Donny Lee - Skunk Ape (3:24)
According to true believers, the Skunk Ape is a regional variation of Bigfoot that makes its home in Florida, mostly in and around the Everglades. Like Bigfoot, the mysterious Skunk Ape has rarely been spotted and one has never been captured. The good folks at the National Park Service contend that the evasive creature exists only as a local myth.
But it's a myth embraced by a large swath of people and one that has worked its way into a wide variety of cultural artifacts like a Facebook group, annual festivals, coins, t-shirts and web sites too numerous to list individually. And, of course, I should probably mention the Donny Lee 45rpm recording of Skunk Ape, which is posted above.
As you might imagine, confirmed Skunk Ape sightings are few and far between.
If you really want to see a Skunk Ape, by far your best bet is to check out Stomp! Shout! Scream!, a contagiously fun beach party rock and roll monster movie set in 1966. Written and directed by Jay Wade Edwards, the 2005 film depicts the adventures of The Violas, an all girl band of garage rockers whose van breaks down in a small Florida town where the Skunk Ape has been wreaking havoc. Everyone involved seems to have a deep and genuine affection for the classic beach party flicks of the 1960s and the movie boasts more heart and soul than a decade's worth of big budget blockbusters. And it surely doesn't hurt that it's accompanied by a stellar soundtrack with songs by the Fleshtones, Catfight!, the Woggles, the Penetrators, the Hate Bombs, Johnny Knox & Hi Test, Tiger! Tiger!, the Vendettas, the Clutters, and the Evidents.
It's probably not a bad idea to mention that a distributor has retitled the film Monster Beach Party, which is how it's listed on Amazon and Netflix. Below are a few images I harvested from the movie's Flickr site. On the right is director Edwards. Don't let that photo fool you, though. He doesn't play the Skunk Ape in the movie. That role went to Ned Hastings.