Sunday Streaming:: The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

Back in the day, one of the scariest movies you could crash into while driving down the UHF highway was the drive-in classic THE LEGEND OF BOOGGY CREEK. It didn’t matter what time of day it was, something about this flick could make you feel like it was the dead of night. Based on so-called actual events and starring real witnesses in reenactments, THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK may be the first faux-documentary horror film ever conceived. With all the polish of a high school Science Ed film, it spins the tale of a town called Fouke terrorized by a hairy Big Foot-type monster. Big Foot or “Sasquatch” carries little weight in the national psyche these days, but once upon a time he was the physical embodiment of the wilderness’s last stand against mankind’s complete appropriation of nature.

The movie itself is a time capsule showcasing a world that no longer exists both within the film (the technology-free town) and without (the film’s identity as drive-in fare). Many scenes are laughable by today’s standards, thanks to sub-par acting and the obvious limitations of an ape suit, but BOGGY CREEK still has its own quiet power. This is campfire story material and the viewer surely has to be in the right mood to be effected by its vague G-rated violence. The sad fact is, with psychopaths and terrorism lurking about in the real world, it may be difficult for modern audiences to empathize with the fear of the wild. Whatever is coming to get us, we can pretty much assume it’s not coming from the woods. In fact, at this point nature certainly has more to fear from us. Still, maybe there’s something ancient in our DNA that fearfully relates…

Kindertraumatically, at the end of the film the narrator returns to the location of his early childhood fears and he surprises himself by actually longing to hear the howl that once terrified him, “Just to be a reminder that there is still a wilderness left.” Sadly, I’d venture that there’s probably a Starbucks in that space today. BOGGY can still be a lot of fun and its influence is ever reaching (BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY et al.), but it’s hard to be truly scared of a monster you mostly feel sorry for. That being said, I’m happy to report that sightings of the Fouke monster continue on. Maybe there’s still a little kick in the old boy after all. Take that Starbucks (P.S. this is a re-vamping of an old review. I plagiarized myself)!

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