“The Wild Man of the Navidad”: a new horror in the style of “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”

"The Wild Man of the Navidad": a new horror in the style of "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"

If you miss the nastiness of the horror films of the 1970s, and you consider The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) as one of your main movies you shouldn’t miss the re-release of The Wild Man of the Navidad (2008).

The movie is allegedly based on the real-life journals of Dale S. Rogers, a man who, in the 1970s, lived along the banks of the Navidad River in Sublime, Texas – the same area where the original legend of the Wild Man of the Navidad surfaced back in the late 1800s. The film follows Dale, his wheelchair-bound wife Jean, and her oft-shirtless, lazy-eyed caretaker Mario. Though their ranch sits on vast acres prime for paying hunters, Dale has resisted opening up the land because of the strange, Bigfoot-like creatures supposedly inhabiting it. But after the prodding of some of the rifle-loving townsfolk and the loss of his welding job, Dale gives in and opens the gate to his compound. Then the hunters become the hunted.

34 years ago, Kim Henkel produced and co-wrote arguably the single most influential horror movie of the modern age: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). Three decades after he joined forces with the directors Justin Meeks and Duane Graves, with whom will later collaborate again in Butcher Boys (2012), to produce their debut feature film, another frightening rural Texas tale named The Wild Man of the Navidad (2008).

The Wild Man of the Navidad (2008) has been named as one of the top 10 Bigfoot films of the 21st Century by Dread Central. It is reportedly also influenced by The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) so much that for some it is considered a sequel for the film.

Co-director Justin Meeks plays the role of Dale S. Rogers in a cast that also includes Jacob Bargsley, James Bargsley, Shannon Biggers, William Booth, Alex Garcia, Shasta Gaydos, Edmond Geyer, Kevin Graves, and Tim Harden.

The movie premiered on April 24, 2008, at the Tribeca Film Festival, and that same year it was also part of the festivals Another Hole in the Head Genre Film Festival, Athens Film Festival, Temecula Valley International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Krakow Film Festival, Schlocktober Horror Film Festival, and IFC Festival Direct. After being forgotten for a few years, the people from Dark Sky Films are releasing the movie on DVD on December 7th, 2021.

Watch here the trailer for The Wild Man of the Navidad (2008).

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