The Wild Man of the Navidad

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The Wild Man of the Navidad
Directed by
  • Duane Graves
  • Justin Meeks
Produced by
Written by
  • Duane Graves
  • Justin Meeks
  • Justin Meeks
  • Alex Garcia
  • Tony Wolford
  • Charlie Hurtin
  • Bob Wood
  • Edmond Geyer
  • Mac McBride
  • James Bargsley
  • Stacy Meeks
  • Patrick Hewlett
Music by
  • James McCrea
  • James Brand
  • Charlie Hurtin
  • Marshall Jones
  • Ben Buchanan
Cinematography Duane Graves
Edited by
  • Duane Graves
  • Justin Meeks
Distributed by IFC Films (North America)
Release date
  • April 24, 2008 (2008-04-24) (Tribeca Film Festival)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Wild Man of the Navidad is a 2008 horror film written and directed by Duane Graves and Justin Meeks. It was picked up by IFC Films shortly after its world premiere at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. [1][2]


This film is allegedly based on the real-life journals of Dale S. Rogers, a man who, in the 1970s, lived along the banks of the Navidad River in Sublime, Texas - the same area where the original legend of the Wild Man of the Navidad surfaced back in the late 1800s.[3][4] The film follows Dale, his wheelchair-using wife Jean, and her oft-shirtless, lazy-eyed caretaker Mario. Though their ranch sits on vast acres prime for paying hunters, Dale has resisted opening up the land because of the strange, Bigfoot-like creatures supposedly inhabiting it. But after the prodding of some of the rifle-loving townsfolk and the loss of his welding job, Dale gives in and opens the gate to his compound. Then the hunters become the hunted.[5]



The film is a throwback to drive-in Sasquatch films of the 1970s like The Legend of Boggy Creek, and is known for its recreation of their specific vintage style, pacing and feel—from the real-life characters down to the period production design and music.[6] The film was co-produced by Kim Henkel, co-writer of the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with Tobe Hooper in 1974 and was written, directed and edited by two of Henkel's screenwriting/production students, Justin Meeks and Duane Graves.[7]


Ain't It Cool News described it as "about as perfect a Bigfoot film I've seen so far."[8] Scott Foy of Dread Central describes the film as "a creepy, southern-fried creature feature."[9] IFC Films' Alison Willmore states that it is "a welcome palate cleanser" for the horror genre.[10] Scott Weinberg of Cinematical calls it "enthusiastically splattery...a rather spirited little terror tale...that actually feels like it has been hidden in a vault."[11] Daily Variety critic John Anderson writes "cult status is already achieved...Wild Man mixes homage with horror for a pretty potent dose of movie moonshine."[12] Merle Bertrand of Film Threat relates it as "wonderfully's time to go back to the drive-in."[13]


  1. ^ IFC Films Leads Fantastic Fest With Six Films
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 14, 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2008.  Tribeca Unveils Discovery, Midnight Slates for '08 Fest
  3. ^ The legend of the Wild Man in Texas
  4. ^ The Wild Man of the Navidad Official Website
  5. ^ Justin Meeks Filmmaker Magazine Interview
  6. ^ Beware: Bigfoot Ahead
  7. ^ O'Connell, Joe (2016-02-26). "A White-Knuckle Western". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  8. ^ Ain't It Cool News review
  9. ^ Dread Central's Review
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved May 18, 2009.  IFC Film's Review
  11. ^ Cinematical's Review
  12. ^ Daily Variety's Review
  13. ^ Film Threat's Review

External links[edit]