I think this film can safely be put in the tradition of films which inspired “The Blair Witch Project”. Actually, saying that has made me realise how old I am because fans of modern horror will probably make reference to Blair Witch as a precursor to those wonderful Paranormal Activity films or something. I have no idea, I’m an old old man.
Anyway, Boggy Creek! Full disclosure – my wife was born and raised in Arkansas, the state where this film is set, so after we’d watched the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of “Boggy Creek 2:…And The Legend Continues”, which had a scene from the University she attended at roughly the same time as she was a student there, you know we had to track down the 1972 original. Wow, this is way closer to a blog than an actual film review. Don’t worry, readers, I’ll get to that…
…now. This film seems to come in three fairly distinct sections. First up, there’s the “come visit beautiful rural Arkansas” shots. There are a lot of shots of woodland, and creeks, where literally nothing else is happening. Second section is a documentary about the backwoods folk and the things they do. Now, I have a pet idea about this section – that the director approached these people and asked if he could film them for some documentary he was making about the southern end of the state, and then spliced in pictures of a man in an unconvincing Sasquatch outfit to make it look like they were part of the actual sub-sub-basement thriller film he was making. So you’ll get some teenager going for a paddle down the river and taking some tobacco to an old hermit, who tells us in voiceover how much he likes never seeing anyone, ever…then you’ll see the Fouke Monster off in the background of another shot, but we’re supposed to think they’re CLOSE (Fouke is the town the film is largely based in, and if you get bored you can replace it with a similar word for big laughs).
And thirdly are the reconstructions. Oh, the reconstructions! The syrup-voiced narrator will tell us about a bunch of people who saw the monster before showing a group of sub-amateur dramatics actors looking worriedly out of their windows as the monster wanders about in the undergrowth outside. They’re also weirdly complicated – like, we’ll get introduced to a family, but at the last moment voiceover guy will say “oh, and one of their cousins was there, and her husband was away for some reason”.
I will always have fond memories of this film, for the truly insane moment that happened about 30 minutes in. They’re doing one of their slow pans across some scenery when the most hideous song you’ve ever heard kicks in…yes! Youtube has it!
Caroline and I looked at each other open-mouthed in amazement. And that’s not the only one! There’s another sung-spoken poem which just describes the film up to that point, and the end credits are very similarly treated. It’s a truly bizarre moment in a film which, to that point, was just kinda dull.
So, I think I’ve covered everything the curious reader could possibly want to know about this film. It’s awful, of course. The monster doesn’t so much as get within 20 yards of a human being until the last ten minutes of the film, and only injures one person. Imagine “Night of the Living Dead”, if the zombies just sort of wander around in the woods and never come near any of the cast, and you have this film…only not as good.