Sunday, December 24, 2017
Christmas 2017: December 24
It should be apparent by now that my Christmas movie marathon has gone totally off the rails. At some point, I had to make a decision between my holiday movie viewing and catching up with new releases. I decided the new stuff was more pertinent. As I've said, Film Thoughts' Christmas marathon is always something of a last-minute thing and success is never guaranteed. Better luck next year, I guess?
So I hope you had a nice December and will be enjoying yourself today. Merry Christmas, faithful readers.
Back in January, I rounded out my list of most anticipated films with “Pottersville.” I was sold on the movie, based on two factors. It had a great cast. Secondly, its premise – a man accidentally turning his small town into a mecca for Bigfoot enthusiasts, after a drunken rampage in a gorilla suit – seemed right up my alley. There wasn't much news following the announcement and I assumed it disappeared, as a lot of projects I get excited about tend to. Instead, a while ago, reviews of the film started rolling in. And they were extremely negative. Also, “Pottersville” is apparently a Christmas movie, with a subplot about the furry subculture. So somehow this movie became even weirder, meaning I absolutely had to check it out. Even if it was awful.
Pottersville is an idyllic, if economically depressed town, somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Maynard, the man who runs the local shop, makes an upsetting discovery. His wife is having an affair with the town sheriff. Also, they're furries. He gets black-out drunk, puts on a gorilla suit, and drunkenly stumbles through town. This is mistaken for a sasquatch sighting. Overnight, Pottersville becomes the hot spot for Bigfoot hunters the world over. Maynard watches his hometown flourish but, as Christmas gets closer, he wonders how much longer he can go on with this lie.
And then there's that furry business. That particular subplot was left out of the earlier plot descriptions of “Pottersville.” As usually happens in pop culture, the film depicts all furries as fur-suit enthusiast who are fairly kinky. At the same time, the furries are also shown to be harmless and there's no actual animal-suit-on-animal-suit humping in the movie. This still results in the film's most delirious sequence, when the Bigfoot hunters wander into a furry love-in in the middle of the forest. It's definitely not a moment you would expect in a Christmas movie, even one about Bigfoot. Even more hilariously, the furry subculture ends up affecting the main story in a very minor way.
“Pottersville,” being both a Bigfoot movie and a Christmas movie, could've made an interesting statement about the power of belief. Christmas is a mass delusion, of being nice to each other for twenty-five days, we all choose to believe. Bigfoot, similarly, is a big lie people buy into because it's nice. It's nice to believe in something mysterious and magical. “Pottersville” taps into this in a very superficial way, with an ending that is fairly easy to predict. But it could've done a lot more with this idea. Ultimately, this is more of a Bigfoot movie than a Christmas movie, the two aspects not crossing over much.