Thursday, June 16, 2011

STS Movie Classics Presents: Harry and the Hendersons

In our ongoing committment to bring you only the finest of cinematic masterpieces we present to you today Williams Dear's "Harry and the Hendersons."  Following the classic American story of "family makes trek into the wilderness to discover themselves, famliy hits sasquatch with late model station wagon, family brings dead sasquatch home, hilarity ensues."

Released in 1987 the movie starred John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon (better known as Ralphie's mom in A Christmas Story) and Kevin Peter Hall as Harry.  And yes, that is the same Kevin Peter Hall who starred opposite a certain ex-governator as the title role in "Predator."  Filmed almost entirely in the Washington area it had a widespread impact on the local community, especially those lucky enough to sneak on set and catch a peek of the filming.

The story follows the Henderson family on their way home from a family camping trip when George hits poor Harry in the family truckster.  Assuming the beast to be dead the Hendersons do what every red-blooded hillbilly would do, strap him to the hood and take him home.  But Harry isn't dead is he.  Because that would make for a pretty short movie and I'm guessing the producers had to book the sasquatch suit at least a week in advance.  Harry awakes slightly concussed, raids the fridge, eats the family goldfish and destroys the house.  But the Hendersons, being forgiving people let bygones be bygones and agree to take Harry in as one of the family.  
Who can say no to this face?

But its not all fun and games in Bigfoot Paradise.  Enter a French-Canadian hunter full of stereotypes and hot on Harry's trail.  And when the general public starts to catch wind the fur really hits the fan.  Can the Hendersons protect Harry from the evil French-Canadian?  Can a Squatch really co-exist in suburban Washington?  I won't spoil the movie for you, only to say that it did spawn a mediocre tv series starring Bruce Davison, yes THE Bruce Davison.  So, you do the math.

On a Timberwolves draft pick grading scale I give Harry and the Hendersons a "Luc Longley."  Dumb, not that gifted, but intriguing enough to keep me watching.

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