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The Legend of Boggy Creek

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 30th, 2010

I’m giving a talk this evening in Pennsylvania entitled “Boggy Creek, Bigfoot, and Beyond.”

It truly is amazing how many people say they were inspired to go into Bigfooting based upon seeing this film. Where you one of them? Did you see this film in your youth, when it first came out, at a drive-in movie theater? Where?

Or more recently on television? Or via a private DVD screening?

Here’s the basic general background that most people have on the Fouke Monster films.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Legend of Boggy Creek

Promotional Movie Poster

Directed by Charles B. Pierce.

Produced by Charles B. Pierce.

Written by Earl E. Smith.

Starring
William Stumpp
Chuck Pierce, Jr.
Vern Stierman
Willie E. Smith

Music by Jaime Mendoza-Nava

Cinematography Charles B. Pierce

Editing by Tom Boutross

Distributed by Howco International Pictures

Release date(s) December 6, 1972

Running time 90 min

Country USA

Language English

The Legend of Boggy Creek is a 1972 docudrama about the “Fouke Monster“, a Bigfoot-type creature that has been seen in and around Fouke, Arkansas since the 1950s. The film mixes staged interviews with some local residents who claim to have encountered the creature, along with fictitious reenactments of said encounters. Charles B. Pierce, an advertising salesman from Texarkana on the Arkansas/Texas border, borrowed over $100,000 from a local trucking company, used an old movie camera and hired locals (mainly high school students) to help make the 90-minute film. It has generated approximately $20 million in revenue and can be found on DVD.

Synopsis

The film, based on a true story, sets out to detail the existence of the “Fouke Monster“, a bigfoot-like creature that has reportedly been seen by residents of a small Arkansas community since the 1950s. It is described as having a foul odor, completely covered in reddish-brown hair and having three toes and also known by leaving tracks found in beanfields.

Several locals from the small town of Fouke, Arkansas recall their stories, often appearing as themselves, claiming that the creature has killed several large hogs as well as other animals. In one scene, a kitten is shown as having been “scared to death” by the creature. The narrator informs us that while people have shot at the creature in the past, it has always managed to escape. In another scene, hunters attempt to pursue the creature with dogs, but the dogs refuse to give chase. A police constable states that while driving home one night, the creature suddenly ran across the road in front of him.

In a later sequence, culled from the actual newspaper accounts inspiring the film, the creature is shown menacing a family in a remote country house. After being fired upon, the creature attacks, sending one family member to the hospital.

Cast

  • Vern Stierman as Narrator
  • Chuck Pierce, Jr. as Young Jim
  • William Stumpp as Adult Jim
  • Willie E. Smith as Willie
  • Buddy Crabtree as James Crabtree
  • Jeff Crabtree as Fred Crabtree
  • Judy Baltom as Mary Beth Searcy
  • Mary B. Johnson as Mary Beth’s sister
  • George Dobson as George
  • Dave Ball as Dave
  • Jim Nicklus as Jim
  • Flo Pierce as Bessie Smith
  • Glenn Carruth as Bobby Ford
  • Bunny Dees as Mrs. Ford
  • John Wallis as Mr. Ford
  • Sarah Coble as Mrs. Carter
  • Dave O’Brien as Mr. Turner
  • Billy Crawford as Corky Bill
  • Dennis Lamb as Mr. Kennedy
  • Loraine Lamb as Mrs. Kennedy
  • Lloyd Bowen as Himself
  • B.R. Barrington as Himself
  • J.E. ‘Smokey’ Crabtree as Himself
  • Travis Crabtree as Himself
  • John P. Hixon as Himself
  • John W. Oates as Himself
  • Herb Jones as Himself
  • Anthony Newsom as Himself

Sequels

Return to Boggy Creek

A 1977 sequel, Return to Boggy Creek, was directed by Tom Moore. It carries over none of the original’s docudrama elements. It stars Dawn Wells of Gilligan’s Island fame, and the late Dana Plato of Diff’rent Strokes. Wells portrays the mother of three children who become lost in the swamp until the creature comes to their rescue.[1]

The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II

A third film, this one involving Pierce, was made with the title The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek (a.k.a. Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues). This movie follows the adventures of a University of Arkansas professor (Pierce) and his students, one of which is Pierce’s son, on their trip to Fouke, Arkansas to find and study the creature. A few scenes in the beginning of the movie were shot at the university, including an Arkansas Razorbacks football game.[2] The movie was featured in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 .[3]

DVD release

Between 2002 and 2008, Hen’s Tooth Video, Education 2000 Inc., Sterling Entertainment, Unicorn Video and Cheezy Flicks Entertainment all released The Legend of Boggy Creek on Region 1 DVD.[4] Several of these versions are now out of print.

In 2005, Elite Entertainment released the sequel, Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues, on Region 1 DVD. Additionally, in 2004, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode that lampooned the film was released on DVD by Rhino Entertainment.[5] Only the Rhino Entertainment version is still in print.

