The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

legend of boggy creek poster 1972 review
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

One of the original

Fake documentary recreations look awful

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: The Legend of Boggy Creek

Studio: Howco International Pictures

Genre(s): Documentary/Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s): December 6, 1972

MPAA Rating: G

legend of boggy creek fouke monster

So the Fouke Monster is just a creeper that watches people from the woods?

Something is roaming the swamps of Fouke, Arkansas.  Reports of a creature that lives near the swamps of Boggy Creek have been revealed for decades.  Now, a filmmaker named Jim (William Stumpp) has returned to the horror that haunted him as a child.  He has come back to Fouke to uncover its monster…and tell the story of the beast!

Directed by Charles B. Pierce, The Legend of Boggy Creek is a documentary-horror film.  The movie combines true events with a fictionalized story.  The independent film was extremely low-budget but was a box-office success becoming one of the top grossing films of 1972.

I loved cryptozoology, aliens, and everything unknown as a kid.  Living next to the woods, my fear of waking up and seeing something looking in my window was a constant nightmare.  The Legend of Boggy Creek plays on this idea of really “natural” horror, but at the same time, the movie was very innovative.

legend of boggy creek fouke monster hunter

Wait I’ve seen this scene before…or two or three times

Despite being a very different film, The Legend of Boggy Creek unfortunately suffers from its low budget.  The film is shot in documentary style and takes real stories of the Fouke Monster as its source material.  The stories are loosely strung together with a narrator, and the film becomes a “story”…but the natural approach used by the film ends up hurting the telling.

The problem is that the movie uses this documentary format to the max.  A lot of the people used in the movie were people from the area and not traditional actors.  The acting as a result is pretty rough with poor delivery.  This feeds back on itself with the documentary style of the movie…so in a way it becomes effective (but it still is bad).

legend of boggy creek reenactments

Scream at the horror of seeing nothing!!!

The movie also was shot extremely cheap.  I would love to see a really good transfer of this film to see if it could be cleaned up at all.  The bad monkey suit that the poor guy playing the monster has to wear is really weak but the director smartly shoots it out of focus and in the background in most cases…plus, you have some god-awful original music (like the Travis Crabtree song).  Once again, with the storytelling and the acting despite being poor quality there is something effective about it (and I find the opening scene with the kid kind of effective).

The Legend of Boggy Creek was innovative at the time.  The faux documentary gave birth to other movies like The Blair Witch Project and the success of the film far predates the independent film boom.  While the movie is cheesy, poorly shot, badly acted, and kind of a snoozer, there is something about The Legend of Boggy Creek that pulls me back due to childhood fears.  The Legend of Boggy Creek was followed by Return to Boggy Creek in 1977 and an official sequel with Boggy Creek II:  And the Legend Continues in 1985.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by

Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn’t afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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