At first glance, the Mark and Jay Duplass-produced Sasquatch looks like a fun, nutty peek into the Bigfoot mythos of the Pacific Northwest—and elements of this are certainly included. However, in this fascinating documentary series, the hairy, titular character primarily serves as a vehicle to lure you into a truly chilling examination of the Northern California cannabis trade.
In 1993, while visiting an "Emerald Triangle" weed farm deep in the California forests, investigative reporter David Holthouse witnesses a very odd exchange: Two traumatized pot workers tell of discovering the bodies of three murdered people, horrifyingly mutilated, and surrounded by cannabis plants which have been carelessly tossed all over the crime scene. Since nothing points to the murders being related to a "rip-off," and due to the proliferation of local Bigfoot legends, the workers are absolutely convinced the people were killed by a rampaging Sasquatch monster.
No reporter worth their salt is going to believe such a tall tale, but the story stuck with Holthouse, and roughly 25 years later, he decides to look into what actually happened. And this is where the Joshua Rofé (Lorena, Swift Current) directed Sasquatch begins... before eventually arriving at a very different destination.
What starts as a whimsical look at Bigfoot hunters and enthusiasts, and the colorful characters of the "Emerald Triangle" pot growing community, the documentary takes a hard right turn into darkness as Holthouse delves deeper into the dangerous world of warring cannabis growers hiding deep within the Northern California forests. What emerges is an extremely creepy true crime story that rests on the intersection of big money, Mexican cartels, America's failed "war on drugs," racism, and the type of monsters who aren't covered with hair and lumbering through the dark woods.
But isn't this a bit of a bait 'n' switch? Oh, ABSOLUTELY. I doubt I would've been drawn into a true crime documentary series about cannabis production without the lure of Sasquatch. And even though it soon becomes obvious that Holthouse and Rofé are fully aware of the game they're running on their audience, it's ultimately forgivable because Sasquatch is such a thrilling, expertly made, emotionally resonant, and wholly entertaining entry in the true crime genre.
So, in short, come for the 'Squatch—stay for the cannabis-fueled ride into the darkest corners of the human psyche.
Sasquatch premieres on Hulu, April 20. (Get it?)