The Throwbacks (1965)

Roger Sarac
Belmont Red Star

Billed as an encounter with beings displaced from time (they could be from man's distant past..or is it his future?), this is actually more a tale of being trapped in a cabin by marauding bigfoots.

Relative newlyweds clip some weird beast while driving through the mountains of northern California.  Test results from the fur and blood on the wiper come back as "humanoid" of unspecified origin.  The husband, who was writing a piece on the history of the Grizzly bear anyway, decides to take a team back to the area to investigate.  The wife comes along because, well, why wouldn't she? 

Some basic shoe work leads them to the Bradshaw brothers, two young men living alone in a well-appointed cabin in the middle of a nearly inaccessible valley.  While not thrilled to have visitors, they are nevertheless gracious hosts when the research team unexpectedly arrives on their doorstep.  One member of the team is wounded (as a beastie snuck up on him while he was changing a tire and pushed the car on top of him).  So that's a complication.

Things get a bit weird when, at night, the guests are told to stay locked in the cabin with all the shutters closed, and to not open a door or window under any circumstances.  The brothers, meanwhile, each take a loaded shotgun outside to stand guard--although they won't say why.  But even the most lunk-headed reader has to imagine it has something to do with the hairy big foot creature on the cover.

The next day, one of the brothers takes the leader of the research team across the lake to get help for the injured man.  When a storm begins to brew, the brother begins to panic and eventually cracks--revealing the enigma of why he and his brother live as hermits in the middle of nowhere.

But we don't get to learn that secret until later, because we quickly switch back to the cabin for some more "something is lurking outside" action with the other researchers.

So what's the deal with the ape-folk?  Are they from the past?  The future?  Neither, actually.  They are instead the horrible genetic mutant brother and sister of the two normal brothers.  With the death of their parents, the brothers pledged to protect their hairy siblings by remaining secluded with them in the woods.  But ever since Ape-brother was killed (by the Newlyweds' car earlier), Ape-sister has been out-of-control.  And frankly they're sick of it.  Ten years living alone in the woods is beginning to wear on both of them, so older brother makes the call that the time has come to put a bullet in Sasquatch sister and get the hell out of there.

Sis sinks her fangs into one brother's jugular before finally getting shot herself. Months later, in San Francisco, the surviving brother meets up with the team and some final plot points are ironed out.
In a final twist we discover the two "normal" brothers were actually adopted, thereby adding another layer of futility to their 10 years in the forest.  One genetic scientist still thinks there might be some additional mysteries to be answered...back out in the woods.  Me, I was happy to end things here.

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