Okay, I apologize for the hyperbole in the headline. I do not know for certain that Pottersville is the weirdest Christmas movie ever because I have admittedly not seen every Christmas movie ever. There could be 10 Christmas movies weirder than Pottersville for all I know. But I am going to stand by my statement anyway, for two primary reasons.
REASON NUMBER ONE: I have seen a lot of weird movies in my life (martial arts movies starring Coolio, movies about circus gorillas hitting home runs, movies about parkour teens taking down Eric Roberts), to the degree that I consider myself something close to an authority on them. I know from weird movies. My qualifications are in order.
REASON NUMBER TWO: Pottersville is a shockingly star-studded movie about a man who saves Christmas by pretending to be Bigfoot after finding out his beloved wife is a furry. It came out four days ago and is already available on VOD.
I think, based on those two statements alone, I have earned the right to declare Pottersville the weirdest Christmas movie ever, at least until I am presented with physical evidence to the contrary. It is so weird. Not just the plot, either, although the plot is very weird. (See above, re: Bigfoot.) It’s just… it’s all of it. I must know everything about this movie, from the writing of the script all the way up to this very moment, when I am typing this sentence. It’s just so completely fascinating.
You probably have a number of questions at this point. I will do my best to answer them. Please, fire away.
Excellent question. Yes, Bigfoot. Kind of. Stick with me here. So there’s this guy named Maynard who owns a grocery store in a small town that’s been decimated by a mill closing. He’s played by Michael Shannon. One day he leaves work ear-…
Michael Shannon is in the Bigfoot Christmas movie?
Michael Shannon is the star of the Bigfoot Christmas movie.
So anyway, one day he leaves work early to surprise his wife at home, and when he walks into the bedroom, he finds her and the town’s sheriff engaged in a non-sexual tryst that involves dressing up in plush costumes. These characters are played by Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman. Understandably upset abou-…
Hang on. Christina Hendricks plays a furry in the Bigfoot Christmas movie?
And she’s hooking up with Hellboy?
Why is her character dressed in a rabbit costume and hooking up with the actor who played Hellboy, or why is Christina Hendricks in this movie at all?
Fair. The answer to your first question is that her character feels stifled by the constraints of a small town and a traditional marriage and she wants to explore the further reaches of her sexuality.
The answer to your second question is that I have no idea and it is one of the things I mentioned earlier about wanting to know everything about this movie. The casting process is more interesting to me than the plot and the plot is about Bigfoot saving Christmas, for the love of God.
I feel like maybe you’re just making this up.
Does this help?
Yup, holy crap, indeed.
So Michael Shannon’s character gets upset about all of this, understandably, and heads back to his store, where he proceeds to chug a bunch of moonshine that was given to him by a crazy old outdoorsy coot played by Ian McShane. And when he gets good and dru-…
Ian McShane is in the Bigfoot Christmas movie?!
And you’re sure you’re not making this one up?
I would never.
Yeah. So Shannon’s character gets loaded on moonshine and blacks out, but during his blackout, in a fit of rage about his wife’s extramarital proclivities, he dons what appears to be a combination of camouflage and a gorilla costume and heads outside to run amok in and around the town. Here’s a screencap of him drinking water straight from the crotch of one of those peeing fountains.
Those are extremely weird, right?
Like, why would anyone want a statue of a little boy continuously peeing? It’s not right.
I feel like we’re getting off track.
So he’s running around in this gorilla costume drinking fake fountain pee and a bunch of people see him and immediately leap to the conclusion — as one does — that he’s Bigfoot. And guess what?
They freakin’ love it. The town goes Bigfoot crazy. So much so that three things happen in short order:
- Michael Shannon’s character tries to confess but can’t get a sentence out because everyone keeps interrupting him to talk about how awesome the Bigfoot thing is
- There is a montage of Bigfoot things set to “Sleigh Ride”
- An “Australian” TV host who investigates conspiracies and myths shows up to hunt for Bigfoot
We are barely 30 minutes into this movie.
I’m scared to ask… who plays the TV host?
Lieutenant Dangle from Reno 911 is in the Bigfoot Christmas movie?
He sure is. And, spoiler, his character isn’t even really Australian. He’s just an actor. He is the bad guy in the movie. Although, really, if you think about it, this is all going on because the mill closed (everyone depressed and hopeless, Bigfoot giving them something to cling to and a reason to feel important, outsiders blinding them with false promises of a return to glory), so maybe the actual villain here is, like, capitalism.
The next half hour or so of the movie is kind of nothing. Thomas Lennon, Ron Perlman, and Ian McShane are basically just running through the woods looking for Bigfoot, and yes I do realize how weird it is that I’m writing that off as “kind of nothing,” especially considering this whole thing started with Michael Shannon getting ripped on moonshine after discovering Christina Hendricks in a full-body rabbit costume, but that’s the canoe we’re all in here, so we might as well keep paddling.
This brings us to the end. Please try to stick with me.
I’m doing my best.
Our three Sasquatch hunters spot Michael Shannon as Bigfoot and hit him with a tranquilizer. They drive him into town and pull off his mask and everyone is immediately shocked and angry that the man in the gorilla costume was just a man in a gorilla costume and not, in fact, the real Bigfoot. Also, I forgot to mention this, but while the hunting team was in the woods, they stumbled across an outdoor nighttime furry party, because I guess if the wardrobe department went to all the trouble of fitting Christina Hendricks for a furry costume, they might as well get some use out of it.
Okay, two questions.
One: Wouldn’t you think the people in town might be relieved to discover that it was a hoax and there was not a real giant monster prowling the area at night?
They really like Bigfoot.
Okay. Question two: Poor Christina Hendricks.
Well, that’s not even a question.
Yeah, but still.
Anyway, everyone is steamed at Michael Shannon’s character for ruining their Sasquatch fantasy and turning the town into a laughingstock. (Lennon’s character, now revealed as a fake, threatens to sue the town for $150 million, on legal grounds that are murky at best, which I guess isn’t something I should be too worried about given literally everything that has happened to this point.) So he decides to pack up and bail.
As he’s packing up, his coworker at the store, a very nice woman who has a very obvious crush on him, calls the town together to remind them what a good guy he is, and reveals that he never actually recorded any debts when he let the recently laid-off millworkers buy groceries on store credit. Everyone immediately feels bad and shows up to hug him and pay off their debts and it all gets very It’s A Wonderful Life for a minute. Then, his coworker says this, which is one of the most amazing lines of dialogue I’ve ever heard.
WAIT JUDY GREER IS IN THE BIGFOOT CHRISTMAS MOVIE?!
Oh, nuts. Did I forget to mention that?
Ahhh, whoops. Yeah, she definitely is. And she says that line. Which is really something.
So that’s the end? Michael Shannon leaves Christina Hendricks for Judy Greer and they live happily ever after in the wake of him pretending to be Bigfoot, which started as an act of furry-related marital frustration and evolved into a ruse to prop up a downtrodden small town?
One more thing.
Oh God. What do they, like, buy the abandoned mill and turn it into a Bigfoot museum or something?
Hahahaha. Holy crap. I can’t believe this is a real movie.
Neither can I.
Bigfoot saves Christmas!
God bless us, every one.