Bog... a creature from the glacial age awakens to kill... kill... and kill again!
Year of Release: 1979
Also Known As: The Bog Monster
Running Time: 90 minutes (1:30)
Director: Don Keeslar
Gloria DeHaven ... Ginny Glenn / Adrianna
Aldo Ray ... Sheriff Neal Rydholm
Marshall Thompson ... Dr. Brad Wednesday
Leo Gordon ... Dr. John Warren
Glen Voros ... Alan Tanner
Rohay North ... Chuck Pierce
Carol Terry ... May Tanner
Lou Hunt ... Kim Pierce
Ed Clark ... Deputy Jensen
Robert Fry ... Wallace Fry
Jeff Schwaab ... The Bog Monster
A group of people living in a small town in the north woods are suddenly confronted with a beast that has been awakened from a sleep of countless years... a creature from the glacial age... awakened only to kill... kill... and kill again! It ravages the countryside in search of human prey to satisfy its craving for human flesh and its lust for human blood. Doc Wednesday, Ginny Glenn, and Dr. John Warren are caught in the center of this drama. They are confronted by a horror so beyond belief that it seems inconceivable it could happen in these modern times. Somehow this creature must be stopped... and it must be stopped forever.
Bog, remindin' us that there's a world of difference between southern hospitality an rural hospitality. Southern folks'll give ya a hot meal an a bunk for the night if you're in need, but us rural folks, well, we just give ya to the count of ten to get off our property before we fill your hinder fulla bird shot. There's also rural southern hospitality, which I won't go into since there might be ladies readin', but it's the reason why Ned Beatty never eats at the Waffle House. An speakin' of places you just shouldn't go, Skunky Hernandez' Grime Time Drive-In theater is up an fully operational. I still don't entirely believe what I'm seein', even when I'm lookin' at it from the deck of my projection booth, but it's finished, an it's real. There really wasn't that much left to do once they got the concession stand up last week; mostly it was just installin' the outhouses, proppin' up the ticket booth, an gettin' the severe tire damage spikes workin'. Skunky was lookin' at gettin' some spike strips used from the highway patrol, but I told 'em I wasn't about to sit out in the hot sun cleanin' the brains offa those things, so I got Cleave Furguson to rig up a strip made outta old rusty pitchfork prongs that'll snap off in people's tires if anybody tries gettin' a free show. There's enough old jagged farm implements tacked to Skunky's outbuildins to keep rebuildin' that thing for the next 40 years, so spendin' all that money seemed kinda ridiculous when I could get somethin' thrown together in exchange for an old Bronco tailgate I had sittin' in the front yard. Course, nothin' goes smoothly where Skunky's involved, an some of his concussed kinfolk thought it'd be a real time saver to prop up the outhouses on toppa some holes that'd already been dug in Skunky's pasture. Always surprises me how many guys from Idaho make it to adulthood without ever seein' The Being, but even if you're not worried about toxic waste glopola monsters crawlin' up outta the ground an eatin' your twinkie, you'd think these idiots'd know what a badger hole looks by now. Ever try killin' a badger with a square point shovel? Me neither, but from what I could see from my deck, didn't seem to work worth a shit. They don't like it much when you poop on 'em neither. Tends to get your freshly opened wounds infected if you don't get to a doctor's office pretty quick.
