title was slapped on the movie after someone realized how thoroughly awful it was. The logic being, if it can’t be good let’s at least make it camp.

Second, Sam Elliott can now be confirmed as the greatest crying actor ever. He’s currently nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in “A Star is Born,” which features a big moment when his eyes well up with tears.

Well, that’s nothing. In this film the guy absolutely breaks down in a spasm of red-faced anguish after pretend shooting someone in a poorly made Bigfoot costume. It’s like he’s shot his own mother, brother and wife at once. Now that’s acting.

Cynics might think “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot” is only now being brought out from some long forgotten storage to capitalize on Elliott’s Oscar nomination. But no, this is actually the film he shot between “The Hero” and “A Star is Born.” Apparently just because you can cry on demand doesn’t mean you have good taste when it comes to scripts. 

Elliott plays Calvin Barr, a lonely old soldier looking back. He was apparently a hat salesman (!) in love with a schoolmarm (Caitlin Fitzgerald) before gong off to fight in WWII (young Calvin is played by Aidan Turner). Somehow --  no explanation is given -- Calvin becomes the deadliest hat salesman ever and he does indeed kill Hitler. Years later he’s all torn up about it (Why? It was freaking Hitler!).

Two-thirds of the way into the surprisingly plodding film Calvin’s isolation is broken up when authorities come to tell him that The Bigfoot -- it’s presented like everybody knows the creature is real -- is now spreading an infectious disease across Canada that will eventually wipe out the world.

Only one hero can stop him: Calvin, who somehow -- again, no explanation is given -- is immune to the disease. It’s like all the Avengers have been wrapped up in one seventysomething man whose superpower is crying.

So Calvin goes to Canada and kills The Bigfoot. Hey, that’s not a spoiler, it’s right in the title.

Given our current life in the upside down, this film will inspire doctoral dissertations, be shown in a retrospective series at the Museum of Modern Art and sweep the Academy Awards next year. Elliott will tearfully collect his second Oscar and all the world will be wondering … is he really torn up or just the greatest actor ever?

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot


(Not rated)

Running time: 98 minutes