What does Bigfoot have to do with It’s A Wonderful Life?

Never underestimate how much marketing materials matter when selling a new film. Take for example Pottersville, which opens in theaters on November 10. If you haven’t heard of it before this moment there is good reason. The film’s first poster and trailer were revealed yesterday, November 1, just nine days prior to the movie’s release.

In the film, a small mountain town is turned upside down after someone mistakes a character played by Michael Shannon for Bigfoot in the middle of the night. Word of the mythical creature’s alleged appearance brings out all sorts of unique characters, which in turn cause chaos for the otherwise sleepy town. I’m telling you this now because the trailer and poster for the film reveal virtually none of this information. You can view the footage for yourself at the top of this post.

How does a movie that features Michael Shannon, Ron Perlman, Judy Greer, Thomas Lennon, and Christina Hendricks, among other notable names, receive a trailer like this? Aside from the line about hunting Bigfoot there is nothing in the footage above to indicate the plot of the film. If this were a new feature from David Fincher or Chris Nolan such vague footage might make sense, but here it looks messily cobbled together at the last minute by someone with very little trailer making experience.

All that said, the poster is somehow even worse:

Pottersville Michael Shannon

Cinema fans will no doubt recognize the tagline shown on the poster to be a reference to another film set in the fictional town of Pottersville, It’s A Wonderful Life. The 1946 film starring James Stewart follows a man whose is shown what life would be like for the people in his community if he were never born. It’s a movie tale of our interconnectedness and the need to seek out the good in life that is just as important today as it was upon release, but it has nothing at all to do with a story about Bigfoot. Unless all of Pottersville is a dream sequence wherein Michael Shannon’s character passes out from a night of drinking and fantasizes what life might be like if he were Bigfoot instead of himself I see no connective tissue between this story and the timeless classic some art department intern thought would be cute to reference. It’s not clever – it’s lazy.

The official synopsis for Pottersville reads:

““The film follows a local business man (Shannon) who is mistaken for the mythical creature Bigfoot after a wild night of drinking, tossing on a gorilla costume and staggering through the woods makes him an internet sensation. The event sparks international media attention and reinvigorates a small town’s economy, as the business man grapples with revealing the truth.”

How do you feel about Pottersville? Comment below and let us know your thoughts. After that, follow Suubstream on Twitter and be the first to know when our review of the film goes live.