Fortunately, Tetnis was out there considerin' an offer for free food an passage to the drive-in if he'd work the ticket booth, so he went ahead an poured some whiskey into all the gashes an duct taped 'em up good as new. I guess Tetnis an Billy Hilliard are gonna alternate workin' the ticket booth since they're both roughly the size of a refrigerator an capable of beatin' the crap outta anybody tryin' to sneak in inside people's trunks. This's fine by me, cause I ain't gonna be the one to try breakin' up the inevitable fist fights that break out when people start goin' stir crazy watchin' these flicks. Speakin' of which, we got a meetin' scheduled tonight to decide what we're gonna show on openin' night, an the way I figure it, we're gonna need two first class drive-in classics if there's any hope of suckerin' people into comin' back every week, so I'm recommendin' Tomboy with Betsy Russell for the normals, an Night of the Living Dead for the second feature. Anyhow, we hope to see up to 50 cars worth of you folks out there Friday, June 17th. You'll wanna show up early cause the gate closes when the flicks start, an that light pole by the cattle guard ain't worked since 1977, cause anytime the utility company replaced the bulb the teenagers'd just shoot it out again with their .22s. So whatever you do, be there. It'll be somethin' you can tell your 25 year old grandchildren about. An for God's sake be sure to brush up on Joe Bob Briggs' Guide to Impeccable Drive-In Etiquette before you come so you don't make an ass outta yourself. Here's a link for all you slackers out there:
In the meantime, though, we got at least one more week of watchin' flicks on our teenie-weenie indoor screenies, an so I decided to check out this movie called Bog, since mosta what happens is harder to follow than the Patterson Bigfoot film no matter how big your screen is. You may not hear much about it, but it's easily the best movie ever made in Harshaw, Wisconsin, an it helped to bring the "stuntman in a reptilian K-Mart costume run amok" flick into the mainstream consciousness of at least a half dozen people somewhere in the greater Oneida County area. You're probably not convinced yet, an that's okay. You will be once I bring into focus just a few of the more memorable factoids one can learn while watchin' this wonder of 1970s filmmakin'. Go ahead, just try not to be mesmerized by its considerable charm, you'll find this task nigh impossible so long as you never look directly at the screen. First thing I learned watchin' this thing is that if you're gonna drag your wife out campin' against 'er will, it's prolly best to shut up about havin' to hold 'er purse while she tries on spandex moo-moos at JCPenny. That's exactly the kinda thing that got 'em P.O.'d enough to strive for the full 79 cents on a dollar wage they're makin' compared to us now, instead of bein' content to sit at home scrubbin' grout in the shower like they aughta be. We had a good thing goin' there for decades, an we did ourselves in with our own hypocrisy. Second, walkin' into a gun shop an sayin' things like "what's the biggest damn gun you've got in here?" tends to be the precursor to legislation that results in 3-day waitin' periods. Sooner or later it's bound to happen; you get way too many guys wearin' pointy mustaches an 32lb belt buckles doin' it an the next thing you know ANOTHER law gets passed forcin' all the gun shop owners to ask: "don't you think you've had enough, Mr. Nugent?" It's just like what happened in the casinos after a coupla thousand people a year would lose their mortgages durin' a 92 hour gamblin' binge. The government thinks that just because somebody's a little sleep deprived an strikin' up conversations with Elvis, that means they gotta make a law that only punishes us RESPONSIBLE 92 hour binge gamblers. An third, attempting to aid an abet a wanted crustacean is punishable by death without a trial in the state of Wisconsin. This's the kinda thing that happens when a state's congressional chamber's located right next to the Old Milwaukee brewery, an it's a goddamned disgrace.
But ya know, all that aside, I think the point where the movie starts to go sideways is with regard to its monster. There's a basic rule of horror that says your monster's supposed to be menacing, because otherwise we've got no place to vent the hatred we've built up at our lousy jobs over the course of the week. Now I don't wanna tell anybody what to think, so I'd like you all to take a look at the followin' list of observations an tell me if you think this sounds menacing to you, cause this monster:
1) Wants nothing more than to enjoy a nice meal so it can get that glazed over feelin' an pass out asleep in its Barcalounger.
2) Can't get by on its own an needs to leech off of the rest of society.
3) Has a hard time pickin' up members of the opposite sex without the use of chemical depressants.
4) Has only one friend, an that's only cause they feel sorry for it.
5) Gets into a fight anytime someone of the same gender shows up.
6) Never wakes up on time an always has a lousy attitude about bein' roused before it's ready.
7) Is constantly gettin' the local old farts' bib overalls in an uproar.
