The Legend of Boggy Creek

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The Legend of Boggy Creek
The Legend of Boggy Creek promotional poster.jpg
Promotional Movie Poster
Directed by Charles B. Pierce
Produced by Charles B. Pierce
Written by Earl E. Smith
Starring William Stumpp
Chuck Pierce, Jr.
Vern Stierman
Willie E. Smith
Music by Jaime Mendoza-Nava
Cinematography Charles B. Pierce
Edited by Tom Boutross
Distributed by Howco International Pictures
Release date
  • December 6, 1972 (1972-12-06)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100,000[1]
Box office $20 million[2]

The Legend of Boggy Creek is a 1972 horror 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 35mm movie camera and hired locals (mainly high school students) to help make the 85-minute film. The film has generated approximately $20 million in box office revenue and is available on DVD.

Plot[edit]

The film, which claims to be a true story, details the existence of the "Fouke Monster", a seven foot tall Bigfoot-like creature that has reportedly been seen by residents of a small Arkansas community since the 1940s. It is described as being completely covered in reddish-brown hair, leaving three-toed tracks and having a foul odor.

Several locals from the small town of Fouke, Arkansas recall their stories, often appearing as themselves, claiming that the creature has killed many large animals over the years. One farmer claims that the beast carried off two of his 200lb hogs with little effort, leaping a fence with the animals tucked under its arm. In one scene, a kitten is shown as having been "scared to death" by the creature. The narrator informs the audience that while people have shot at the creature in the past, it has always managed to escape. In another sequence, 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 his car.

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.

The creature was never captured, and is said to still stalk the swamps of southern Arkansas to this day.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Pierce originally planned to call the film Tracking the Fouke Monster.[3]

Releases[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

The Legend of Boggy Creek was released theatrically to major financial success given its budget of only $160,000, earning around $20 million at the box office.[2]

According to Variety, the film earned $4.8 million in theatrical rentals in North America.[4]

It was the 10th highest-grossing film of 1972.[5] Return to Boggy Creek and Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues were released to theaters later, in 1977 and 1985, respectively. Neither of the sequels were as successful as the original film.[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

Both The Legend of Boggy Creek and Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues have been released on VHS several times. Between 2002 and 2011, Hen's Tooth Video, Education 2000 Inc., Sterling Entertainment, Unicorn Video, RHR Home Video, and Cheezy Flicks Entertainment all released The Legend of Boggy Creek on Region 1 DVD.[6] Several of these versions are now out of print.[citation needed]

UPDATE: As of 08/07/2018 there are plans to release "The Legend of Boggy Creek" on Blu-Ray in special 4K definition from the original master tapes that are now in the ownership of Charles Pierce's daughter. No release date has been determined as of yet.

In 2005, Elite Entertainment released 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.[7] Only the Rhino Entertainment version is still in print. Return to Boggy Creek has only been issued on VHS by CBS Home Entertainment with no plans for a DVD release as of 2011.[8]

Reception[edit]

The Legend of Boggy Creek received mixed reviews upon its initial release.

TV Guide awarded the film 2/5 stars, calling it "crudely made but fairly effective".[9] On his website Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings, Dave Sindelar called the film "a mixed bag", praising the film's location as "authentic and genuinely eerie", use of real people playing themselves, and its occasionally interesting touches of detail. However, Sindelar felt that the recreations of the encounters were not always effective, and criticized the third act as being less convincing.[10] Frank Wilkins from Reel Talk called the film " a campy little fun-loving cult classic thriller", commending it's atmosphere, and "oddly appropriate soundtrack".[11] Terror Trap.com awarded the film 3/4 stars, noting the film's low budget, but commended it's atmosphere, calling it "original and effective".[12]

Sequels[edit]

Return to Boggy Creek (1977)[edit]

Return to Boggy Creek did not involve Charles B. Pierce in any respect, but was directed by Tom Moore. The film carries over none of the original's docudrama elements.[citation needed] It stars Dawn Wells of Gilligan's Island fame, and Dana Plato of Diff'rent Strokes.[citation needed] Wells portrays the mother of three children who become lost in the swamp until the creature comes to their rescue.[citation needed]

Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1985)[edit]

A third film, originally titled The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II, involved Pierce and was written as a sequel to the original film, thus the reason for styling the title as "II" instead of "III". It 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.[13] The "Big Creature" in the film was portrayed by James Faubus Griffith, a Hollywood stuntman, actor, and bodyguard.[citation needed]

Boggy Creek: The Legend Is True (2010)[edit]

This film's story is unrelated to the others in the franchise, shifting from Arkansas to Texas. It deals with a bigfoot-like creature attacking a group of teenagers that are vacationing in the fictional area of Boggy Creek, Texas. The film was written and directed by Brian T. Jaynes. It was originally produced in 2010 and released straight to DVD on September 13, 2011.

The Legacy of Boggy Creek (2011)[edit]

This low-budget indie film was originally released in 2009 under the title The Skunkape Story,[14][15] but was later re-edited and released to home video in 2011 as The Legacy of Boggy Creek. The docudrama chronicles the events that began after the original attacks in Fouke. It was written and directed by Dustin Ferguson.


Cinematic influence[edit]

Its docudrama format was purposefully echoed in 1999's The Blair Witch Project.[16] 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.[17][18]

On September 13, 2011, Boggy Creek: The Legend Is True was released on DVD and Blu-ray by Hannover House.[19] Also in 2011, The Legacy of Boggy Creek was released on DVD by RHR Home Video.[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charles B. Pierce, Director of 'Boggy Creek,' Dies at 71". The New York Times. Associated Press. March 10, 2010. p. B18. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "The Legend of Boggy Creek, Worldwide Box Office". Worldwide Box Office. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Community Caught By Surprise: Legendary Monster Becomes Money-Maker". The Victoria Advocate. August 23, 1973. p. 7C. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ "All-Time Film Rental Champs", Variety, 7 January 1976, pg 48.
  5. ^ "Top Grossing Films of 1972". Listal.com. 
  6. ^ Amazon.com, Legend of Boggy Creek DVD info
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ Moore, Tom (Director) (1977). Return to Boggy Creek (DVD). Livonia, MI: CBS/FOX Video; Bayou Productions. OCLC 15999571. 
  9. ^ "The Legend Of Boggy Creek - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". TV Guide.com. TV Guide. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  10. ^ Sindelar, Dave. "The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)". Fantastic Movie Musings.com. Dave Sindelar. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  11. ^ Wilkins, Frank. "Horror in the Bottomlands - ReelTalk Movie Reviews". ReelTalk Reviews.com. Frank Wilkins. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  12. ^ "The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)". Terror Trap.com. Terror Trap. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  13. ^ "Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues...". Mystery Science Theater 3000. Season 10. Episode 6. May 9, 1999. Sci-Fi Channel. 
  14. ^ James (December 22, 2009). "My Review of The Skunkape Story (2009)". horrormoviecentral.weebly.com. Archived from the original on May 12, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Fouke Monster: The Beast and the Legend of Boggy Creek: Movies..." Monstro Bizarro Productions. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  16. ^ Myrick, Dan (July 1999). "An Exclusive Interview with Dan Myrick, Director of 'The Blair Witch Project'" (Interview). Interviewed by Caretaker. Internet Zombie Productions. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Meeks, Justin (April 24, 2008). "Tribeca Director Interview: Justin Meeks, The Wild Man of the Navidad". Filmmaker (Interview). Interviewed by Filmmaker. Retrieved April 13, 2013. [permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "IFC enters six in Fantastic Fest". Daily Variety. New York. [dead link]
  19. ^ Jaynes, Brian T. (Director, Executive Producer) (2010). Boggy Creek: The Legend Is True (DVD). Fayetteville, AR: Distributed by Hannover House. OCLC 759520720. 
  20. ^ "The Legacy of Boggy Creek" (Official website). RHR Home Video. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 

External links[edit]