Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues [DVD]
Director : Charles B. Pierce
Screenplay : Charles B. Pierce
MPAA Rating : PG
Year of Release : 1985
Stars : Charles B. Pierce (Prof. Brian C. Lockart), Cindy Butler (Leslie Ann Walker), Chuck Pierce (Tim Thornton), Jimmy Clem (Old Man Crenshaw), Serene Hedin (Tanya Yazzie), Rick Hildreth (Deputy Williams), Don Adkins (Otis Tucker), James Tennison (Store Keeper)
It's never a good sign when a movie has serious problems with its title. Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues, which has also been known as The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, Part II, is a sequel not to a movie called Boggy Creek or The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, but rather 1973's clever pseudo-documentary The Legend of Boggy Creek, which was followed in 1977 by a sequel called Return to Boggy Creek. Thus, Boggy Creek II is actually the third entry in the Boggy Creek series, although writer/director Charles B. Pierce, who also directed the original, was probably hoping to erase any memory of the 1977 sequel, which he had nothing to do with.
Unfortunately, Pierce needed to come up with a better movie than Boggy Creek II, which has a few effective sequences surrounded by a seemingly interminable 90 minutes of low-budget padding and bad acting. Pierce has no one to blame but himself, as he wrote, directed, produced, and plays the lead in the film, which has led more than a few commentators to dismiss the movie as a misguided vanity project.
The original Legend of Boggy Creek was about a Bigfoot-like creature that supposedly lived in the swamps of northern Arkansas. It made up for its obvious lack of budget with a pre-Blair Witch use of pseudo-documentary techniques that were surprisingly effective in generating suspense and intrigue. Pierce discards that technique immediately in Boggy Creek II, instead settling on a straightforward approach to his decidedly thin material.
Pierce plays a frumpy and humorless University of Arkansas professor of anthropology who leads an expedition into the swamps in search of the beast after there is a rash of sightings. He brings along with him a trio of students: Tanya (Serene Heddin), Tanya's whiny friend Cindy (Leslie Ann Walker), and Tim (Pierce's son, Chuck), who inexplicably spends most of the movie shirtless.
Because there is little to do but sit around and wait for the creature to appear, Pierce pads out the movie by narrating gauzy flashbacks of previous supposed sightings. None of these are particularly interesting or inventive, and Pierce's decision to film them through a lens apparently smeared with a heavy layer of Vaseline is both unnecessary and distracting (was he afraid we wouldn't realize they were maybe/maybe not true?). He also throws in a rather pointless sequence in which the professor and the students are trapped inside a decaying farmhouse by a rabid German shepherd; apparently, the beast of Boggy Creek didn't offer enough menace.
And that is the film's main problem. It's made patently clear from the outset that the creature and its baby exist (thus answering the advertising one-sheet's tag-line question "Do they really exist ... ?"), so there's no suspense in that arena. Plus, Pierce emphasizes time and time again that the creature is essentially peaceful and has only once actually harmed a human being. Thus, it is never particularly threatening, although there is one effectively goose-bump-inducing scene in which the creature is tracked on a computer monitor as it slowly closes in on two characters in the woods.
The only thing that saves Boggy Creek II from being utterly forgettable is the third-act appearance of Jimmy Clem as Old Man Crenshaw, a tobacco-spitting mountain main recluse who is seemingly bigger, hairier, and more freaky than the creature itself. Old Man Crenshaw turns out to be central to the movie's plot and why the creature has suddenly re-emerged from the depths of the swamp, but that matters much less than the dose of slovenly redneck humor he injects into the movie, which is almost -- but not quite -- enough to cure it of its otherwise interminable boredom.
|Boggy Creek II DVD|
|Audio||English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo|
|Release Date||August 9, 2005|
|Boggy Creek II is presented in an anamorphic widescreen transfer from a print that is clearly in need of some cleaning. While the image is acceptably clean and clear overall, there are quite a few shots that somewhat scratchy and dirty (some of this may be stock footage, as it is usually of sunsets or landscapes) and there are frequent vertical hairlines. The night scenes are often so dark and murky that it's hard to tell what's going on, but that is most likely a result of the original cinematography, not the transfer.|
|The two-channel soundtrack is about on par with the image quality. It's acceptable despite some muddiness and ambient hiss, not to mention a few loud pops and drop-outs which are likely inherent to the source print.|
|The only supplement is an original theatrical trailer, presented in full-frame.|
Copyright �2005 James Kendrick
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