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Boggy Creek Inspirational

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 17th, 2006

While I don’t delve into the UFO phenomena in regards to cryptozoology, I found this press release interesting. As I grew up not that far from Fouke, AR, the Fouke Monster and The Legend of Boggy Creek made quite an impression on me as a youth.

October 15, 2006 — Charles B. Pierce may not be a filmmaker on par with the great Orson Welles, but his first movie made a lot more money than "Citizen Kane." In 1972, Pierce, an advertising executive from Texarkana, made "The Legend of Boggy Creek," a cheesy, truth-or-hoax documentary about a Bigfoot-type monster who roamed the areas surrounding Fouke, a tiny Arkansas town. The film, now a cult classic, is the subject of parody in "The Top Secret UFO Project," filmmaker R. J. Thomas’ valentine to 1970s low-budget docudramas in general and UFOs in particular.

"The Legend of Boggy Creek" put Fouke on the map, and the town took it all to heart. There are monster T-shirts and stuffed dolls on sale and a yearly event called "Monster Days" to celebrate the sightings of the mysterious creature. In "The Top Secret UFO Project," the town of Jasper takes advantage of its’ own truth-or-hoax legend, with local businesses working UFO themes into their merchandizing and annual events honoring the strange encounters.

In 1972, Charles B. Pierce made "The Legend of Boggy Creek" with a borrowed 16mm camera, a handful of high school students, and some non-thespian locals as actors. He opened the film himself in Texarkana, and its’ instant popularity lead to distribution across the country and a gross of $22 million.

"My film is a tribute to Charles B. Pierce and people like him," Mr. Thomas said. "I saw ‘The Legend of Boggy Creek’ at 15 in a theater full of teenagers and everyone was screaming, especially the girls."

Mr. Thomas visited Fouke himself the following year, amused by all the monster-sighting news articles pinned to the local gas station bulletin board. The owner of the station told Mr. Thomas’ father, in a very serious tone, that the monster had been seen the week before near the town church.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster.


19 Responses to “Boggy Creek Inspirational”

  1. derfboy responds:

    Saw the legend of boggy creek as a kid, got me hooked on BF. Stayed out of the woods for a while. Great movie.

  2. CamperGuy responds:

    Grew up in S.E. Oklahoma very close to a creek of the same name.There were and still are stories in the area of
    bigfoot.

    Time will tell.

  3. captiannemo responds:

    “I took out my squirrel shot and put in my buck shot, then I thought it might be a man.”

    I love the part where the boy is running back home as the sun is going down and you can hear the monster in the woods in the background!

    No other movie like it!

  4. Delawhere responds:

    Boggy Creek is one of my favorites (and more so the spoofing the guys on MST 3K gave The Legend of Boggy Creek II).

    As a kid these kinds of homemade B movies seemed very real to me.

    Only wish we had cryptos here in the First State.

  5. dws responds:

    Cage goes in the water? You go in the water? Bigfoot’s in the water? Shark’s in the water…

  6. fuzzy responds:

    Hey, Delawhere ~ you DO have beasts there! Bigfoot researchers in that area have chased tracks and reports all over northern MD, Delaware and PA for years!

    Check Rising Sun and other communities along I-95, especially at the MD border and north along the river into PA this winter.

    One year, we responded to 39 reports there, including miles of tracks, lairs, smells, howls and a whole array of shocked witnesses!

    The creatures are there, and Winter’s on its way!

    Good Luck!

  7. Redskelter responds:

    Greetings all,

    How synchronistic…just this morning I spoke via telephone with a gentleman from Fouke named “Smokey” Crabtree (Craig Woolheater, you’ll recognize that name, I do believe)!

    Not only was Smokey involved in the film (as well as having acted in it), he continued his own Bigfoot research independently both on paper and in the field for decades after the film was made. He has written and self-published three books about his life and discoveries, and one of which, titled ‘Too Close To The Mirror’, details his discovery of a large unidentified skeleton South of Fouke a while back. Smokey reiterated to me on the phone this morning that the remains were 8 feet long (or this same length in height if it were standing). A curious find no doubt!

    -Micah A. Hanks

  8. caddo21 responds:

    Saw the movie when I was 12. Scared the hell out of me. Had to sleep with my parents that night. Even though Amarillo, TX. is one of the last Bigfoot friendly habitats there could be. I distinctly remember the ah’s when they showed that poor dead kitty. Great movie schlock!

