Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues
Do they really exist..?
Year of Release: 1984
Also Known As: The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek Part II
Running Time: 91 minutes (1:31)
Director: Charles B. Pierce
Charles B. Pierce ... Dr. Brian C. Lockhart
Chuck Pierce Jr. ... Tim Thornton
Cindy Butler ... Leslie Ann Walker
Serene Hedin ... Tanya Yazzie
Jimmy Clem ... Old Man Crenshaw
Fabus Griffin ... Big Creature
Victor Williams ... Little Creature
Deep in the backwoods of Texarkana, people thought the evil had subsided. Then the sightings began trickling in. Soon, anthropologist Brian Lockhart and a team of eager student researchers head off into the swamps in search of what might be anything from a primitive throwback to a genuine yeti. But when the 300-pound, 8-foot tall creature suddenly lashes out in furious, bloodthirsty retaliation, the hunters become the hunted.
Boggy Creek II, remindin' us that wild pigs couldn't drag a cryptozoologist away from his Squatchery. Guy straight up walks out on the Razorbacks/Golden Hurricanes game while up by just 3 with 7:51 left in regulation to chase a sentient drain clog with debilitatin' B.O. - now that's dedication.
An speakin' of guys old enough to be on the last Razorback championship team, it's been kind of a downer week here in Chickawalka County after our last survivin' WWII veteran, Harold Alderman, passed away Monday night at the age of 96 due to complications stemming from lung cancer an hospice food. I'll always remember hangin' around the Grime Time concession stand as a kid listenin' to Harold tell stories about the war - mostly cause Harold took a chunka shrapnel to the skull during a mortar explosion, an so his stories had a tendency to go off the rails an involve rampaging Nazi Martians. I think in another life Harold woulda made a great B-movie producer. Anyway, most of town showed up for the funeral, includin' two of his old Army buddies from back east, an we all said our goodbyes an thanked Harold for his service one last time. As an added sign of respect, the local ROTC kids got approval to give Harold a 21-gun salute before he was lowered into the ground, which seemed like a real nice gesture to me, only when they lined up an got set to begin their tribute, outta nowhere, Archie Winthrop goes flyin' over in his crop duster. Know how in the movies when somebody's vehicle takes a dozen rounds to the fuel tank the whole thing blows up like an inflatable woman hooked up to an air compressor? Well, that's not actually how it works, but a plane sure runs outta fuel quick once it starts to resemble a flyin' colander. Course it didn't really help matters that Archie never puts more'n about $8 worth in the tank before he takes off, so it was only about 30 seconds before the engine started to sputter an the plane began losin' altitude.
"He's headed straight for my house! For cripes sake turn! TURN!" shrieked Shirley Gimlin, an fortunately he did.
"No! Not drive-een!" Turn other way, pendejo!" hollered a frantic Skunky Hernandez, an sure enough, Archie caught just enough updraft to narrowly miss the drive-in screen.
Unfortunately, Archie was all outta tricks an, more importantly, altitude, an about three seconds after bailin' out of his plane it plowed headlong into the clock tower of The Land of the Rising Son Tabernacle in the Japanese District. Figures he'd hit *my* church, although I've gotta admit, the irony was pretty hilarious. Archie landed on a conveniently placed bounce house that'd been set up for the kids' Easter celebration an sustained only minor injuries when Suchi Fujiyama came outta the church an beat the crap out of 'im with 'er purse (I think Suchi's packin' a brick in that thing, cause Archie looks like somebody set his face on fire an put out the flames with a crowbar). Strange thing though, an I'd never tell anybody this, but when Archie's plane hit the tower I coulda sworn I heard Harold... laughin' his crotchety ass off.
