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Scarecrow on Seattle: CLAWED: THE LEGEND OF SASQUATCH aka THE UNKNOWN

In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with the Seattle Office of Film + Music to bring you reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest with an emphasis on how these films showcase the region's many filmable locations.

Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch aka The Unknown (2005)

Like any good Pacific Northwesterner, I've got a soft spot in my heart for Bigfoot. Consequently I've become a bit of a Sasquatch cinema masochist. Most movies starring our mysterious hairy cryptid friend are pretty bad but, for some reason, I keep watching them. Clawed is no exception to the mediocrity it's a typical by-the-numbers nature gone amuck romp with the requisite horny campers, angry rednecks, confused townspeople, and forest-bound gore one has come to expect from the genre. The film starts out with a promising bigfoot assault on some deserving skuzzball poachers. Ed, the lone survivor of the attack (portrayed by one-time Tarzan Miles O'Keeffe), blames the gruesome event on a grizzly bear, but a local Native American forest ranger named Eagleheart believes that it is the work of Taku-He (or Bigfoot). I don't claim to be an expert on the subject but I must point out that Taku-He is actually the Lakota term for a bigfoot, and the local Salish word is the more familiar Sasquatch. The film gives us a glimpse of small town life in the fictional hamlet of Pine Creek, whose mayor does his cliched best to suppress the news of any tourist-deterring bigfoot or grizzly bear rumors. Meanwhile, at the local high school, a nerd and a jock are forcibly united to deliver a report on the purported bear attack. The reluctant duo decides to do some "research" in the woods with a six pack of Olympia Beer and a couple of female friends. Ed also returns to the wilderness with a fresh bunch of hard-drinking buddies (aka bigfoot bait) to ostensibly hunt the alleged grizzly, but the deranged hunter has another target in mind. It all leads to a final showdown between Ed, the high school kids, Eagleheart, and Bigfoot.

Clawed's bigfoot incidents are supposed to take place on Echo Mountain, which is a bit confusing since our state really does have a mountain with that name it's located over on the east side near Colville. The actual location for the film's forest-bound action is the Western Cascade foothills with an emphasis on familiar sights like Franklin Falls and Mount Si. The town of Pine Creek is portrayed by a combination of Buckley, North Bend, and Roslyn. Buckley's White River High School and Beams Firehouse Pub are prominently featured, and Roslyn's quaint downtown graces the screen with the landmark Brick Tavern visible in the background of several scenes. Unlike other appearances, like in the film Joyride and the TV show Northern Exposure, Roslyn represents an actual town in Washington rather than impersonating an Alaskan burg. Along with Harry and the Hendersons this is one of the few Bigfoot flicks shot in the Pacific Northwest and, for that reason alone, Clawed is a notable entry in the Sasquatch filmography.

-Spenser Hoyt

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