Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ed Ragozzino, director of Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot, dies

I was sad to learn (via threads over at the AvManiacs and Classic Horror Film Board) of the passing of Ed Ragozzino, who directed one of the better regional Bigfoot docu-dramas, Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot (1976). Rather than rehash what's already been posted elsewhere about the film and Ragozzino, I've collected some links that you can peruse on your own:

You can see CryptoMundo’s announcement here, and see the official obit in The Register-Guard here.

Dave Coleman interviewed Ragozzino about the film a few years ago, and you can see that article over at Bijou Café.

Ragozzino was also a prolific voice talent on radio and TV, and you can hear some samples at his Web page.

Sasquatch was written and produced by Bigfoot researcher and Eugene, Oregon, resident Ronald D. Olson, who four-walled the film (there was even a soundtrack released). I plan to post some more info on Olson in the future, but for now I’ve pasted a short news item about the film’s premiere below, along with the original intro.

From: The Bulletin, Bend County, Oregon, Feb. 2, 1976

Bend theater schedules four-day run for Bigfoot

“Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot,” a movie which was filmed in the Todd Lake area southwest of Bend last summer, opens Wednesday evening for a four-day run at the Bend Tower theater.

The film’s plot involves a seven-man, modern-day expedition team and its search for the legendary Bigfoot in northern British Columbia. A real expedition much like the movie version is being planned this spring, according to Ron Olson, author of the screenplay and executive producer of the movie.

Sasquatch is an old Indian word for giant. The creature, also called Bigfoot, has been sighted by hundreds of person throughout the Northwest starting about 200 years ago.

Sasquatch has been described as gorilla-like. It reportedly walks upright, leaves huge footprints and is from seven to ten feet tall. It has been sighted in Central Oregon as well as in many other parts of the Northwest.

In 1942, for instance, a man and his wife who were visiting Todd Lake in late summer reported seeing a tall, upright figure running with giant strides across a meadow into the trees. The man reported the incident to the Sisters Ranger Station.

In the movie, Sasquatch will appear in the only film footage that has ever been taken of him-her. The footage, shot by Roger Patterson in Northern California in 1967, has been spliced into the film. It shows a hairy, heavy-set creature walking upright.

In addition to the Patterson footage, the film includes scenes of a human in Bigfoot makeup and costume.

North American Productions of Eugene made the movie at a cost of about $300,000 put up by 134 investors, primarily from Eugene.

The producer is John Fabian and the director is Ed Ragozzino, both of Eugene. Ragozzino is head of the theater department at Lane Community College, and “Sasquatch” is his first movie.

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