The Legend of Boggy Creek
the legend of boggy creek | charles b. pierce | earl e. smith | willie e. smith | john p. hixon | vern stierman | sasquatch | monster | creature | documentary | drama | mystery | united states | chuck pierce jr. | william stumpp | nightmares film festival | nff | better horror
Film: The Legend of Boggy Creek
Director: Charles B. Pierce
Writer: Earl E. Smith
Starring: Willie E. Smith, John P. Hixon and Vern Stierman
This is a movie that I remember my mother talking about. She had seen it as a child, but I’m not sure if it was on television or she went to the drive-in. Regardless, I remember how excited she was picking up the DVD for this movie. It was not too long after that I actually gave this a watch and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan. There is the new 4K transfer that is coming out so the Nightmares Film Festival showed it as they tend to have at least 1 older movie as part of the programming. The synopsis here is a documentary-style drama about the “Fouke Monster”, a Bigfoot-type creature that has been sighted in and around Fouke, Arkansas since the 1950s.
What I found interesting in looking into the history of movies is that this is directed by the same person who did the original The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Both take place in a same area so that really does make sense. They also both have very similar styles.
We start this out though with a boy running across a field. His name is Jim (Chuck Pierce Jr.) and a narrator of Vern Stierman telling us why he’s running. It appears that his mother sent him up to the local store to fetch the sheriff. She claims to have been hearing weird noises. The sheriff sends him back to tell her there is nothing there. It seems to be the third time this has happened so he will have to go down to check things out the following morning.
The movie is then mostly given to us in documentary style as the synopsis states. The narrator explains a few different instances and some of the history of the area of people stating they seen or encountered some kind of wild, hairy man in the woods.
What really makes this work for me though is we get a lot of nature shots. I’d say that is mostly what this is comprised of, but that is what makes it feel this like this a real documentary. We learn the history of Fouke and that voice we’re supposed to be hearing is Jim as an adult. He has decided to look into the truth of this creature. The area is primed for something creepy like this. It is a town with the population of around 350 at the time. It is near the border to Texas and Louisiana, so much of this is swamp lands. With how matter of fact these stories are told, it adds to the realism there.
There are some really intriguing sets to go along with some reenactments to help liven this up and some of the actual people that claimed to have seen this monster telling their story as well. In cases like this, it technically would be a documentary and setting the stage for shows you’d seen on the History Channel now. The realism of the people does help me if I’m going to be honest. Some of these reenactments are like a boy who thought his dogs spooked a deer to come upon this creature. There are a bunch of hunters that bring their dogs from miles around to track it as well as some young women being terrorized in their trailer. The climax would be two couples and some other relatives that rent a house when this wild thing decides to attack a few nights in a row.
With this cleaned up version now of the movie, I could actually see more in these scenes. That feels more to the detriment of the creepy factor for me, but I’ve never seen it look this good. I am a bit forgiving as they are trying to pass this off as real events while also livening it up for the drive-ins as well. The movie is a bit slow for my liking if I’m going to be honest. I don’t even mind the practical effect to bring the Bigfoot to life. It looked like a ghillie suit or just a normal gorilla suit. They strategically show it from a distance and just quick shots up close to try to hide the effect.
The last thing that I wanted to touch on as well is the soundtrack. Now we are mostly getting voice-over from the narrator, which is fine. We also get some growling that is supposed to be the monster. That also works. What I really wanted to talk about are the couple songs the director Charles B. Pierce sang. I’m not into country and neither of these is good, but I still have a soft spot for them regardless since they were written for this movie.
So now with that said, this is just an interesting, early faux-documentary. I don’t necessarily believe this creature is out there, but it is effective that the people interviewed believe what they saw. That adds a sense of realism for sure. On top of that, the reenactments are fine to give a bit of tension to the movie. Aside from that, the effects, soundtrack and how things are shot are fine. I’d rate this as above average overall, giving credit to when this was made and things that have come after it.
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10