‘Sasquatch Sunset’ review: the weirdest and wackiest film of 2024

Sasquatch Sunset

Could this be the most off-the-wall film of the year? Shot like a nature doc, Sasquatch Sunset follows a family of Bigfoots – two adult males, an adult female and a child – as they navigate four seasons in the leafy North California wilderness. They eat, sleep, defecate, fornicate and discover the music of Erasure while trying to stay alive in a world where there are signs of human life but no actual humans, at least on screen.

Two of the Sasquatches are played by Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Keough, but they’re so buried in prosthetics and hairy body suits that you probably won’t notice. The screenplay by David Zellner, who co-directs with his brother Nathan, has zero dialogue because the Sasquatches communicate only in grunts. And while there are glimmers of drama, there are also extended sections where this deliberately bewildering film gets a bit boring. Despite this, Sasquatch Sunset is worth seeking out if you have a taste for the absurd.

The Zellners, who previously made 2018’s offbeat Western Damsel and 2014’s genre-blurring cult film Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, aren’t afraid to embrace the surreal. At one point, the alpha male Sasquatch played by Nathan Zellner eats a poisonous mushroom that makes him high as a kite. After vomiting all over himself – the Zellners love a gross-out moment – he makes bedroom eyes at a lion.

Sasquatch Sunset
‘Sasquatch Sunset’ stars Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Keough. CREDIT: Icon Film Distribution

Later, the female (Keough) and child (Christophe Zajac-Denek) find an old-school cassette player in the forest and hit play. At first they seem mesmerised by Erasure’s bombastic 1991 pop banger ‘Love To Hate You’, but then it completely freaks them out. Maybe they’d have got more from Soft Cell or Pet Shop Boys? Sasquatch Sunset also contains some very silly sex scenes that bring to mind an old lyric by The Bloodhound Gang: “Let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.”

Though the tone floats between absurd and base – there is quite a lot of pissing – Sasquatch Sunset is always beautiful to look at. The Zellners shoot the North California treetops so lovingly that at times you half expect David Attenborough to chime in with some earnest commentary. There are also moments of genuine tenderness, particularly when Eisenberg’s beta male gets trapped under a log and his pals rally to save him. On some level, it feels like a film about the frailty of life and our complex relationship with nature.

Ultimately, though, there isn’t quite enough of anything here. Even with a trim 85-minute runtime, Sasquatch Sunset is too languorous to be completely compelling. It’s a curio rather than a classic, but if you stick with it, this strange and very self-possessed film will take you to some poignant places. Just steel yourself for lots of Sasquatch bodily fluids.


  • Directors: Nathan Zellner, David Zellner
  • Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Riley Keough, Christophe Zajac-Denek
  • Release date: June 14 (in cinemas)

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