I got permission from Skunky Hernandez to show Warning from Space an The Phantom Planet at the Grime Time tonight to honor Harold's memory, and as an added bonus, tellin' everybody that's why we're doin' it'll ensure nobody complains outta fear of lookin' like unpatriotic sonsabitches. Movin' on to more pressing matters though, for week #5 of my tribute to the 10 greatest flicks in the history of Mystery Science Theater 3000, we're headin' back down to the swamps of Arkansas for Boggy Creek II, which's actually Boggy Creek III, only Chuck Pierce went all Dungeonmaster on us an rejected our reality an substituted his own. Basically the same thing that happened in Boggy Creek Part 1 happens all over again, only this time Chuck's son doesn't wear a shirt an Chuck pulls some strings with the director to secure top billing in the cast. Now, after about a dozen of these low-budget Bigfoot flicks you're prolly thinkin' you've seen all there is to see, an I'll be honest with you - you pretty much have, up until the last 15 minutes when this hillbilly pig-man who looks exactly like Skunky Hernandez if he were white shows up. That guy alone is worth the price of admission, cause he's *at least* three banjos over the legal limit for Southernness an totally steals the show. Granted, the show was being guarded by a comatose car crash victim, paralyzed from the eyebrows down, but still, this's Jimmy Clem's show. So, does Chuck have anything left in his bag of wildman tricks after the original 1972 drive-in classic? Well, have a looksee at this triad of trivial tidbits taken from said train wreck an judge for yourselves. Lesson the first - the FDA has not evaluated, nor does it condone the consumption of Alka-Seltzer tablets by German Shepherds. Second, tryin' to score your son a Cabela's modelin' gig by havin' 'im run around shirtless the whole movie screams desperation. An third, never take Copenhagen from a stranger.
Now, what I've got to say next prolly won't come as much of a surprise for you folks who've been soakin' up the cinematic 'Squatch offerins since they gained popularity in the early '70s, but it still needs to be said: Bigfoot's got a LOT to learn about outhouse etiquette. I don't care if he's been munchin' on a 3-day-old sun-bleached alligator gar an got his guts all botulized - you can't just go puttin' your size 22s through a guy's shithouse wall. I don't wanna make a big stink about this, but a man's home is his castle, an in every castle sits a throne - a throne which shall not be abdicated until all the business of the day has been addressed an passed on through the proper channel. I'm sorry to keep harpin' on this, but The Beastie Boys fought long an hard to ensure that a man's right to potty shall not be infringed upon, an if The Boggyman can't accept that an quit makin' an Assquatch outta himself we may have no choice but to call animal control an have 'im locked away until he learns a little respect for the rights of others. Maybe a week in the joint, where there's no privacy an all the other wayward critters stare right at 'im while he's Sasquattin' might straighten 'im out. I mean, who among us hasn't been out fishin' someplace an had to lay down a mound of dark chocolate behind a bush? These things happen, an it's no reason to go actin' like an animal. One thing I will say in the Satchman's defense though: that dude in the movie should NOT have been oglin' the bra models in the Sears Roebuck catalog in there - he can do that on his own time when somebody ain't waitin' in line with Taco Bell Bowel. But yeah, far as outhouse decorum's concerned, alls I'm sayin' is don't be a shitheel an then expect people to take your crap with good humor, cause there *will* be pushback, an things could get messy.
The movie begins down in the swamps of Southern Arkansas - flavor country, a place where a man an his cousin can do what comes natural, without bein' judged by "civilized" society. Butcha see, there's more here than meets the eye, an these tranquil waters house a secret... a hairy, raunchy secret that's got nothin' to do with local matin' rituals - a secret that makes it purt'near suicide for any wilderness creature to venture into its boggy marshes. Cause the moment they so much as dip a hoof in, BAM! Sharkansas river monster tears their heads off an leaves their bodies on the side of the highway to serve warnin' to any critters that'd dare harsh his marsh. Meanwhile, at Razorback Stadium, some cornpone wimp college kid (Tim) gets a call for one of the professors (Doc) an hasta go wade through 75,000 spirited hog farmers in the stands to deliver a message so urgent that it couldn't possibly wait until after the remainin' 7:51 in regulation expires. Normally you only do somethin' like that if you've just gotten word that the bottom fell outta the pork belly futures an there's a good chance somebody might be trampled to death by a mob of angry farmers, but this's no ordinary newsflash, an it's not until Doc assembles his crack team of remedial Agricultural Science students (Tim, Tanya, an Jennifer) that he reveals there's been a fresh monster sightin' an tells 'em to get their stuff together cause the Sasquatch waits for no man. I mean, unless he's gotta take a cab to Little Rock for jury duty or somethin'. But first they hafta stop at the Exxon station to fill their gas tank an guns with lead an Doc ends up lettin' slip to the old men playin' dominoes that they're goin' down to the swamp in search of Elly May Clampett's biggest, skankiest pet critter until everybody busts up laughin' at 'em an the Doc gets a little hacked off an indirectly threatens to murder the lot of 'em like the consummate academic he is. Then they stop at an old barn an Doc tells a story about this old white-hair inspectin' his digs an findin' Mr. Boggy Britches inside smokin' a cigarette an reminiscin' about his recent bovine conquests, at which point he decides it'd prolly be best if he stopped doin' shots of ethanol before lunch. From there they get back on the highway where they hafta stop 100 yards in front of a headless deer layin' in the road an wax taxidermical about the possible location of its head an why it looks like Pennywise the Clown's been gnawin' the hindquarter before eventually decidin' it musta got mobbed by a buncha French peasants an finding a place to set up camp. The next mornin', the group heads out to help Doc scout for a good location to open up a Rally's after retirement, only pretty quick they end up gettin' rushed by a rabid German Shepard an hafta hole up inside The House that Crack Built while the frothy Visigoth prepares to sack Home.
