So, if you’re in the Houston area you may have seen the news reports about Bigfoot tracker Rick Dyer bringing his prize catch for display: the body of Bigfoot that he caught in 2012 by nailing Wal-Mart ribs to a tree outside of San Antonio, Texas. Yup. If you’ve heard his name before, perhaps it was because of his 2008 hoax, where his claims of catching Bigfoot proved to be only a $400 dollar gorilla suit stuffed with cow guts. This hoax, Dyer says, lit a fire under him in pursuit of redemption which lead him to “get the real deal.”
Rick Dyer is now touring his Bigfoot, and the tour through Houston began on Sunday at Trader’s Village. His exhibit drew hundreds. Sunday’s exhibit was followed by two sold out showings at Houston’s two Alamo Drafthouse locations: Mason Road on Monday night and Vintage Park on Tuesday night. Attending the Vintage Park event, it opened with an intro to Rick Dyer’s Bigfoot group and grainy footage of what appears to be Bigfoot eating ribs off of a tree, filmed through a small window inside a tent. In a voice over, Rick Dyer expresses paralyzing fear in that moment and guilt over having later killed it. Alamo then showed the two episode arc “The Secret of Bigfoot” of Six Million Dollar Man” with a 30 minute Rick Dyer Q&A intermission, followed by access to the Bigfoot corpse viewing.
The Q&A session is where the event took a drastic turn from cheeky entertainment to a hostile environment within minutes. It became both shocking and humorous the more questions were thrown at Rick Dyer. The more the audience demanded truth the more arrogant Rick Dyer became. He proudly admitted to enjoy lying to people and dodged answering most of the questions. “What college performed the autopsy?” “What form of government is interested in taking away your Bigfoot?” “Where is the DNA, you liar?” (A personal favorite question, asked by an angry 9 year old girl) All met with some variation of, “I’m unable to disclose that information.” What details Rick Dyer did provide, however, always contradicted some tidbit of the story he’d told previously. The mood went from jovial, to confused, and ended in fury. Someone asked about his arrest for an ebay car sale fraud that Rick Dyer seemed to struggle with answering as well. Overall the questions revealed a lot about Rick Dyer’s character, or lack thereof, which only fueled the audience members’ disgust. When questions focused on the money Dyer is making from the Bigfoot body, he began bragging about his new Porsche and all of the money he’s out to make.
The attendees seemed an even blend of believers, people who were on the fence, and those non-believers out for a good night of entertainment. The group seated next to me fell into the latter category, but by the end of the Q&A session actually stood up to tell Rick Dyer, “You need your butt kicked.” The audience cheered. Some of the attendees, dejected and disappointed, stormed out. Time ran out for the Q&A, but so many hands were still raised that they were invited to continue in the theater lobby, where the Bigfoot body viewing took place. Nearly everyone jumped out of their seats to follow Dyer, leaving an almost empty theater to finish the Six Million Dollar Man showing.
Exiting the theater, the line to view Bigfoot and speak with Dyer stretched toward the back of the theater and moved at a crawl. People were calling loved ones on their cells to vent their frustration, and a father was overheard telling his young children, “He’s amoral, but he’s a genius.”
Leading up to the events, there was some controversy and the programming director was bombarded by the Bigfoot community, pleading with him to cancel. Rick Dyer is not well loved in that community. I’m in the skeptic camp, and I was unfamiliar with Rick Dyer previously, so it seemed overkill to harass a programming director for putting on an event meant to be silly and fun. While I still disagree with their methods, it’s easy to understand their ire having witnessed the brazen sleaze that is Rick Dyer.
He’s unapologetic about his desire for fame and money, and managed to suck the fun out of the event. From what I’ve read, the event the night before at Mason Park went vastly different; much more calm I’m sure. So I assume our pissed off group had a large hand in how the evening played out.
Though the event turned out different from my expectations, I still had fun. I do not want Rick Dyer to have any more of my money (and recommend that you avoid giving him yours as well, if the chance arises), but as always had an absolute blast at the Alamo Drafthouse.