  9. joppa responds:

    My favorite B movie as a 12 year old boy scout. Was scared to death until the monster chased the guy off the toliet. Ranked right up there in my nightmares with “Night of the Grizzlies” published around then about the crazed grizzly that went on a rampage in Glacier National Park. I slept with my bowie knife and flashlight for a year.

  10. joppa responds:

    The Mothman Prophecies was the scariest and weirdest book I ever read. The movie did not do the story justice.

    Best wishes for many more years of giving us the willies.

  11. stillserchin responds:

    That movie conjured up such spookiness that it still gives me the creeps.

  12. man_on_fire responds:

    Yeah, saw this one at the theater opening weekend at the age of 10. Believed every darn second of as pure truth. The guy jumping off the toilet and running out the door right into the monster made me jump about 6 feet out of my theater seat!

    But as mentioned above, the boy running home at dusk with the sounds of the monster in the woods across the fields left an indelible impression that has stayed with me to this day.

    Classic stuff!

  13. sasquatch responds:

    Film makers today could do themselves a favor by watching that one about ten times. Great tension building and suspense. The narration is so well concieved that it doesn’t feel intrusive like most narrated films can.

    The funny songs sort of relieved some of the tension and was actually part of masterful pacing, as I recall chuckling at “Hey, Travis Crabtree…”etc. only to dig a hole in the theatre armrest when the critter stalked the slumber party in the trailer. This movie is the Epitome of Americana, and I wish there were still films like this one being made today. Alas, the theatres are overbooked with predictable computer generated, gorey, rediculously self indulgent garbage.

  14. bearpaw responds:

    I remember seeing this when I was about 10 yrs old. I had to walk through the park to get home. Let me just say I dont remember my feet touching the ground at all, was world record 400 yard dash and no one was there to witness it. Then to get home to find out we are leaving for ARKANSAS (AAAAH!!!!) for summer vacation to see the Grandparents!! Sleeping with the lights on was a regular thing that summer. Heck, Motel 6 stole my motto “We’ll leave the light on for ya.”

  15. flame821 responds:

    Looks like I’m going to have to find this on DVD and put the children to bed early.

    I wonder if they ‘stole’ the toilet/monster idea in Jurrasic Park from this film?

  16. Autumnbelle responds:

    Just saw this movie for the first time in the past couple years. Have to admit a couple scenes did startle me, but mainly the love song the Fouke Monster sings to Travis Crabtree is the most priceless.

    Actually, it’s an interesting movie – mostly from a sociological view. Definitely well worth a viewing from thrill seekers and scholars alike.

  17. arbigfoothunter responds:

    Yes, I purchased my first copy of this movie at “The Monster Store” in ‘downtown’ Fouke. It was a video selling for $17.99, and it never did play right because it was third or fourth generation. But found the movie on DVD at Walmarts last year for $5.50, so I picked up 2 copies, but should have bought more! I have traveled to Fouke 5 times now in the last three years, as it is about 130 miles from Little Rock. Alot of the people in the film are deceased now or have moved away from the area. I was real disappointed by all the “Private Property” signs all along Boggy Creek, but the Sulphur River runs from there and you also have the vast area known as Sulphur River Bottoms, where tracks are found by hunters that are miles into this swampy area. So many snakes, alligators, panthers, and mosquitos await anyone who dares enter this boggy area. Whenever we visit relatives near Mineral Springs, AR, I always drive down to Fouke and check it out. Oh, yes, the movie is classic, and Charles B. Pierce stated that the creature’s vocals at the beginning of the film was actually what he recorded while boating through the river bottoms.

  18. Grant responds:

    I shuldn’t judge a movie without seeing it (“The Top Secret UFO Project”, I mean, not “Boggy Creek”), but comedies about UFOs (and other Fortean things, but especially UFOs) are so full of sound-alike, “cookie cutter” jokes (the abducted hillbilly one, the “probe” one, the “conspiracy nut” one, over and over and over), that it’s hard to imagine this one adding any originality to the whole thing. Plus – if it’s a parody of ‘ 70s films, then there’s ANOTHER subject that’s been hugely overdone by comedy writers, with EVEN MORE worn-out jokes. So a film that combines two subjects like that doesn’t sound so promising as far as humor goes. But hopefully I’m wrong.

  19. Grant responds:

    Like so many others here, I saw Boggy Creek when it came out. It was a (relatively) very early “Fortean” film for me, and also the last one for a pretty long while. But it was during a winter that I was caught up in all sorts of weird fictional things (as opposed to Fortean ones), like horror films, so it fit into that whole picture for me. Like sasquatch, the “slumber party” scene was both scary and funny to me (almost like a regular “boys crash the slumber party” scene in a comedy).



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