Legend of Boggy Creek.jpg

Studio:       Howco International Pictures
Director:    Charles B. Smith
Writer:       Earl E. Smith
Producer:  Charles B. Smith
Stars:     Vern Stierman, Chuck Pierce Jr., William Stumpp, Willie E. Smith

Review Score:



The legend of the ¡°Fouke Monster,¡± a Bigfoot-like creature that stalks a rural Texarkana town, is presented as a docudrama using eyewitness accounts and reenactments.



Unless you are of an age that fondly remembers being terrified by the sound of the Fouke Monster¡¯s howl, chances are you will find this film more laughable than frightening.  Presented as a docudrama using real eyewitnesses for reenactments, ¡°The Legend of Boggy Creek¡± offers several accounts of a Sasquatch-esque creature that stalks the country folk of a small Arkansas town.  Released in 1972, the film shows every single day of its age.  It may have had an impact then, but it does not hold up now.

Parents looking for a family-friendly scary movie to watch with their children might be attracted by the PG rating.  And what monster-loving child would not want to see a movie about a creature like Bigfoot?  Except that in the decades since Boggy Creek was first released, even children¡¯s tastes have grown too sophisticated to find this movie anything other than slow, outdated, and silly.

The docudrama approach, unique for its time, gives the film a different look and feel.  But it is bogged down, no pun intended, by overlong filler scenes of various wildlife and landscapes.  Gaps between monster sightings are padded with extended sequences of townspeople laboriously going about their daily lives or of animals drifting lazily down a creek.

When the monster does show up, it either disappears quickly or does little of note.  One time, the Fouke Monster is shown thrusting its arm into an open window.  Another time it even has a physical struggle with a man.  Those two scenes cover most of the action.  Locals may tell stories about it killing animals, but usually all we ever see is a shambling shape in the woods accompanied by an occasional howl.

The musical score is strangely upbeat, and features instrumental pieces that would not be out of place in an episode of ¡°Leave It to Beaver.¡±  The two original songs (yes, original songs) are even more bizarre.

¡°The Legend of Boggy Creek¡±
Lyrics and Music: Earl E. Smith
Sung by: Chuck Bryant

This is where the story plays,
A world on which we seldom gaze,
A page from the book of yesterdays,
Birds and beast and wind and water.

Here beneath the bright blue sky,
No man smoke blinds the eagle¡¯s eye.
And things that crawl or swim or fly,
Feed and breed and live and die.

Here the sulfur river flow,
Rising when the storm cloud blows.
And this is where the creature goes,
Safe within a world he knows.

Perhaps he dimly wonders why,
There is no other such as I.
To touch, to love, before I die,
To listen to my lonely cry.

This is a creature that is supposed to invoke fear.  A terrible monster that torments families in their homes and ravages animals.  Yet this saccharin-sweet theme depicts the beast as a poor, pitiful soul contemplating a lonely existence while trapped in a world where love is unfamiliar.  Imagine ¡°Texas Chainsaw Massacre¡± having a similar leitmotif for Leatherface.

If that tune does not have you snickering at the screen in bewilderment, the second song will.  Should you subject a friend or loved one to watching this movie with you, I can promise that s/he will turn to you with a cocked eyebrow and mouth ¡°WTF?¡± when this starts playing:

¡°Nobody Sees the Flowers but Me¡±
Lyrics: Earl E. Smith
Music: Jamie Mendoza-Nava
Sung by: Jimmy Collins

Hey Travis Crabtree,
Wait a minute for me.
Let¡¯s go back in the bottoms,
Back where the fish are bitin¡¯,
Where all the world¡¯s invitin¡¯,
And nobody sees the flowers bloom but me.

Hey Travis Crabtree,
Do you see what I see?
On the gentle winds of mornin¡¯,
A million birds are singing,
Like the bells of heaven ringing,
And nobody sees the flowers bloom but me.

Drop me on a patch of land,
Never stepped upon by man,
Where the crystal water flows deep,
While the falcon flies high,
Across the yellow-eyed sky,
Lo, ain¡¯t it great to be free?

Hey Travis Crabtree,
It¡¯s the right life for me,
Roamin¡¯ alone in the bottoms,
While the birds and beasts are crying,
Because the sun is dying,
And nobody sees the flowers bloom but me.

¡°The Legend of Boggy Creek¡± is for nostalgia buffs only.  There are fans out there that hold Boggy Creek in high regard, but that regard is colored by childhood memories that remember something as better than it was.  No matter the person¡¯s age, anyone seeing this movie for the first time in the 21st century will only be confused or amused, and anything other than satisfied or scared.

Review Score:  40