The Wild Man of the Navidad

*** (Three stars)
The moonshine-addled, gun-horny rednecks of Sublime, Texas, have a problem. They’ve got themselves a monster who just won’t be consistent: It attacks by day and by night, indoors and out, with vicious abandon and ninjalike stealth. On a couple of occasions, it merely hugs its victim from behind, all but yelling, “I’ve gotcha now…’cause I’m the monster! Mwah-ha-ha!”

The creature who is festooning the South Texas underbrush with its victims’ entrails is—you guessed it!—the wild man of the Navidad, a true-life legend brought erratically to film in this feature. The story is based on the journals of Dale Rogers, a lifelong native who inherited a sprawling ranch and a dark secret. While the filmmakers clearly aimed for a specific ’70s budget-horror vibe—and often achieved it (points for the brassy sound mix, a blend of cool countrygrass tunes and shrill noise)—the whole production is undermined by hysterically wooden acting. Still, movie-monster fans looking for a cult-horror flick to call their own might find enough to like.—Mike Wolf, Music editor

[This is a TONY staff review, written for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. It is not considered an official review and should not be read as such. Please think of it as a casual impression from a movie-loving friend.]
 

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: Duane Graves, Justin Meeks
Cast: Jacob Bargsley
James Bargsley
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