Hell, this ain't a monster, it's a goddamned teenager. How the heck am I supposed to get behind the county mounties when this whole movie's just one big cry for attention an they're bumblin' right into its slimy hands? Does anybody find this menacing? All the sheriff's gotta do is ship this aquatic asshat off to military school, or someplace where a 300lb man named Dutch with knife scars on his torso an a neck vein the size of a cottonmouth is constantly watchin' an waitin' for 'im to slack off so he can bring his nose to within a gnat's turd of the kid's face an come uncorked like a bottle of vintage wine. I mean, this ain't scary, it's depressin'. The monster's supposed to command our respect, but here we are watchin' it fly off the handle into fits of impudent, emotional rage against nobody in particular, wallow in its own self pity and lake sludge cause "nobody understands it," an meet with creepy old ladies with questionable motives out in isolated areas. This ain't no horror movie, it's a fuggin' comin' of age flick, like Stand by Me, or Porky's. You Wisconsin filmmakers are SICK.
The movie begins on a lake in rural Wisconsin where some rube with a strategically placed nipple hole in his shirt (little somethin' for the ladies) is bringin' a whole new meanin' to the word "bombastic" as he chucks dynamite into the lake an creates some serious smoke on the water. Not to be confused with the normal surface fuel fires that the lake is famous for. Only while he's scoopin' up all his bruised bluegills an clobbered crappies, somethin' starts rockin' his Bass Tracker until he gets dunked overboard at the expense of his nine year bathless streak. Then we watch a car drivin' out to the lake in this windowboxed Polaroid frame with a Windows 95 blue screen of death around it, until they reach the lake an find Greg Chewedanus' boat sittin' by the shore with all it's gear an poles still in it, even though it just got rocked harder'n the mosh pitters at an AC/DC concert. They're city folks, so they think that boats work like lost puppies an you can just keep 'em when you find 'em, an are unaware of the lost an found office for battered an neglected boats that operates outta the bait shop. So anyway, the two guys (Alan an Chuck) start talkin' spit about their wives (May an Kim) right in front of 'em like two middle schoolers who don't entirely understand how courting is supposed to work, an then spend the night in a tent together surprised that the women want nothin' to do with their Wonder Boners. The next mornin', the couples head out to see if the men can outlast their wives' primitive whining instincts... somethin' about how if they really loved 'em they'da paved the forest before they got there I think. But fortunately, we don't hafta listen to that for too long, cause pretty quick May gets mugged an tugged into the depths of the lake by the Schlock Ness Monster. Then, sensing the danger, the men send Kim back to the car alone to help the screenwriter dislodge his head from his rectum, where she's immediately attacked an snacked by the malevolent mud puppy. The guys're P.O.'d, given that their choice of vacation spots'd gotten 'em THIS close to finally makin' it to first base with their wives, so they head into town to tell Aldo Ray (he's the guy that looks like Burt Young *before* a three day drunk) what happened, an so Aldo sends out the cast of The Birth of a Nation to find the women. Which they eventually do - makin' lily pad angels in the pond, an with all the blood sucked outta their bodies.
So Aldo calls Dr. Brad over to confirm his Chupacabra diagnosis, cept they can't get anything done cause Alan an Chuck keep tryin' to identify their wives' bodies even though they haven't seen anything below their necks since Woodstock an wouldn't know the first thing about 'em. There was prolly a stipulation in their wills about that kinda thing anyway, so I think Aldo's doin' the right thing here. Then Brad goes to talk to the forensic pathologist (Ginny) to try figurin' out what coulda stuffed a siphon hose down the broads' throats an ask 'er where the screenwriter got the idea that the aorta was accessible through the women's stomachs, but she doesn't have any easy answers an reminds 'im that she's just there cause they couldn't afford Adrienne Barbeau. Meanwhile, we got more deputies out in the woods gettin' flippered to death by the Soggy Crack creature, so Alan an Chuck decide to drive over to the gun shop to find somethin' that'll dislocate their shoulders every time they pull the trigger. Unfortunately, the shop owner's some kinda hippy liberal plant from Madison who won't sell 'em guns cause they're from outta state, which means the only way they can get the guns is to give this weirdo (Wallace) who's got a voice like Yoda after six shots of rum their money to buy 'em for 'em. Which is nice to see, what with all the whiners out there tryin' to close the loopholes we depend upon to get semi-automatic weapons immediately after bein' released from jail. Then Wallace takes the guys out into the woods to his friend's poshly decorated outhouse to learn more about the creature. This broad (Adrianna) is so old that 'er skin was printed on papyrus, but she tells the guys that the thing out in the bog is even older'n her, that it usually settles down once its tossed back a coupla Bloody Marys, an that its prolly just blowin' off a little steam after a rough day at the crawfish. Then it starts makin' noises outside the hovel like it's tryin' to belch the alphabet while garglin' a fanny pack fulla gravel, an Wallace runs off through the woods so he can get back to lurin' cars off the highway for Herschell Gordon Lewis. Elsewhere, Dr. Brad an Ginny're back at Brad's place makin' the sign of the cherry eyed wood splitter to the best '70s softcore porno music minimum wage can buy, cause after all, nothin' turns a woman on like examinin' a coupla corpses that got deep throated to death by a placenta-coated murder beast.
