Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

The "Citizen Kane" of Bigfoot movies, this 1970s drive-in favorite is a great example of regional and low-budget, atmospheric filmmaking done right. Filmed in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas (according to the IMDb), the film has an authentic flavor to it that is a key component of why it is so effective.

Director Charles B. Pierce wisely goes the route of emphasizing atmosphere, creating a sense of real dread through what is implied off-screen, which is far more effective than showing too much of the monster. The use of local, non-professional actors (some playing themselves) adds to the documentary-like approach taken by Pierce.

The film ultimately succeeds because it takes the local Bigfoot legend seriously, and does not treat the subject with derision or unnecessary sensationalism. It also treats the characters with respect, focusing on the power that the legend holds for them.

Directed by Charles B. Pierce; screenplay by Earl E. Smith; photographed by Pierce; music by Jaime Mendoza-Nava. Starring Chuck Pierce Jr., William Stumpp, Willie E. Smith, and narrated by Vern Stierman.

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