Sneaky little booger crawls under the house an comes up outta the hole where the can used to sit before Haystacks Calhoun tried usin' it an purt'near sinks his chompers into the Doc before Tim makes like Atticus Finch an puts a .30-30 shell through its doggie bag. Most people'd find this a little discouragin' an downright gratuitous, but the Doc just shakes it off, drives back to camp, an tells his pupils another story about the time the Boggy Creep went completely apeshit after some hapless farmer blew a tire runnin' over The Missing Jack Link's beloved pet porcupine in the road an smooshed that poor mother-Fouker right there an then without a thought for all the poor widowed hens he'd sired young with. Pretty sure Doc's just doin' this to scare the girls into bunkin' with him for protection, cause this really isn't the kinda story you tell to instill security in easily rattled college kids. Anyway, then they roam around the forest settin' up sensors an Bigfoot speed traps on all the high traffic trails to try boostin' tax revenue, only they hafta set the sensors low enough to detect anything heavier'n a cicada cause otherwise they won't be able to pick up Tim on radar. Next thing you know a foreign blip shows up on the sonar jobbie an starts goin' after Tanya's bayou boobies like a long-lost Clinton cousin an the Doc hasta go boltin' through the woods with his pistol pointed right square at his jowls to scare it off by exposin' it to the horrors of his cutoff short shorts. Then the kids hit the sack while the Doc sits up until 3 in the AM watchin' the Crosman air rifle logo on his Kaypro 4 Bear Traffic Control screen until The Liceman Cometh wanderin' into camp just as the power goes out, causin' Tim an the girls to start screamin' like kindiegarteners on a field trip to the local slaughterhouse. Tim manages to get a coupla drops into the generator's fuel tank when he's not soakin' the starter an the surroundin' grass an gets 'er goin' again, only when the lights come back on Satchel Squatch's standin' about ten feet from 'em an Doc tries pumpin' a tranquilizer dart into his thigh an sends 'im boundin' through the woods to find his doctor an ask if the depressant's gonna have any negative interactions with his Oxycontin prescription. Course by the time mornin' rolls around everybody's so nervous that they're givin' the campfire coffee the shakes, so the Doc decides to lighten the mood a little an tell 'em another story about a man, a monster, and an outhouse. Accounts of the story vary - some folks say the attack was unprovoked, while others who knew the man's outhouse habits allege he never used the Lysol canister an always hung the toilet paper upside down, but either way there was a minor confrontation mid-crap between man an beast that resulted in the man's foot goin' through the toilet an endin' up a literal shitheel.
