For some reason I can’t stop watching this show. Mountain Monsters purports to be a show about a group of West Virginians dedicated to hunting down the monsters of Appalachia. Some of these monsters I’ve heard of (The Grassman), others seem hyperlocal (Webster Werewolf) and were new to me.
The show follows a very A-Team like formula. Each show starts with a ride to a new hunt, where leader Trapper Tice tells everyone what monster they will be hunting. Then researcher Jeff fills in the rest of the details about the creature. Trapper and Jeff are usually backed by Buck, the “rookie”, and Huckleberry, a rather large man who is there for “security”. They always interview three people who have had sightings and video.
As par for the course for these types of shows, then do a “night investigation” the first night. These “investigations” result in close encounters with the creature they are hunting. These close calls then give everyone insights to what kind of trap they must build to capture the creature. Enter Willy and Wild Bill. Willy is the expert trap designer while Wild Bill is the real world incarnation of Boomhauer. Google it.
After the trap is built, they settle in for the final night investigation. Without fail, they fail to capture the creature. They always come close, though. That night investigation marks the end of the show, as they have to move on after a few days.
So why do I find this so compelling? It could be brilliant satire. The videos I mentioned earlier? They always look the creatures are CG. The videos contain not blobsquatches, but pixel smudge squatches. During the first night investigation they always have the amazing luck of an encounter with the creature right away. The creature is always “right there” but the camera never seems to capture anything.
The traps that they build are comical. Log traps that will ping a werewolf’s arm? Large metal pipes kind of submerged in water to catch a lizard? As far as I can tell, they have only ever caught some wild dogs. For all I know they were tame dogs.The last night investigation the whole team is out there trying to find the creature. They will come across footprints (either fake looking or not much of anything), bones from animals, or a bloody carcass.
Season two seems to have added more blood, more bones, and more audio. The werewolf howls seem canned, the Yahoo of Nicholas County sounds like a human being, and every other sound freaks them out It looks to me they wanted more ratings so they juiced up the episodes.
This has to be fake, right? Monsters no one else as ever heard of. Eyewitness video that always has CG. Close encounters ALL THE TIME but that never show up on camera. Despite coming so close to getting the dangerous creature, the last night ends, and everyone is “well, we did our best, time to go home”. Everything about the show screams fake, fake, fakety, fake.
However, I can’t find conclusive evidence that the show is trying to be real, or trying to be an obvious fake. Clearly, the content on the show doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, but I wish I knew their intent.
Maybe the best clue I have is this screencap I took:
“No Wildlife was hunted”.