SXSW Film '10 Preview — Jimmy Tupper vs. The Goatman of Bowie

The Blair Witch Project for fratboy cryptozoologists, Jimmy Tupper VS The Goatman of Bowie has an undeniable charm hidden beneath a pimply exterior.

The latest entry in the ever-growing “found footage horror” genre, JTVSTGMOB is the second full-length feature from writer, director and star Andrew Bowser.

In the film, Bowser stars as Jimmy Tupper, a near-constant drunk who stumbles from one binge-drinking session to the next until he chooses the wrong night to pass out in front of his friends. Sensing the perfect opportunity for a prank, Jimmy’s pals drag his sorry ass out into the middle of the woods and leave him there overnight.

When Jimmy fails to show up at his job the next day, his friends set out into the woods to locate their missing chum. What they find is a banged-up, very much pissed-off Jimmy ranting about a close-encounter with the furry kind — specifically the fabled Goatman of Bowie.

When, as per horror movie logic, his friends refuse to believe him, Jimmy sets back out into the woods armed with a video camera — determined to catch evidence of his would-be attacker.

Jimmy Tupper VS The Goatman of Bowie is a hard movie to recommend — yet I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the heck out of it the first time I watched it.

As is the weakness of most found-footage horror films, there is a whole lot of fluff inserted into the movie that is designed to create an aura of authenticity. While this filler is often times hard to sit through without growing a little fidgety, I will admit that it does help build a growing tension — if only as a desire for something, anything to happen.

Bowser’ Jimmy Tupper is a hapless loser — someone who starts the film almost completely unlikable but, throughout the course of the movie, manages to slightly win over the audience with the rambling one-man banter he keeps with himself as he searches the wood for any cryptoids that might be present.

The real reason I have to recommend the film to any horror movie fans is the great, imaginative ending. I have been threatened with death by trip, trip, trapping  if I reveal anymore about the film’s climax so I will just say this: the payoff is worth the wait.

Bowser says he intends JTVSTGMOB to be the first in a trilogy of horror films — each one growing in scope and scale. If this is true, I can’t wait for the next movie in the series. While Jimmy Tupper still has a few warts that prevent me from recommending it to everybody, I can totally see it becoming the Evil Dead to Jimmy Tupper 2‘s Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.

Since the film is a midnight screener, I totally recommend audience members pop a few caffeine pills and maybe pound a Red Bull or two before sitting down to watch Jimmy Tupper. The movie’s slow start may put a few to sleep but those that sink into a slumber will miss out on Bowser’s fresh twist on an increasingly stale genre.

Category: Midnighters
Director: Andrew Bowser
Showtimes: Sunday, March 14 at 11:45 PM at Alamo Ritz, Tuesday March 16 at 11 PM at Alamo Ritz and Saturday, March 20 at 11 PM at Alamo Ritz

Inside Pulse — Movies is on the ground at SXSW! For live coverage from the event, follow Robert Saucedo and Travis Leamons on Twitter at @robsaucedo2500 and @skipkassidy.

The South by Southwest film festival will be held in Austin from March 12 through the 20th. For more information about attending the festival and the films being shown, visit www.sxsw.com/film.

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