The next mornin', Alan an Chuck go find Aldo so they can tell 'em what happened at Adrianna's an how they're pretty sure she's workin' for Diablo out in the swamps. Fortunately, Aldo's seen Attack of the Giant Leeches 14 times an knows exactly how to handle the situation, which is to do exactly what got 'im into this mess in the first place. So Aldo an the guys drive out to the lake an toss a brick of Deep Sea-4 into the depths, at which point Aldo peels outta there before the bass start crashin' through his windshield. Only once he an his deputy take off they hear gunshots comin' from the lake, an they make it back just in time to see Chuck-E-Sleaze's arm dip below the surface with Alan nowhere in sight. Which is fine, cause Alan looked like Jimmy Smits after three days of Vicodin withdrawal anyway. Then Aldo goes to radio for backup an some Chinese takeout, an while he's doin' that his most promisin' deputy wades out into the lake to collect a Panther Martin that got snagged on a tree stump, an gets munched by the Sturgeon General. On the plus side, the country fried cavalry did manage to blow a monster gash into the cranky crawdad, so Aldo puts a big chunka slime shrapnel in his shirt pocket an takes it back to Brad an Ginny. Then Ginny sticks it under the microscope an realizes the creature's basically 99% cancer after all the years of Vietnam vets peein' their Agent Orange exposure into the lake while they're out Muskie fishin'. So no more laughin' at the monster, alright? He's got cancer, an that means we all gotta be nice to 'im an try to organize a trip to Disneyland. But while that's goin' on, Aldo's backup finally arrives in the form of two real punchy guys who make a livin' salvagin' sunken ships for naval porno, an Aldo sends 'em down to the lake bottom to count the skeletons so he can figure out whether or not to bother runnin' for sheriff again next election season. Alls they find on the bottom, however, is some hippy's failed attempt at a blown glass bong sculpture and amphibious mucus monster mayhem that ultimately results in the two divers lookin' like blown tire shrapnel on the side of the highway.
Fortunately, one of 'em managed to get the koi pond ornament into the boat before they got turned into fish food, but Marlin Jerkins ends up sneakin' into Ginny's lab an snatchin' it while she an Brad're over at the station inspectin' an artist's renderin' of the snot creature that dragged 'er friend to the bottom of the lake an forced 'er to sleep with his fishness. I dunno if it really counts as sleepin' together or not since it's really just some deep throatin' proboscis action, but killin' somebody just to produce pornography for Troy McClure seems a little unethical from where I'm sittin'. Now the intellectuals're P.O.'d, an they've decided to build a scent generator so they can make the town smell like blood an lure the creature in, which seems like a lotta work when all they really hadda do was to get the women in town to pin their used tampons to a clothesline, but who'm I to question the scientific method? From there, the plan is to have the fire department stick a gigantic 6-pack container around its neck so it'll suffocate or somethin', I didn't entirely understand that part. So the next mornin', the cops fill up their mosquito fogger tank with the Powerbait scented DDT that Ginny an Brad concocted an spray it all over the forest until Gnarly the Starkist tuna shows up. Aldo musta skipped breakfast or somethin', cause he charges the sentient fish 'n chips basket lookin' to get a chunk before it gets contaminated an, well... poor Aldo ends up dyin' for its fins. Then the firemen hose it down with tapioca pudding an wrap it up in a to-go box with enough fishnetting to stock the closets of Tina Turner an Tim Curry for the next 30 years. The only other casualty in all this is Adrianna, who gets gunned down while she's tryin' to warn Uggopogo that Hell's come to Frogtown, but as it turns out, no charges need be brought against the cops, cause Adrianna was apparently the monster's kinfolk an she woulda been booked for harborin' a known terrapin if she'd survived anyway. Apparently, the creature donated blood at the local Red Cross back before anybody knew about monster AIDS, an Andrianna ended up gettin' a transfusion that made 'er compassionate to crustacean causes an what not. This also made 'er a suitable surrogate mother to play host to fish fries, only Brad doesn't really think too much about it until long after he's left Ginny alone with the thing's body while she prepares the beer batter, an the next thing you know Ginny's gettin' carried outta the lab an back to the lake where the Boggy Creek Creeper plans to join with 'er in holy mackerelmony. Gonna cut off the summary here, cause if I tell ya the endin' you might not buy it. An that'd be a shame, cause the guys who made this thing're right on the cusp of makin' back the full $300 they put into producin' this baby.
