Partially funded via an Indiegogo campaign, relying on practical effects, and filmed on properties owned by the family of the film makers, The Legend of Six Fingers does everything in its power to craft a nice little cryptozoological horror, found-footage film and succeeds for the most part. If the audio commentary track by writer/director/editor/co-star Sam Qualiana, producer Greg Lamberson, and co-star Andrew Elias is to be believed, the whole project came in at approximately six thousand bucks — with a chunk of that money going toward professional equipment and guest appearances by two B-Movie legends, Lynn Lowry and Debbie Rochon, and the film was completed in just around two weeks. The story is pretty straight-forward; two longtime friends decide to make a documentary about a rash of local pet killings in the area (the film was shot on location in Royalton, New York), and discover that the killer is actually a legendary beast known as “Yá-yahk osnúhsa,” which translates literally to “Six Fingers.” You have to give Qualiana credit for creating his own creature, complete with mythology, rather than simply making another Bigfoot/Yeti movie. That mythology, by the way, casts Six Fingers as a forest monster who can be sated with regular sacrifices — sacrifices that have recently been abandoned. This is Qualiana’s second feature film — the first being another micro-budget entry, Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast (2011) — clocking in at just barely feature length at 72 minutes. Qualiana and Elias are on-screen for the vast majority of the runtime, and while there’s a nice dynamic between Elias’ hyper-nerd character Neil and Qualiana’s hyper-douchie Drew, there are times where the dialogue feels forced and stiff. There are touches of humor scattered throughout the film that help to humanize the characters, but Elias sometimes seems to be just reciting lines rather than delivering them. Given the character’s borderline autistic personality, though, you’re mileage may vary with the performance. Hell, I don’t care for Eugene on The Walking Dead either, for similar reasons, so that’s probably more on me than on Elias’ performance. Qualiana, on the other hand, thanks in part to the more natural dialogue for his character, comes across more believable, and he even gets a few moments toward the end where he becomes downright impressive. But the real acting strengths are in just about every single one of the supporting cast. Drew’s other friend, Rex, is played by Alain Alvarez, and while he’s a step above Drew in dickitude, he’s also very comfortable on-screen and helps elevate Qualiana’s performance in their scenes together. Even Qualiana’s dad, C.J. Qualiana, has a part in this, as Drew’s dad, and knocks it out of the park. The best supporting characters, though, are the two most experienced actors, Lowry and Rochon, along with the discovery of a lifetime, Bill Brown as Butch. Lowry and Rochon came in for one day of shooting each and both actresses nailed it. But that’s kind of to be expected, given their track records. Rochon got her start as an uncredited extra in the brilliant Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, which inspired her to take up acting for real. Then, from 1988 on she’s been working practically non-stop, appearing in over 200 independent films, and is best known for her work with Troma Entertainment. Lowry broke into film in 1970, appearing in I Drink Your Blood and went on to have key roles in George A. Romero’s classic The Crazies (1973), and David Cronenberg’s disturbing masterpiece Shivers (1975), not to mention a role in Paul Schrader’s remake of Cat People (1982). So while they were only on-set for a day each, they each brought their A-games and provided extremely solid performances that help ground the film and give it a bit of clout. Rochon’s heartbreaking story of her dog being killed by Six Fingers cannily veers away from absurdity or melodrama, and Lowry’s long monologue detailing the legend of Six Fingers is actually fairly creepy. The biggest surprise, though, comes from Bill Brown. His only other film acting experience is in Ombis: Alien Invasion playing a Hero Mutant, and in a short film as a waiter. He has done stage work, however, and here, with his booming Scottish accent he is both frightening and extremely charismatic. Somebody needs to cast this man in more films (he is actually in a new film currently in post-production, A Grim Becoming, and is reportedly also cast in a new paranormal thriller called Dwelling). But this is a low/no-budget creature feature, so what about the monster, you ask? It’s not bad. It’s not great, but it’s not bad. Actor/Producer Tim O’Hearn is a pretty big dude (though not quite as tall as Bill Brown, which is amusing and a bit distracting in their scene together) and wears the suit well, but to be honest, more night shooting and less broad daylight would have benefited the creature. The face sculpt is nice and the titular Six Fingered hands are impressive, but the shaggy suit, again, would have worked better in shadow or on night shoots. There’s surprisingly little actual gore in this film, which took me by surprise. However, given the budgetary restraints, I shouldn’t have really expected much. The only extended gore scene isn’t very convincing and probably would have played better, as would the Six Finger costume now that I think about it, if the film wasn’t using the Found Footage conceit. Instead, the cheesiness of the effects doesn’t really satisfy the level of realism that the film is attempting to sell. In the end, this is a fairly entertaining monster movie with an original creature that does a little more than just stalk and kill our heroes. I’ll leave the details of that for you to discover on your own. If I had any real complaints about Six Fingers, it would be that the story itself was a little too thin. Even though the film is just barely over and hour and ten minutes, there are still too many filler scenes, particularly at the end — after everything is done — that don’t really add anything to the story. Some viewers might not be as forgiving as I am about the number of extended nature shots that pad out a lot of the early part of the film, but I felt they gave the film a very Legend of Boggy Creek feel that I appreciated, whether it was intentional or not. Plus, who doesn’t get a kick out of bug sex scenes? What? Extras: The DVD has more extras than I was really expecting, and they actually make the viewing experience all the more enjoyable. Audio Commentary: Sam Qualiana, Greg Lamberson, and Andrew Elias are funny and informative for the length of the film. For any aspiring low/no-budget film makers out there, they provide some nice insights into the production process, warts and all. As seems more common with films of this sort that actually get distribution deals, there’s a lot more work going on behind the scenes than one might think — particularly when it comes to making connections and doing time helping out on other people’s projects. Behind the Scenes: This video diary of the production provides highlights into the two week shoot. They got incredibly lucky with the weather and appear to have had very few setbacks once it came time to start shooting. Outtakes: Goofs and laughs for all. This was actually more entertaining than many big-budget blooper reels I’ve seen, and the cast and crew really did seem to be having fun. Given these insights into the production process may have made me like the film more than I would have otherwise, so good move, gents. Short Film – The Hunting: This is just what it sounds like. Filmed in a day by Qualiana, his brother and a friend, it’s about a couple of friends who go hiking in the woods and stumble across a crazy hunter. Things don’t go well for them. The real star of this, though, is Qualiana’s fake chin. See larger image Legend of Six Fingers New From: $19.98 USD In Stock The Legend of Six Fingers (2014)3.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... 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