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.
Chuck Pierce, Jr.
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
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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. The movie was featured in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 .
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. 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. Only the Rhino Entertainment version is still in print.
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 Bigfoot, The Capture of Bigfoot, and later Harry and the Hendersons. 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. 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.
- ^ Return to Boggy Creek at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ “Mystery Science Theater 3000″ Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1999) at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Amazon.com, Legend of Boggy Creek DVD info
- ^ 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
- ^ The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Creature From Black Lake (1976) at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot (1977) at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ The Capture of Bigfoot (1979) at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Harry and the Hendersons (1987) at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Interview with Dan Myrick at houseofhorrors.com
- ^ The Blair Witch Project (1999) at the Internet Movie Database
- ^ Interview with Justin Meeks at Filmmaker Magazine
- ^ IFC enters six in Fantastic Fest from Daily Variety
- ^ The Wild Man of the Navidad (2008) at the Internet Movie Database