Cinematic Influence

Although The Legend of Boggy Creek was not the first ‘creature feature’ by any means, it was pioneering in that it marked the motion picture debut of Bigfoot. From that point on, Sasquatch was a star. Countless similarly-themed films followed in the wake of Boggy’s successful 1972 release, including Creature From Black Lake, Sasquatch, the Legend of BigfootThe Capture of Bigfoot, and later Harry and the Hendersons.[6][7][8][9][10] In recent years, influence on modern moviemakers is still strong. Its docudrama format – which was way ahead of its time in the 1970s – was purposefully echoed in 1999’s The Blair Witch Project.[11][12] In 2008, Duane Graves and Justin Meeks accurately recreated the drive-in feel of the movie in their blatant Boggy homage titled The Wild Man of the Navidad, released by IFC Films.[13][14][15]

References

  1. ^ Return to Boggy Creek at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1999) at the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ Amazon.com, Legend of Boggy Creek DVD info
  5. ^ Amazon.com, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 5 (Boggy Creek II/Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders/Time Chasers/The Touch of Satan) DVD info
  6. ^ The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ Creature From Black Lake (1976) at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot (1977) at the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ The Capture of Bigfoot (1979) at the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ Harry and the Hendersons (1987) at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ Interview with Dan Myrick at houseofhorrors.com
  12. ^ The Blair Witch Project (1999) at the Internet Movie Database
  13. ^ Interview with Justin Meeks at Filmmaker Magazine
  14. ^ IFC enters six in Fantastic Fest from Daily Variety
  15. ^ The Wild Man of the Navidad (2008) at the Internet Movie Database

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


11 Responses to “The Legend of Boggy Creek”

  1. BOOTYMONSTER responds:

  2. southernfriedbigfoot responds:

    I caught this on TV when I was six or seven years old, probably in 1977 or 1978. It was something of a cult classic among my mother’s family and in the pre-VHS days, LOBC used to air several times on local UHF TV stations. My late grandfather knew people who lived in Fouke, Arkansas, which made the movie seem more real to me.

    While it’s easy today to laugh at some of the scenes and music in LOBC, I know plenty of people who grew up in and around rural areas who were really freaked out by this movie.

    Both the window and the bathroom scenes scared me as a kid, and they’re obviously still having an effect. Last spring, my wife and I spent the night at a bed-and-breakfast on the outskirts of Rayne, Louisiana. The b&b consisted of several unattached shotgun cottages that surrounded a frog-filled lake. Our cottage was on a secluded end of the property, and upon arriving, I noticed that the bathroom window overlooked a small field and a dark patch of woods. I immediately pulled down the shade and when my wife asked why I was doing this at three o’clock in the afternoon, my only reply was “Legend of Boggy Creek.”

  3. Mr. Rush responds:

    This was the 1st movie I ever saw. As a 5 year-old, I was scared
    out of my wits the entire viewing. I had nightmares for 2 weeks following . . ha ha. That “bathroom scene” you posted from YouTube was the clincher. I remember the kid next to me spilling his “red hots” all over the movie theater floor.
    I saw it again 10 years later on a horror movie show called “Creature Feature” on channel 44 from Tampa, Fl. (Dr. Paul Bearer hosting). After viewing it again I felt silly for being so scared as a child & I reevaluated the film as a “B” grade monster/documentary flick typical of those shown on Saturday afternoons.
    In 2002 I bought a copy on DVD as an “homage” to the memory of this film & that it had gotten me interested in CryptoZoology.
    Anyone notice that Herb Jones has Prince Albert in a can? . . ha ha. Yep, it’s in the movie . . 39min 24sec mark. Enjoy.

  4. RedLandsBigfoot responds:

    Remember seeing this a kid in California(mid 70’s)..then moved to east/central Oklahoma in ’78…have been all over the Faulk area many times…huge influence indeed!

  5. krs9864 responds:

    I remember it VERY well! I was 9 years old and my family went to watch The Legend of Boggy Creek at our local drive-in! I just ordered the DVD so my own daughter can watch it now.

  6. Valen responds:

    Like krs9864, I was 9 as well when this came out. My dad took my sister and I to see it and I remember it scared the living daylights out of me. I didn’t want to go by an open window at nights for months afterward.
    It did spark an interest in cryptids for me, one that was further fueled later by “In Search Of” and the movie “The Mysterious Monsters”.

  7. isny responds:

    I remember this film from when I was about 8…my dad had a copy on VHS from somewhere. I remember, it gave me repeated nightmares for several years. When I recently rewatched it, it was still spooky to me! Yeah, the music is a bit cheesy these days, but the docudrama style (Blair Witch, Cloverfield) was pretty awesome.
    One of my friends and I watched it, and every time we were out in the woods, we would always throw out the line, “well, it’s getting kinda dark and the fish aren’t biting” as an excuse to go back.

  8. Grant responds:

    I got to see it when it came out (in fact, any given day tihs month or last month might be the anniversary). But I think it both did and didn’t influence my interest in the whole Bigfoot subject in a big way.

  9. DWA responds:

    Nope. I’ve never seen it.

    I got launched onto thinking about this by two things: (1) my lifelong interest in animals and (2) a surprisingly unbiased article, by the then-editor of National Wildlife Magazine, in that mag the spring after P/G went public.

    It never seemed spooky to me; it always seemed just a critter, if it was real. And I never cared for monster movies beyond my teen years anyway.

    But as Carlos Santana says, it’s getting it, not how, that matters. And if this film has brought in serious researchers, I suppose we should be happy about that.

  10. isaacsp responds:

    I was eight when this movie came out. When the trailer for the movie came on tv, it scared the crap out of me. I wanted to turn it off, (before remotes of course), but I just couldn’t. I’ve watched this movie dozens of times over the years. I never could figure out why the guy in this scene would actually sit on the commode with his underwear still up though.

  11. fallohide responds:

    I saw this one as a rental tape, having not been able to see it onscreen the first time. (Too young, and my parents wouldn’t have stood for it. ^_^) Later I bought a DVD copy, which is part of my collection.

    “The creek…. It always follows the creek…”



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