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Monday, July 2, 2012

The Legend Of Boggy Creek

     Being a child who grew up in Arkansas, of course I remember the story of the creature who terrorized the small town and surrounding area of Fouke. Known as the "Bigfoot Of The South", the story became quite well-known in the early 60s and early 70s. THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK is a documentary-like telling of the famous story masterfully done by Charles B. Pierce, an ad salesman from Texarkana.  He borrowed some money from a friend and set out to create a psuedo-documentary of the legend he had heard as a kid, and it's one of the best-known and most-loved Bigfoot tales ever to hit the silver screen.

     Released in 1972, it quickly became a drive-in sensation and one of the top ten highest-grossing films of the year.  On top of that, it kicked off a wave of Bigfoot sightings all over the country as well.  And it's actually quite scary.  I remember this film being absolutely terrifying as a child, and it honestly holds up rather well today.

     Best enjoyed on a dark and windy night, THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK works on many different levels. It works first and foremost because it's based on actual events. Many of the same people who experienced these horrifying events actually play themselves in the film. The extreme low-budget of the film and its grainy look and feel really amps up the atmosphere of horror here, very much like the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. And director Pierce wisely refuses to show us the monster- instead we're only treated to short glimpses here and there, which just adds to the overall mystery. It's a fun docu-drama that's genuinely creepy at times, and utilizes camera effects, sound editing, and imagination to great effect here. It's like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT- it purposely shows us very little, and we're forced to use our imagination instead. If only THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES were done like this...

   This is a little slice of 70's drive-in horror that's developed quite the cult following over the years, and I believe two sequels were filmed and released. If you fail the find the Fouke monster story frightening, there is still plenty to be entertained by. This was the early 70's in southern Arkansas, after all. At times, it's harrowing, other times it's hilarious- but always fascinating. The film is painfully dated now, but still a perfect representation of 70's monster movies and hillbilly culture all rolled up into one nifty little homespun b-movie.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK.  

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