Release Date: December 6th, 1972
Directed by: Charles B. Pierce
Written by: Earl E. Smith
Music by: Jaime Mendoza-Nava
Cast: William Stumpp, Chuck Pierce Jr., Vern Stierman, Willie E. Smith
Howco International Pictures, 90 Minutes
This is a case where the story behind a movie is much more interesting than the movie itself.
The Legend of Boggy Creek is a horror docudrama but it is also rated G. It isn’t a true documentary, as it features a lot of dramatization and actors posing as real people. However, it does also interview some real people and gives accounts of the events from their points-of-view.
The story follows the local Arkansas legend about the “Fouke Monster”, a Sasquatch-like creature that only has three toes, which makes it not like any other Bigfoot-esque cryptid out there. Apparently, the creature was seen in the area surrounding Fouke, Arkansas back in the 1950s.
The film was made by Charles B. Pierce after he borrowed over $100,000 from a local trucking company. He used the money to buy an outdated 35mm film camera and hired some locals to work on the film and in the film. Bizarrely, this became somewhat of a cultural phenomenon similar to The Blair Witch Project nearly three decades later. It went on to generate roughly $25 million during its theatrical run.
To be frank, I’m not really sure how people sat through this thing and then went out and spread the word, making it a hugely successful film, especially for what it cost to make. It’s boring as friggin’ hell and the camera work and the quality of the film aren’t very good.
Boggy Creek was passed off as a documentary but it was really more like a found footage film that has populated the horror genre since 1999’s Blair Witch popularized the style. But where Blair Witch gets a lot of the credit for creating that craze, Boggy Creek kind of did it 27 years earlier. Now it is more documentary style than being like a recovered video tape but it has that vibe and really accomplishes what it set out to do in a very similar way.
Still, it’s a fairly dreadful picture and it was hard to push through its ninety minute running time.
I’ll refrain from putting it through the Cinespiria Shitometer out of respect for what the director accomplished with so little and because it was several decades ahead of what would become a major trend.