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Film Review: Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1984)

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SYNOPSIS:

A professor and three of his students camp out in the wilderness to find a Bigfoot-type creature.

REVIEW:

More years back than I can count on my fingers and toes, I used to go to a Saturday matinee in Pryor, Oklahoma at the Allred Theater. They had an odd idea of what constituted a “kids” movie. They showed us “The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid,” for Pete’s sake. Sure, it was PG, but it had whore houses, bare boobs, and numerous people being killed.

One of the best features they showed was “The Legend of Boggy Creek”. A nice G-rated movie to show the kiddies, right? I heard more screaming during that movie than The Beatles heard during their appearance on Ed Sullivan. At one point, the theater manager offered to sit with the kids in the lobby where they could watch from the standing-room-only section. Half of the kids went with him.

Nothing quite like traumatizing little kids on a Saturday morning.

Alas, the only true sequel to the classic “Boggy Creek” does not have the same impact, and I don’t think it has anything to do with me being 40+ years older.

Charles B. Pierce made the original film as a documentary and used actual residents from Fouke, AR, to relate a series of stories of sightings of the “Boggy Creek monster” which were dramatized. The movie became one of the top grossing film of 1972.

Five years later, someone looking to capitalize on the success of the earlier film released a supposed sequel called “Return to Boggy Creek” that was so weak that even Disney would have laughed at the “G-rated adventure for the entire family”. When the high points of your production are Dawn Wells and Dana Plato in starring roles, you are not off to a good start.

12 years after the release of the original “Boggy Creek,” Charles Pierce stepped back into the picture and crafted a real sequel, “Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues”. Not sure if he intended to right some wrong or if he thought he had another sure-fire winner for the low-budget film market. Didn’t work. I mean, it does give you some warped credibility if your movie is wonky enough that the folks at Mystery Science Theater 3000 decide to roast it, but it’s kinda like Halle Berry listing her Razzie for “Catwoman” on her resume as an “achievement”.

Boggy Creek II” (called “BC2” hereafter) starts much like the original with a travelogue type segment that talks about the beauty of the age-old swamps in southern Arkansas. I’ve been in those swamps. Yeah, they can be photogenic, but the average person is more concerned with ass-deep mud, snakes, and a rather blood-thirsty breed of mosquito, so your mileage will definitely vary. The wonder of beauty ends as we see the “monster” pull a deer underwater and tear its head off. Yup, still aiming for that family-film vibe, Mr. Pierce.

What happens next can only be described as a blatant plug for the University of Arkansas as we meet most of our cast as they cheer on the Razorbacks, the University football team. Almost every one of our characters are sporting clothing with the University’s name prominently featured in most shots. I can only hope the university didn’t contribute to the film’s budget other than promising not to have the film crew kicked off campus. I may be biased here as I once had a girlfriend, an Arkansas native, hop on her coffee table and let loose with a “Woooooooooo, Pig! Sooie!” Scared the hell out of me. We are no longer an item.

As I wipe away my tears, our gang of four, still in U of A clothing, head to the south to find the legendary creature in its natural habitat. We realize Bigfoot is a bit of a douche because it leaves the headless body of the deer in the middle of a road that apparently only our “heroes” know to use. A waste of good meat and our time as nothing happens. At this point, we see the young Tim, played by “Chuck” Pierce, Jr., without a shirt. Get used to it. You’ll see more of his hairless chest than you will Bigfoot, sadly.

The bulk of the film is made up of either visiting random locations that prompt group leader Dr. Lockhart (Charles B. Pierce himself) to relate tales of Bigfoot sightings, or the good doctor just starts spouting off with additional tales of the monster without any real provocation. After the third such story, you kinda hope the rest of the group dump his headless body in the middle of the road to instigate a better movie. It doesn’t happen. The world weeps.

From there, the story swings its way around to a somewhat wholesome feel-good storyline that still manages to work in an utterly out of place attack by a supposedly rabid dog that our shirtless hero Tim shoots and then leaves it to slowly die in misery in a pool of its own blood. Sadistic bastards.

If you have seen the original “BC”, you know that one of the best-remembered highlights of that movie was the guy being attacked while taking a dump. Freaked out ALL the kids during the matinee, including myself, and I even knew about the scene before watching the damn thing! In a nod to that classic bit, Pierce adds a tale of a backwoods retired lawyer who literally ends up in some deep shit while inside an outhouse during another pointless monster attack. Oh, ha ha, comedy gold! (Yes, that is sarcasm.)

I’m probably being a simple-minded guy when I say that the best thing in this movie is probably Serene Hedin. She plays Tanya, one of the group of four. Yes, she is attractive. As a bonus, she seems to actually exhibit some acting talent. Apparently, Mr. Pierce recognized her ability as he used her in a few of his other films. Other than roles in 3 other films, she dropped off the map as an actress.

The film just kind of lays there. It isn’t scary, thrilling, action packed, or even very interesting. In fact, I’d recommend watching the MST3K version to keep it entertaining, if you just HAVE to watch this thing. The direction is flat, the acting is subpar, and it wears down its audience (me, in this case) rapidly. I remember checking how much was left and nearly began crying when I realized I still had 30 minutes to sit through. If I had been in a theater, I would have spent most of the time chatting up the person running the snack bar.

If you want a more interesting bad movie that uses the same structure and the same basic story, check out “Night of the Demon,” which was made 4 years earlier than “BC2”. Hmm, I wonder if Mr. Pierce ripped off “Demon”. Nah, I won’t speak ill of the dead, but, yeah, it seems like a total rip off.

 

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