The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

[3.5]

This faux documentary featuring people’s alleged encounters with a sasquatch-like monster in the Louisiana woods made millions at drive-ins across America when it was released. It was a remarkable fete for a G-rated homegrown independent flick featuring non-actors. And that’s the most remarkable thing about The Legend of Boggy Creek — it’s gumption and box office success.

While the story is narrated by a man claiming to have grown up in the area, there’s little else holding the movie together. It jumps from one interview to another, one Ed Woodian re-enactment scene to the next — with none of the vignettes mustering nearly as much atmosphere or dread as the beautiful nature photography and sound design that bridge the gaps in-between. The opening five minutes, containing deep woods animal life and sound effects, is the scariest part of the whole movie — culminating in the monster’s off-screen howling and all the animals reacting. The creature is never convincingly showcased during the re-enactment scenes, but does come off rather well during a number of interstitial, tone-poem, woodsy montages.

I admire the concept of The Legend of Boggy Creek and respect its place as a predecessor to mockumentaries like The Blair Witch Project. But the acting (or non-acting?), cheesy folk song soundtrack, and poor production values render the narrative portions of the movie unconvincing. The whole thing may play better for fans of B-grade midnight fare.