Kim Henkel, co-scripter of Tobe Hooper’s classic THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, has returned to the genre as one of the producers of THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD, a new movie from Austin, TX natives Duane Graves and Justin Meeks. The duo attended Henkel’s screenwriting and production courses at Texas A&M University, and Henkel served as co-producer on their shorts HEADCHEESE, THE HYPOSTATIC UNION and VOLTAGEN (released by DVDs by E.I. Cinema, now POPcinema—the first with FREAK, the latter two with FEEDING THE MASSES). The new feature is based on journals written by Dale S. Rogers in the 1970s, documenting sightings of a Bigfoot-like creature in South Texas dating back to the mid-1800s.
WILD MAN is, according to Graves, a homage to ’70s docudramas like Charles B. Pierce’s THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK and TV’s IN SEARCH OF… “Our goal was to make a film that could have been released in that decade, so there’s nothing contemporary about it,” Graves tells Fango. The filmmaking duo, who wrote, directed and edited the movie with Graves serving as cinematographer, extensively interviewed Rogers, and Meeks actually plays him in the movie. Meeks’ cousin Stacy Meeks co-stars as Rogers’ disabled wife Jean, and the cast also includes Alex Garcia, Charlie Hurtin, William McBride and Tony Wolford, the latter as the titular creature. To perform the Wild Man, Wolford sweated it out in a 75-pound monster suit designed by Meeks, based on illustrations by Rogers.
The movie is currently seeking distribution; to see a trailer, photos and more information, check out the official website here.