Update on Clawed/Melissa Hovey Picture

The following is from Melissa’s latest blog post on the director of Clawed’s assertion that her picture is the creature in his film.

Dave Conover, who also submitted a written opinion, will be following up on this lead with the person who made the suit for the movie “Clawed.” Mr. Kozak may be the Director of this movie, but he didn’t make the costume.

I believe Dave is one of the researchers who helped debunk the “backyard Bigfoot” in Kentucky.  He correctly identified it as a bird in flight.  He should get to the bottom of this.

Many people have stated that the Clawed creature and the subject in MH’s photo don’t look similar.  There are differences, yes.  Namely, the Bigfoot in MH’s photo is missing a left arm.  Costumes in today’s films are made in pieces in order to give the actors more freedom of movement that looks realistic.  I suspect (key word) that the now famous picture is the costume in the early stages of development.  They took test pictures along the way that they sent to the producer/director for evaluation. That could be why Karl is so sure this is the creature from his film.  He may have even seen this actual picture before.   Since it’s missing an arm, I’m going to further assume that there isn’t even a person in the costume.  It’s on a bust or dummy of some kind.

This is an example of a typical "costume" in process in a Special FX studio. This is NOT the Clawed costume in process. I'm using this picture just as an example of the typical suit construction.

For an example of how a makeup FX studio designs and builds a suit, click here to visit Steve Wang’s Special FX blog.  It’s pretty fascinating stuff, and you can get a sense of what I’m talking about when I say they bulid these things in pieces.  Please note:  Steve Wang was not the Special FX artist for Clawed.  I’m just giving his work as example of how the industry works.

If MH’s picture is just the creature from Clawed, who sent the picture to her?  That’s the million dollar question.  Only she knows her source’s name, and who knows if he’s supplied her with his real name.  When you do costumes for a film based on a legend (real or not), you do a lot of research.  This is just speculation (again key word), but the FX guys may have come across her name in their research or heard her on a Bigfoot radio show, and decided to see if their creature could pass the test and fool a bona fide Bigfoot researcher.  When she didn’t bite, they decided to back off and drop out of the picture.  That’s a total guess on my part, but to me it’s a logical scenario.  I’ve decided it was unfair of me to make this accusation, speculative as it was, without any real information to justify it.

Nothing would make me happier than to post a retraction.  I’d be thrilled beyond belief if this were the real thing, but my spidey senses tell me that an unnamed source that disappeared for four years isn’t that reliable and shouldn’t be trusted.

UPDATE: Given that the costume was auctioned off in October of 2006 on ebay, I think it’s more likely that whoever purchased the suit is behind an attempted hoax. Assuming that Karl Kozak is correct about this being the costume from his film.

5 thoughts on “Update on Clawed/Melissa Hovey Picture

  1. Nice Job Richard… I personally think it is most likely a suit of some kind…just hope it gets settled soon.
    Thanks again

  2. Thanks for the kind words R.W. Yes, Scott Davis and I were on top of the “Fairdale Crowfoot” images pretty quick back when they went public. Too bad, as those were shot practically in my parents’ back yard and I grew up in the area, which does have some pretty solid BF reports from the nearby Jefferson Memorial Forest…

    I have yet to hear from the folks who worked on the CLAWED suit, but we have some friends in common, so hopefully within a couple of days I will get a response. Good choice in picking Steve Wang’s FX blog as he is, in my opinion, probably the best creature designer working in the industry. He’s also been a guest at our WonderFest event twice in the past.

    Dave Conover

    • Good luck, Dave. As I said before, I’d be thrilled if Karl was wrong about this being his costume. MH’s source could clear all this up with the other photos, but it doesn’t look like he’s willing to do so.

  3. Well this damn picture just wont die… YouTube video posted on The (Sasquatch Bigfoot Yeti) page is using the Hovey pic to justify another pic that Mark Anders supplied for their little clip… I posted to the video my thoughts about the Hovey pic simply being a costume from the movie clawed…. It’s just seems stupid that this pic keeps surfacing …I have stills from the film that plainly show that the Hovey pic is from the movie and that simple photo manipulation can change the hair color and tone

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