Harry and the Hendersons (1987) Review

I loved this movie as a kid, but I somehow forgot about it over the past 15 years. Thankfully, the DVD was on sale for $4.99, so it was a mistake I could easily correct.

For anyone that doesn’t know, Harry and the Hendersons is about a Seattle family that accidentally runs over Bigfoot with their car. When they realize it’s Bigfoot they ran over, they take the body home with them (it is a monumental discovery afterall). Of course, once they get home, they find out that he was only mostly dead.

Miracle Max
“There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead”

The rest of the movie deals with the Hendersons getting to know and love Harry while trying to keep him safe from hunters and anyone else that might hurt him. If that story sounds familiar, it’s because it’s basically E.T. Except in this film, instead of befriending a slimy space penis, the family befriends a hairy Ron Perlman.

Ron Perlman and Harry and the Hendersons comparison
No, seriously. They could be twins

This movie still holds up remarkably well. It’s a family movie (even though the word shit gets thrown around with shocking regularity) but it’s made well-enough that anyone can like it. The film really doesn’t rely on any cheap gags (with the exception of a groin shot right before the end of the movie. But groin shots are always funny)

John Lithgow is great, as would be expected. He’s always a pleasure to watch and he hams it up with the best of them in this movie. He also gets to show some murderous rage towards Lafleur (the villain) near the very end of the film, which nicely foreshadows his eventual (and spectacular) appearance on Dexter. I half expected him to strip naked and slit Lafleur’s throat in a bathtub.

It’s a fun movie, but it’s also a movie of a bygone era. I just can’t see a film like this being made today, and that’s kind of sad. We don’t really get fun, silly family movies anymore. Instead, we get shit like Transformers 2… God I hate that movie so much.

Skids and Mudflap
So much hatred…

Final verdict: This movie is still a lot of fun. It’s silly and an unapologetic rip-off of ET, but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable.

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