The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)
Hollywood set decorator Charles B. Pierce ventured into the directing/producing game with The Legend of Boggy Creek, which takes a docudrama approach to the Bigfoot myth. The influential result is a weird mix of homespun homilies, flattened animal carcasses, more country songs than should be legal and such deeply Southern drawls, it nearly could have made an Academy Awards qualifying run for Best Foreign Language Film.
Boasting a population of 350, the Arkansas town of Fouke (which sounds close to “fuck” every time it is spoken) is “a right pleasant place to live … until the sun goes down.” That’s because it is home to several stores, two gas stations, a motel, two cafes … and one big ol’, hog-stealin’ sasquatch!
With a poetic lilt that sounds like he should be reciting Rod McKuen verse, Vern Stierman narrates the movie, driving what little story there is: that a monster from the Texarkana swamps roams free. Typical of his voiceover: “Excitement in the community reached a peak when a farmer named O.H. Kennedy discovered these strange, three-toed footsteps in Willie Smith’s bean field.”
However, the oddly G-rated Boggy Creek is mostly, rightly remembered for its re-enactments of sasquatch attacks. Local yokels say things like, “Uh herd sumthin’!” (translation: “I heard something”) or, “Les git outta her!” (translation: “Let’s get out of here!”), and sure as shit, out pops the hairy creature. He’s not picky about who he frightens, either, whether it’s kids playing outdoors in the daytime or some poor sap attempting to move his bowels on a toilet.
The super-indie indie holds a cryptozoological cornpone charm. Pierce took the more traditional route with the belated sequel, 1985’s Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues, which deservedly ended up lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000. —Rod Lott