From an early age, I've been fascinated by that mysterious man-like creature which may even be the missing link. In fact, my brothers / friends and I were always going to journey to British Columbia to capture the famed Sasquatch. How we would do that, was a matter of major speculation. But there was plenty of "fuel" to excite our passions for the elusive hominid.
'The Legend of Boggy Creek' was probably the big bang of Bigfoot movies, created by Charles Pierce (who also did the quite reverent Native American 'Winterhawk' film). 'Boggy' focused in on the Fouke Monster, an Arkansas beast which "always traveled the creeks." The music for this one had a real down-home charm, and overall it had quite a high scare factor. The performances were quite authentic -- by many of the actual people who had sighted the creature. Even my sister-in-law found this film to be memorable in her youth.
'Boggy' was followed by a few sequels, featuring actresses like Dawn Wells and Dana Plato. But they're mostly just imitations -- strictly matinee material. The thrills are best obtained by the original. (Too bad you can't get a soundtrack for it!).
The Seventies (maybe the best decade for Bigfoot popularization) also produced a couple of decent documentaries: 'The Mysterious Monsters,' and 'Man-Beast: Mystery or Myth.' I believe Peter Graves narrated the first one. They were filled with interesting, sometimes hilarious speculation -- and real characters like Peter Byrne. Byrne once stole part of an alleged Yeti artifact, substituting another animal paw part to keep it intact! So there is a real "gold prospector" feel to many of the people in this field. Recently, Tom Biscardi has taken up the torch -- taken in by some people who claimed to have captured it. So it sure pays to be skeptical!
'The Legend of Black Lake' featured Jack Elam and a too-aggressive Bigfoot, who pulled people out of boats and the like. Obviously a 'Boggy Creek' wannabe, it's probably good for a few laughs but nothing too substantial. Look for it in a local video bargain bin.
On the more serious side, 'The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas' (1957) featured the awesome Peter Cushing (of 'Star Wars' fame) and also Forrest Tucker (now there's a combination!). You might be able to catch it on American Movie Classics, if you're lucky. Not a bad excursion into a mysterious mountain land.
Finally, 'Harry and the Hendersons' (1987) takes a more endearing look at our hirsute cousin -- with a little rib-poking at Spielberg's own 'ET' alien. Yes, some people do link Bigfoot and UFOs. Maybe that's why you never find a dead one? This film is fun for the whole family -- but you should probably not adopt a Bigfoot unless you have a well-reinforced fenced-in nature preserve to do so.
Later efforts have fallen pretty flat, but you might catch one on the Sci-Fi channel. Either the creature is too "Blair Witch-like" and fails to materialize, or the movie gets too soupy with sentimentality. It's definitely a genre that needs to be revived. Maybe a hearty Bigfoot movie marathon on one of Ted Turner's cable TV stations would be a good way to get the ball rolling. Or could it just be the ayurvedic medicine needed to revive the career of M. Night Shyamalan?!
(P.S. By the way, 'Leave It to Bigfoot' was a proposed TV show on the hilarious Weird Al Yankovic film, 'UHF'!)