Ken Walker’s taxidermy is found in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and has been featured in National Geographic Magazine. Ken specializes in re-creating extinct and endangered species out of other animals’ hides. His saber-toothed tiger and Irish elk have given us a close-up look at these fabled species. His giant panda was so realistic that it fooled the panda keepers from the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
Wild animals are not the only way that Ken can make a strikingly lifelike impression—he used to be a professional Roy Orbison impersonator. But these days, his “Pretty Woman” is seven feet tall and covered in coarse fur—his re-creation of 'Patty', the female Bigfoot seen in that shaky 1967 movie.
Big Fur documents Ken’s obsessive research and his meticulous Bigfoot re-creation from start to the moment he unveils her at the World Taxidermy Championship. While Ken would love to win ‘Best in Show’, his real hope is that putting ‘Patty’ on display will prompt some hunter to open his freezer and pull out the proof that Bigfoot is real. Instead, it’s Ken’s love life that gets thawed out.
Ken lives on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies where folks still hunt and trap as a way of life. Is it possible that Bigfoot exists in this remote and vast landscape? According to the people we meet in this film, encounters are more common than you might think. But wilderness areas everywhere are being decimated by the logging, mining, and oil & gas industries.
Big Fur is a wry portrait of an artist with an unshakeable belief that eventually he’ll find true love—or the hairy, 600-pound validation of his life’s quest. Either one would be good. It’s also a sympathetic insider’s view of taxidermy as an under-appreciated art form. Last but not least, it’s a call to preserve the last wilderness. Because when there is no mystery left in the deep, dark forest, we’ll have lost more than Bigfoot.