My latest guilty pleasure is the cryptid-hunting ‘reality’ show, Mountain Monsters, that can be seen on both the History Channel and Destination America. Every time I turn it on, I just picture myself on a log cabin’s front porch with a bunch of good old boys, sipping fire water and spinning yarns. These proclaimed Sons of West Virginia travel the Appalachians searching for mythical beasts and deadly creatures of yore hiding in the dense forests and mountains.
Do I believe they’re really hot on the trail of actual cryptids, from the Mothman to the Hogzilla of Hocking Hills and Fire Dragon of Pocahontas County? Hello no! Is there even the slightest chance I think any of the filmed evidence that they or their eyewitnesses present are anything but CGI, smoke and mirrors? Not a chance. Truth be told, I don’t need to know the truth. When I watch Mountain Monsters, I just want to be entertained, and on that level, they deliver.
I’ve written about America’s newfound fascination with hillbillys and reality TV. Mountain Monster is just another entry in a growing video library of redneck home cooking.
So, what makes this show work? Well, for me, I get to discover a host of new monsters supposedly roaming our land. I may be a New Yorker but I’m a freaking monster addict. Even I never heard of the Kentucky Hellhound (and I have relatives in Kentucky) or Ohio Grass Man (another take on Bigfoot). Gvie me a monter and you have my attention.
The cast is downright amusing. These are good old boys of the highest order. I get beard envy every time I watch. Wild Bill is the standout for me. He mumbles better than Boomhauer from King of the Hill and looks capable of wrestling a Bigfoot to the mat. Dude is 50 shades of loco. I worry about portly Buck having a stroke running through the woods in the dead of night. Willy, who could be Rob Zombie’s demented uncle, builds homegrown traps that look straight out of Wile E Coyote’s playbook. Trapper is the elder statesman and leader with hulking Huckleberry as his muscle and FLIR camera wielding Jeff the brains (when he’s not playing Santa Claus). Scareist of all, these boys all carry some big ass guns and aren’t afraid to pull the trigger. With all their running around in the dark, I hope they’re shooting blanks. Plus, I want my Sheepsquatch alive, dammit!
There is not an ounce of skepticism in the bunch. If they see bones, hell, a wolfman must be feeding on cattle. When they zero in on a monster, everything they see has to be related to that monster. It reminds me of when my friends and I were kids, searching for creatures we made up and convinced ourselves lived around the reservoir by my house.
My advice to you. Suspend belief, kick back with the cocktail of your choice, and just have some fun. Want to take your fun up to a whole ‘nother level? I have a drinking game for you. Take a shot of your favorite beverage every time you hear the word ‘sumbitch’ or when Wild Bill grunts ‘huh’. You’ll be crawling on your hands and knees by the end of the show.
And tell me what you think of the show. Guns up or down?