Looking at the life of the sasquatch

By Amanda Hu

The sasquatch is many things to many people. While some say it’s a myth, others wholeheartedly believe in this being’s existence, even making their livelihood off the legend. To one man stuck in the wilds of British Columbia, though, it was his partner in a hair-raising one-night stand.

Hair of the Sasquatch revolves around Steve Hastings, a hunter, outdoorsman and taxidermist. After heading out on a hunting trip, he goes missing much to the alarm of his wife and neighbours. After three days, the search party is called off, only to see Hastings emerge from the forest unscathed and healthy. After much prodding, Hastings reluctantly reveals to close friends of his encounter and interaction with his sasquatch saviour. Director Dale Wolfe says that the outlandish turn of the film serves to bring home an often forgotten notion.

“Roger [Cove, Hair’s screenwriter]’s point is that no one ever thinks about the fact that if there are male sasquatches, there’s got to be female sasquatches,” says Wolfe. “If a guy’s been out in the bush for too long, I wonder how attractive she’s going to start looking.”

In addition to the unexpected association between Hastings and their hairy subject, Wolfe and Cove were looking for a new way to frame the sasquatch’s impact on others.

“We originally started out to make a short film and as we went to people and started talking about it, we sort of felt that we were going down the same old road as every other sasquatch movie that has a fake sasquatch in it or talking to people about if it exists,” Wolfe explains. “The thing we discovered in doing this, though, was all the companies [profiting, like] the Sasquatch Inn and people selling sasquatch burgers.”

The duo also traveled to the set of a Kokanee beer commercial, whose advertising campaign capitalizes on the sasquatch image, and explored the Vancouver 2010 Olympics use of the hairy fable as one of its iconic mascots. With this concept in place, Wolfe and Cove worked to achieve a subtle mix of reality and fiction in the film, which Wolfe explains wasn’t hard, given the sasquatch’s ever-growing reputation and the talent involved in the film.

“I think we found [the balance] through a great cast giving us believable performances,” Wolfe says. “Most people don’t know who are cast members and who are real people from the documentary.”

As Hair of the Sasquatch walks the line between reality and folklore, it may prompt audience’s to think, if not of their own beliefs on the sasquatch’s existence, but about what is real and what isn’t, especially in the film itself.

“I think [the sasquatch is] a legend,” Wolfe says. “When I look at the scientific evidence, they’ve never found a carcass or remains. We actually met someone who claims to have seen the sasquatch. They said they found the hair of the sasquatch and then when they had the hair analyzed, it was a bear. It’s one of those things where I would love to believe that it exists– like UFOs or the Loch Ness Monster or Ogopogo. There’s a part of me that wants to believe it, but I’m probably the biggest skeptic when it comes to the reality of it.”

Leave a comment