Alrighty, well, hope you like your poo stew piping hot if you plan on watchin' this thing, although it really ain't much different from flicks like Attack of the Giant Leeches, Zaat, or the immortal Croaked: Frog Monster from Hell. There's always something interesting and a little bit unique about these regional flicks that're made on the cheap by a dozen guys who have absolutely no idea what they're doin'. Blood Hook's prolly my favorite flick made in Wisconsin, but wherever they're filmed, you always get this unintentional regional flavor that makes the movie especially unique, even if that's not always beneficial for its score. But strangely, despite having a few borderline recognizable actors in it, Bog manages to be a whole hell of a lot worse than Attack of the Giant Leeches or Zaat. And while we could probably sit here all day and and point out the choppy editing, piss-poor acting, terrible dialog, badly framed cinematography, and the fact that anytime the monster actually does something to somebody it happens off screen, the thing that really kills this one is the exact same thing that killed Zaat, and that's the guy in the Ogo-B.O.G.O. K-Mart fright suit. Now, if the movie had any other redeeming qualities, this'd be the part where I'd point out what a wise decision it was for the director to wait until really late in the movie to reveal the monster, and to keep it off screen as much as possible to hide its inadequacies. But I'm afraid we're in Phantom from 10,000 Leagues territory here, and I'll say the same thing I did in that review - if the monster is the point of emphasis in your movie, OWN IT. Show off that craptacular suit all day long like they did in Zaat. There's no pretendin' it ain't worse than somethin' made in the 1950s, and whether you show it for 18 seconds or 18 minutes, it's plain to everyone watching just how abysmal it is, so forget your pride and let us laugh at it. Attempting to cut the monster outta this thing as much as possible is like tryin' to salvage as much meat as possible from the gut shot deer it took you three days to find. For cripes sake man, let's see Aldo Ray and that Sasquatch inside the suit go at it already. There's really not even much need to go into the questionable "scientific" aspects of this thing, like how they manage to construct a device that'll squirt blood-scented mist into the air and attract the creature while living in a town that has more stuffed muskies than job opportunities. I also liked the part where Gloria DeHaven explains how the creature's flesh is like "slimy mineralized tissue." Yeah, my hinder it is. And speaking of Gloria, you've gotta see this flick even if it's just for the makeout scene she has with Marshall Thompson. I don't think I've ever seen two more uncomfortable actors perform a scene like that in my professional career as an amateur movie critic. All of Gloria's attempts to convey something of a sensual nature are so jerky it looks like she's gettin' stabbed in the eye by Marshall's beard stubble.
