Spending half my childhood in Northern Michigan, I was told many tales of ghosts, witches, Bigfoot, and many other bizarre entities that live within the densely wooded forests of our cottage. Another bizarre creature that many of the locals talked about was the Dogman, a bipedal creature that varied between 6 and 8 feet tall with the physical attributes of a man and the head of a dog. Being one of the younger kids around the lake where our cottage rested, I was tormented by these tales by the older kids whose parents had cottages around the lake as well.
Now that I’m older, I would dismiss these tales that frightened me in my youth, but what if there is something to them?
American Werewolves, the latest documentary in a series of films entitled Small Town Monsters, produced by Heather Moser and directed by Seth Breedlove, explores this Midwest creature.
The film takes us to small towns through the Midwest such as Bucyrus, Ohio and Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky with the various townsfolk being interviewed. They provide their terrifying eyewitness accounts of their nightly interactions with the legendary Dogman. Author and investigator Ron Murphy along with cryptid investigator Elijah Henderson supplement the film with historical background, Midwest landscapes, and the description and demeanor of the Dogman.
Directed by Seth Breedlove, this documentary is loaded with compelling and fascinating stories from these Midwest towns. While the film is well-crafted and the creature cutaways are impressive, the “Indian burial mound” and the “Skinwalkers” as the possible theory of how the Dogman came to fruition is a bit troubling. If there were Indigenous people that reside or resided in those specific regions or a person that had expertise with Native American religions, legends, and folklore to either corroborate, enhance, or serve as a counterpoint, it would have considerably strengthened the film.
This movie will please television mavens of such shows as Ghost Hunters, Finding Bigfoot and various other film and television series that investigate the weird and unexplained. If you have not explored these shows but are interested in these oddities, then American Werewolves is a good place to start.
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