China has no creature-feature tradition because film regulators historically have shunned superstition on the silver screen.
But a new film, “Bigfoot,” aims to take a swipe at China’s long-standing monster movie ban. The Hollywood co-production of a local legend will begin shooting in a central China nature reserve in October with help from a special-effects master who worked on “Gremlins.”
“It’s been a dream of mine to bring the Yeren story to life,” said Walas, using the Mandarin word for the giant “wild man” of Chinese lore who is akin to the Sasquatch of Pacific Northwest legend in the United States.
“Notes early on in this two-year process said, ‘You can’t make the Yeren story because it’s not scientific fact,’” L.A.-based “Bigfoot” producer Richard Jefferies of Wiseacre Films said. “But then they just started coming around.”
“Our Yeren is going to be the protector of the forest rather than the violent beast seen in typical Bigfoot movies,” he said. “We’re exploring the dual nature of the creature, sitting on the razor’s edge between man and animal. The film will show the delicate balance between nature and civilization.”
Tip: Bigfoot Lunch Club
The Yeren is a old tale but not one taken seriously by the Chinese government, it appears. The State Administration of Radio Film and Television banned any plot elements that question proven science (or the Communist Party).
Joe Nickell has more about Chinese wild men here.