In any event, we prolly better dissect this toad before it's killed crossing the highway, so let's get to it. The plot, before you get into the little details, is just fine. The general premise is fine. Right up until you scratch the surface, at which point you've got a prehistoric creature that rams its proboscis into women to inject its own DNA so they'll be similar enough in genetic structure that she can somehow help produce these frog eggs that incubate on the bottom of a pond, only the eggs are really just glass balls like the ones David Bowie spins around on his fingers in Labyrinth, and the only way to kill the monster is to concoct a blood-scented solution in a matter of hours to lure it into town so it can be hosed down with tapioca pudding and subdued. So yeah, it gets a little sideways from time to time. The acting ranges from "acceptable in a movie with a budget below $50,000" to "abysmal at any budget" depending upon whose performance you're looking at. Gloria DeHaven, Aldo Ray, and Marshall Thompson are all in the former, and everyone else is in the latter. Leroy Winbush, who played the head diver, has to be the worst "actor" in the bunch. You've really gotta see this thing just to watch how long it takes him to rattle off a line of dialog, it's hilarious. I'm assuming he got the part because he actually knew a thing or two about diving (and probably had his own gear that the crew wouldn't have to pay to rent), but Leroy wins the burnt biscuit award for this flick, even though he's probably only got three or four lines in it.
Here's who matters and why: Aldo Ray (Shock 'Em Dead, Night Shadow, Terror Night, Terror on Alcatraz, Vultures, Evils of the Night, Biohazard, Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie, Dark Sanity, Mongrel, Don't Go Near the Park, The Lucifer Complex, Haunted, Haunts, Psychic Killer), Marshall Thompson (It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Fiend Without a Face, Cult of the Cobra), Leo Gordon (Attack of the Giant Leeches, Alienator, Saturday the 14th Strikes Back, The Lucifer Complex, The Haunted Palace, Tarzan Goes to India), Carol Terry (The Lucifer Complex), Don Daniel (Slumber Party Massacre 2). You'll probably be shocked to learn, as I was, that Leo Gordon went on to play Red in My Name is Nobody, and that Aldo Ray was actually a somewhat famous guy at one point, having co-starred in We're No Angels with Humphrey Bogart back in 1955.
The special effects... how to put this... ah, yes; they suck the crotch offerings out of a 65-year-old Red Light District prostitute who hasn't bathed since the Vietnam War. And by "they" I mean both of them. I'm not exaggerating when I say everything happens off screen. You've got two special effects here, the first of which is that glass construction intended to resemble amphibian eggs, and the monster suit. The eggs wouldn't be too bad if they weren't so obviously constructed of glass, and thus completely rigid, but there's no "if only" scenario that can help that suit. It's actually worse than the one from Zaat, if you can believe that, and it's probably even worse than the one from Phantom from 10,000 Leagues just due to the fact that the black and white film in that flick hides the full extent of its badness, where Bog is shot in color and is occasionally in focus. The last 10 minutes are truly a spectacle of shitheelry to behold, and must be seen to be believed. The shooting locations are probably a whole lot better than the cinematographer is capable of showing, since the movie was shot in a real-deal backwoods locale in rural Wisconsin. Of course, part of that is the original film quality, and I'm sure it'll surprise you to know that the only DVD version is little more than a rip from what looks to be a 5th generation VHS dupe. So I suspect that if you had a decent print, the secluded locations would probably look a whole lot better than they do on the DVD. The locations inside the city limits are kinda hit and miss, with the gun shop standing out as being legitimate, and the "lab" looking like a 3rd grade science classroom. The police station isn't much more convincing than the lab, and that pretty much covers it for shooting locations. The soundtrack, which I described earlier as being the best dramatic music minimum wage can buy, is pretty pitiful. It's fairly dated even for its time, and that's before factoring in that the flick wasn't even released until five years after it was originally shot. You've got the '70s softcore porn music anytime there's a "tender" moment between the two leads, the extremely goofy "Walk With Me" track that plays over the opening and closing credits, and at least a small section that I know damn well was lifted from The Mysterious Monsters. Maybe it was a public domain track to begin with, but I haven't heard it anywhere else, so who knows. Mostly we get a lot of horns and drums (including bongos) that don't generate a heck of a lot of atmosphere, but I guess it's not unpleasant to listen to, at least. There is actually one track that benefits the flick a little, and that's the somber score that plays while Adrianna is telling Alan and Chuck about the origins of the creature. Just wanted to give that little sliver of credit where it was due. Overall, the pacing on this one is a little slower than Zaat, and because it doesn't have anything in the way of actual murder scenes, there's just not much here to keep the audience entertained. It's got its "so bad it's funny" moments now and then, but they're too infrequent, so I can't even recommend this one to fans of cheesy movies.