Posted by: Nick Redfern on June 12th, 2012
Around 12.30 p.m. on Sunday, me, Craig Woolheater, and my dad, Frank (who was on the last day of his 3-week holiday before a flight back to the UK yesterday) drove up to Grapevine, Texas where Lyle Blackburn was due to lecture for Ken Cherry’s Extraordinary Phenomena Investigations Council (EPIC) group, on the subject of his excellent book, The Beast of Boggy Creek – which, if you don’t have a copy, you really should!
And, I have to say, it was well worth it!
Lyle kicked off at shortly after 2.00 p.m. and delivered an excellent, highly visual presentation that told the story of the monster of Boggy Creek, and the way in which the real-life events led to the production of Charles B. Pierce’s The Legend of Boggy Creek movie.
Thanks to Lyle’s excellent Powerpoint presentation, we were treated to fine and atmospheric imagery of the area in which all the creature chaos began back in the early 1970s, and that led to near-hysteria all around town as a result. We were introduced to a cast of characters without whose testimony the nature of the beast surely would not have become public knowledge. And, we were exposed to the way in which the local media caught wind of what was afoot, thus leading to a veritable spiraling of interest in the monstrous matter.
The back-story to Pierce’s movie was fascinating to hear, too. Against all the odds, working on a shoestring budget, and with practically nothing in the way of previous experience, Pierce delivered the goods and left us with a movie that thrust the beast firmly into the limelight. Of course, many of you reading this will already know that. But, Lyle’s lecture offered intriguing data and facts that many may not be aware of (as does his book). Indeed, Lyle is to be applauded for digging deep into just about every aspect of the making of the cult-classic movie.
That was not all, however. Lyle also revealed that, in reality, sightings of “Boggy” actually date back decades and decades – but, for the most part, overwhelming silence was the name of the game in the little town of Fouke. Or, it was until the early 1970s, when all hell broke loose.
And, as Lyle also showed, encounters with the creature have continued pretty much up to the present day. In other words, the Boggy Creek beast has been a player in and around Fouke for far longer than many could have ever guessed.
The lecture was followed by a good, lengthy Q and A session in which Lyle addressed such diverse matters as the available food sources in the area, the physical differences between the Boggy Creek beast and some of the Bigfoot reported from the Pacific Northwest, and his ongoing work to chronicle pretty much every aspect of the affair.
Then, following a Mexican dinner attended by about 20 or more people, some of us headed off to the home of one of the group members – thanks for the hospitality, Michelle! – where, after darkness had fallen and the creatures of the night were starting to surface, we all sat and watched (what else?!) The Legend of Boggy Creek.
I have to say that although it has actually been a long time since I last watched the movie, I did not feel it had lost any of its impact or atmosphere. Yes, it was made for practically nothing, and no, it did not feature any big names. But, so what? Forty years on, it still totally blows away all those tedious shark-, alligator-, and Bigfoot-themed movies of today that turn up on certain channels that should know much better than to broadcast such useless drivel.
So, all in all, it was a great day and evening. And if you weren’t there to hear Lyle speak, you missed a treat of terror!
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.