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Film Review: Bog (1979)

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Dynamite fishing in a rural swamp revives a prehistoric gill monster that must have the blood of human females in order to survive.


Bad movies from the 1970s seem to have a unique, almost magical, air about them. Not the movies that are pure and simply awful – the kind that insult your intelligence and expect you to just put up with its nonsense, like “The Swarm” or “C.H.O.M.P.S.” or “Rabbit Test”. We’re talking about the movies that did all the wrong things, but, like that disarmingly charming waif clueless to its own absolute ineptitude, still seem shocked at the final result. Usually followed by everyone involved scrubbing the film from their CVs.

Grab four has-been actors of such low caliber that even an ardent film fan from the era would be hard pressed to identify and blend with one-shot wonders possessing varying levels of incompetence. Toss in crew credits that all but shout, “We’re here for any reasonable tax break!” Use the local high school chemistry lab for a pathology lab (including huge posters about space flight, the moon, crustaceans, and the moon along with a classroom pencil sharpener bolted to the wall in the dead center of numerous shots). Drop all of this into a script that would have been laughed right out of the studio back in 1954, when this kind of thing was king at the box office.

What do you get?

“Bog” from 1979.

How bad is it? you may ask.

Opening scene has a guy dynamite fishing. Toss a partial stick of dynamite into the body of water and the concussion of the blast will kill large numbers of fish. Instead of using the clearly present fishing net in the front of the boat to scoop up his kill, this tool does it by hand, making it far easier for the unseen creature he has awakened to pull him under, which, unfortunately, brings us to the film’s theme song, “Walk With Me”. Hope you like it. You’ll hear it at least three times with vocals and the instrumental version plays behind damn near EVERYTHING, including action sequences.

As Pat Hopkins warbles and the opening credits make us wonder why it takes so many people to make such a dreadful film, we watch a station wagon roll through Harshaw, WI as the vehicle’s occupants prepare for a weekend of fun. If beer guzzling and endlessly smoking unlit cigarettes can be called “fun”. At one point, a husband refers to his disgruntled spouse as a “slave person” before poking her breasts with a fishing pole.

Much to the wives’ relief, the awakened monster deftly avoids the two out-of-shape guys and offs the ladies. What a shame as one of them is the cutest woman in the movie when she isn’t sticking her camera in her tube top.

Now we meet some of the stars used as box-office draw. Marshall Thompson and Aldo Ray, folks!!! Okay, Aldo Ray, you might know of, but Thompson? “It! The Terror from Beyond Space”!! No? Oh well, don’t sweat it. He spends the bulk of the film creepily loitering in the background when he isn’t attempting to rub his crotch against Gloria DeHaven, who gets two – count ‘em, TWO! – roles in this majestic beast of a movie, as the local medical examiner and the local weird lady who has Biblical knowledge of the creature at large. Yes, you heard me; I said “BIBLICAL!!!”

Let’s not forget poor Leo Gordon. You may not know his name, but if you are a fan of old Westerns and crime films and TV, you’ll recognize him – when he shows up, as an unintroduced character, with little more than 15 minutes left in the film. Instead of introducing him as an afterthought, maybe they should have hired him to write the script considering his record as a screenwriter and novelist.

Do you find scenes of older actors staring intently into microscopes as they toss around scientific jargon to be your “happy place”? Does it make you hotter than “Two Girls, One Cup” ever could? Then your adult film collection would not be complete without “Bog”! Scene after scene after scene. There are so many that it has to be the director’s kink. All of them enhanced by the look of utter obliviousness on the actors’ faces.

While the film gets stuck in a loop of monster attacks followed by lab scenes followed by shots of Aldo Ray taking shots (honestly, he has a drink in his hand way too often to be on duty as a cop), incidental characters are killed off screen while our over-the-hill stars shuffle and jive their way through dialogue that includes such classics as “Could we have a Dracula running loose out there?” or “Is it possible that we have a walking, breathing, living 100% cancerous organism out there?” or the prize-winning “Maybe I’m dense, but what kind of thing would have a hypodeemic nurdle for a mouth? Oh, I mean, a hypodermic needle. Ha ha, I’m alright!” (which was a lame joke or Aldo Ray shooting a scene after a snootful of booze – betting on the latter case).

As if all these failures are not enough, the end of the film feels like the production ran out of time, money, AND interest which led to someone in charge screaming, “Screw it! Just run the damned monster over with a car, and let’s go home!” So, they did.

Bog” isn’t a surreal bad movie experience like “Manos: The Hands of Fate”. It isn’t even a jolly giggle-fest like “Plan 9 from Outer Space.” It is more of a head-scratcher that may have you asking “Who would put curtains over wood paneling, and why do they insist the wall is a window?” You’ll be a better person for having asked.

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