written and directed by Robert D. Krzykowski
by Walter Chaw Sort of like The Age of Adeline where the gimmick isn't immortality, but rather a guy who killed Hitler and then the Bigfoot, Robert D. Krzykowski's The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot is ultimately an elegy for a certain kind of heroism embodied by Sam Elliott, arguably the only actor who could perform the high-wire act of this high-concept movie. The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot has a definite Bubba Ho-Tep vibe, especially in the moments where it uses a sting like Bill Withers's "Use Me" to convey a specific type of weary resignation. But then it cribs the work-shed sequence from Evil Dead II, complete with whip-pans and seesaw, and betrays that what it really wants to be is liked more than anything else. It's desperate for cult acceptance; and equally desperate for critical respect. It's desperate. Elliott has a keystone moment where he talks about how murdering Hitler was Pyrrhic at best, given that his ideology had already taken hold. He's the physical manifestation of regret and the Greek idea that knowledge brings no profit to the wise. His titular hero is asked to kill a world-killing, plague-bearing Sasquatch because a quirk of his physiology and his unusual skill-set make him the only person capable of doing it. The line blurs, then, as Elliott is also the only person who could give something this rudderless a theme that doesn't feel contrived, and a throughline that doesn't feel forced. The seams show and so does the strain; what's left is mostly exhausted from all that effort. The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot isn't a product of a vision, it's the product of wanting attention without upsetting anyone. It's a little like that Ezra Pound poem "In a Station of the Metro," in that sense, except there's no poem, just the amazing promise of that title.