Today’s movie evokes a couple of different memories for me. The first one is my being a kid in the video store days and constantly seeing this movie on the shelf but never getting the chance to rent it, in spite of how cool the box looked. The second was a more recent memory from a B-movie panel at Dragoncon a couple of years ago. The reason this stuck out back then was because the panel was asked a question regarding what makes a successful B-movie, and they mentioned this movie as being a highly successful movie in terms of box office. But you will find out more on that later as I review today’s movie, The Legend Of Boggy Creek.
The plot: A young boy is running across the fields and makes his way to the cafe in town, where he tells an old man named Willie that there is a wild man in the creek near their house. With the other men in the cafe laughing, Willie tells the boy to head back home and he will check it out in the morning, then tells the men, after the boy leaves, that it is the third time the boy’s mother has sent him up there saying there is some wild hairy man running around out in the woods. The narrator then begins to describe the town of Fouke, Arkansas, a small town near the borders of Louisiana and Texas. The movie then begins having people recall their experiences with the fabled creature that lives in Boggy Creek. One farmer talks about how he shot at the creature and it walked off on two legs, stepping over his fence. Another farmer talks about how two of his prize hogs had been killed so he placed them in an area away from the house so the smell won’t reach the house but the next day, he didn’t see any buzzards in the area so he went to check and discovered the bodies were gone, and had apparently been picked up and carried off. A hunter tells about how he saw a creature down by the creek and a few months later, his brother was out hunting and had a similar sighting near the same area. A girl is taking care of some laundry when hears her cat howling and sees something approaching the house and screams and the next day, the family discover their cat has died of fright. A teenage boy hears some dogs chasing something so he grabs his gun and heads into the woods but when he sees the creature, he shoots at it then drops his gun and runs back to his house. After all of the sightings, a major hunt was organized, with special dogs brought in from neighboring states to help out. However, though a man on horseback saw the creature as it spooked his horse, the dogs refused to track the creature. As months go by and sightings tapered off, several people thought the creature was gone. However, a couple saw it crossing the road and when dead animals were found in the woods and strange, three-toed tracks were found in a bean field owned by Willie Smith, the news begins reporting on it, with the reporters suggesting it might be a gorilla, an orangutan, or even a Sasquatch, but the tracks are different. Some time later, Willie’s grandchildren are playing in the bean field and come running back to the house claiming they saw something. They take their mom back out to the field and she sees the creature and they all run screaming back to the house. Three girls are having a sleepover and hear something prowling around outside and see the creature from the window. Charles Turner, his wife Ann and their child, as well as Ann’s brother Don Ford, his wife Sue and their child, movie into a house in Fouke due to Charles and Don being hired by a cattle ranch. A few days after they moved in, while Charles and Don are at work, Ann and Sue hear something moving around the house and attempt to open the door. When whatever it was leaves, they take their kids and head to their landlord’s place, who checks the house but doesn’t see anything. The next day, Don’s brother Bobby and their 12 year old cousin Corky Hill come to visit and the two go fishing near the house. While fishing, Corky sees some strange, three-toed tracks near the edge of the creek and Bobby decides they should head back to the house. That night, something begins creeping around the house again, but it disappears when Charles and Don pull up to the house. After everyone starts telling the two men what happened, Charles goes with Bobby to the landlord’s house to get a gun and they return, but as everybody starts getting ready to go back to bed, a large, hairy arm smashes through the screen window and almost grabs Bobby and Ann. The three men go outside, and with Charles holding the flashlight, Don begins shooting at something, but when they can’t tell if he hit anything, Don goes out to get the sheriff. The sheriff sees a panther track under the house and figures that is what was scaring everyone. After the sheriff leaves, they all get ready for bed, but as Bobby is using the restroom, the creature tries to break through the window. Once again, the men grab the gun and begin shooting at the creature, then follow it out in the woods. Bobby goes back to look after the women but he winds up being attacked by the creature on the porch and ends up crashing through the front door. They take Bobby to the hospital in Texarkana, then decide to leave the area. The narrator, who was the small boy at the beginning of the movie, returned to the town, which has become rundown, and wonders if the creature still wanders the swamps and woods near Boggy Creek.
The Legend Of Boggy Creek was based on a legendary creature that supposedly terrorized the small town of Fouke, Arkansas. The attack on a family, which wound up being the final scenes in the movie, was the basis for the movie as it wound up receiving the most press. The movie was a box office success, earning $20 million off of a $160,000 budget. Four movies were released in later years that are loosely considered sequels due to their names, but some of them had no similarities to the original film.
Two days in a row with a “mockumentary” style movie about a Bigfoot type creature, but I will definitely take today’s movie over yesterdays. For as cheap of a budget that they had, this was a surprisingly well made movie. The interchange between the narrator and the people giving their accounts of their sightings mixed pretty well and helped make the movie flow a lot smoother. In some ways, you could view this movie as a look at rural southern culture, especially when they mention a young kid checking his trap lines before he goes to school every day. The scenes with the monster were brief and mostly shown through the “monster’s” perspective, primarily when it would be approaching a house. The attack on the Ford house, especially the attack on Bobby, had a bit of suspense to it, but also a bit of campiness which made it more memorable. A decent movie that is worth giving a shot.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5