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Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Halloween 2014: Day 20

Week #4: Bigfeet
The Legend of Boggy Creek
1972
Charles B. Pierce

Fouke, Arkansas is home to a shaggy humanoid that stalks the nearby woods. The narrator opens with his encounter with it as a child. The creature is shot by a hunter and vanishes deep into the trees for years. If the locals' more recent encounters are to be believed, the once tranquil beast has returned but this time it may not be so peaceful.  

Filmed as docudrama, The Legend of Boggy Creek attempts to draw realism by employing no Hollywood actors, and film in the murky woods and swamps of backwoods Arkansas. When it sets out to evoke a very naturalistic dread, the movie is quite skillful. I can see why it’s so well remembered as part of the Bigfootmania that briefly took the U.S. by storm in the 70s. The docudrama format works against the film as well, the movie never builds a strong narrative with it. The Legend of Boggy Creek simply presents encounter after encounter with the occasional interview, and then it ends. This might work in an actual documentary, but in a monster movie it feels like a letdown. The acting and dialog never rise about amateurish, sometimes it works in the film’s favor giving it a note of unrehearsed authenticity. More often than not, it’s just silly. If you like horror that is virtually plotless but oozing with atmosphere, The Legend of Boggy Creek is the perfect film. (Incidentally, this film marks the second time I can use the infamous ‘kitten death’ tag.)

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