Monday, May 11, 2020

The Legend Of Boggy Creek

Man it's great to finally see this.

Welcome to another week of movie reviews where this time we look at underrated cult films that deserve more attention, starting with one of the most famous examples. The Legend Of Boggy Creek is nothing short of a fascinating film, a strange mix of horror film and documentary footage centered around the real town of Fouke, Arkansas where stories are recounted by the real people who live there in that town of the strange creature that lives in the Sulphur River region. Filmed on a budget of about $100,000 the film grossed 20 million dollars in 1972 and through the years has kept a sturdy cult following through almost strictly word of mouth. The version I watched was a complete restoration done in 2018, and my God does it looks amazing. I highly praise the work done on this film, and while it still has the film grain of a 35mm film stock, the colors, the crisp focus, and the overall quality is a true treat though I have absolutely nothing against the original release. But the atmosphere that is built so deeply into the film in almost every way is complimented so well by the restoration, it gets very moody and firmly sets you in this small town. Fouke is a town of about 350 people and you get to know this little town well, spending most of it observing the gorgeous and yet slightly unsettling landscape of the bottom lands, and the movie does such a great job putting you in that time and place in the world. And I gotta say, for real town folk with zero acting experience I quite enjoyed every person we met, again it's this odd mix of real life people playing themselves in a movie that is this fiction/non-fiction film about bigfoot so really there's not much acting in the film. It presents itself as a recounting of various stories by the people tethered together by a narrator to form a cohesive story. It succeeds in my opinion, because it feels real enough with the camera footage and narration, but still feels like a movie with this guy in a fur suit that would put Peter Mayhew to shame and a few recreated stories that go on for a bit. Yet it has a strange power, you stick with it and want to know where this film is going, it doesn't perpetrate itself as a true story and that these things really happened but suggests that it possibly could be true. Hence the title of The Legend Of Boggy Creek. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, the visuals are lovely, the music is so good I truthfully have a few tracks on my phone, the story proposed is a fun spooky one, and the director did a fine job creating this vision plus the narrator might just have the best voice I've heard for this sort of thing. I am so sorry Morgan Freeman, I still love your acting but this really gets you in the right frame of mind for a movie like this. The funny thing is Fouke is pretty dang close to my hometown, only a bit more than an hour and a half drive and I'd be interested to visit there just to see how much the town has changed in the subsequent 48 years. Regardless, this is a fine movie and I give it 4 stars, 7.5/10, so check it out and I'll be back with a lesser known film about a infamous murder case also made in the 1970s.

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