Then Doc dumps the kids off at the Fouke visitor center to peruse the Razorback piggy banks an pick up a coupla customized Boggy Creek street signs for their dorm rooms while he heads over to the coffee shop to listen to the deputy sheriff tell 'im this story about gettin' ambushed after a fishin' trip by a Littlefoot an havin' his trout stolen. The whole thing reeks of a desperate man tryin' to cover up for his lousy fishin' ability, but he also tells Doc about a man named Crenshaw who lives down in the bottoms an claims to've seen the hairy dude more times than Stormy Daniels, so Doc thanks 'im an tells 'im to give up the Powerbait so he won't hafta feel so ashamed at the annual police picnic. Unfortunately, by this point the girls're startin' to get grossed out from havin' to wipe their butts with skunk cabbage, so when Doc an Tim go out to see if the dart mighta left a blood sample or caused a little pile of sas-squattery the gals take the Jeep an bury it up to the doors in mud tryin' to drive to the Creature Comforts Inn an end up sloppin' into the mud tryin' to hook their winch to a nearby tree. Needless to say, tempers're startin' to flare a little bit, an it's lookin' like we're headed for a best of three falls ladies' mud wrestlin' match, cept when The Abominable Swampman shows up an offers to officiate the girls piss an make up as they go wee-wee-wee all the way home. Prolly just as well - woulda been a non-sanctioned bout anyway, so none of Tanya's titles woulda been on the line. So the next mornin' Doc finally gets his rump in gear an the group rents a boat so's they can go find Old Man Crenshaw an get all the dirt on Bayou Billy, an... good grief, this guy makes Hillbilly Jim look like Alec Guinness. But anyway, Crenshaw gets the idea that they're census takers or somethin' an just about double-barrels Doc's bubble-butt until he explains that they're interested in researchin' Beautiful Boggy Eaton an that they're just wantin' to know how far removed he an the monster are on the ole family tree. Err, family telephone pole I guess's more like it. Cept then it starts pourin' down rain an gets darker'n a Philip K. Dick joke book outside an Crenshaw reveals to Doc that he's workin' for Creature Protective Services an hadda snatch the little Squatch after its mama got booked for forgin' methadone prescriptions. Don't wanna spoil the ending, so we'll leave our insipid heroes here with their frightened Littlefoot while its P.O.'d mama stomps around outside lookin' for somethin' rusty to ram down Crenshaw's craw.
Alrighty, well, not quite on par with the original 1972 version is it? Still, it's a heck of a lot better than Return to Boggy Creek, so maybe Charles Pierce was justified in his indignant titling. I will say that this one's decidedly less focused than either of the previous entries, because the original is basically a documentary, and the first sequel is a straight Adventure film, but this thing's doin' its damnedest to be both and it really doesn't work worth a dang. I think the biggest carry-over from the original is that Boggy Creek II also can't decide whether it's a good-natured Adventure flick or a low-rent Horror movie. One minute you're watchin' a severed deer head gush blood out its mouth and the next Chuck's tellin' us stories about the monster attackin' an outhouse. Ten minutes from now he's talkin' about some old fella bein' attacked and killed when he stops to change a tire, and moments later you're watchin' the girls slip and land up to their asses in a mud hole; movie's just all over the place. It's also a bit too slick looking and missing that exploitation feel of the original. And of course, since Chuck hosed so many of the people involved with the original when the box office returns started comin' in, you can imagine most of them didn't want anything to do with him a second time. Chuck passed away about eight years ago, but before he died he said that this was the worst movie he'd made in his career, and while I don't claim to have seen all of Chuck's movies, of the ones I *have* seen, I'm inclined to agree. Of course, that fact made it an excellent choice for a Mystery Science Theater 3000 experiment, and while it's not my favorite movie to appear in a MST3K episode (though it obviously made the top ten), the episode itself is probably my favorite of the entire series, beating out other heavyweights like Space Mutiny and Overdrawn at the Memory Bank. I just don't seem to suffer the same level of disappointment with movies like this one that I do with titles like Werewolf, and that's got a lot to do with the flick's demeanor. Yes, it's bad, but it's *humble* about it. At no point during this movie do you get the idea that anyone's trying to blow you away with some genius set piece that doesn't deliver - Chuck takes us down to the swamps of Arkansas, throws amateur (a description that's sometimes a tad generous) actors from the region at us, and never really blows smoke up our asses. You can call that unengaged direction if you like (and I wouldn't argue), but the MST3K guys summed this movie up perfectly when they said "we're goin' campin' and you're gonna watch," cause that's pretty much what you get.
Okay then, there's probably no convincin' you that this thing even has a chance of passing on its technical merits, but I've been known to pass some pretty pitiful crapola in the past because of my personal affinity for it, so let's see where this one falls on the ole evolutionary scale and find out how accurate that 2.3 IMDB rating is (spoilers, it very seldom is with MST3K movies). The plot, as I mentioned earlier, is an unfocused mess that's torn between a documentary style and a straight feature film, and while I may like the movie well enough from an enjoyment perspective, this is just plain asinine. Chuck's trying to have his cake and eat it too, and it just isn't working. Additionally, there's a pretty lengthy scene that you don't get in the MST3K version involving a mad dog attack that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie's plot, which was likely included to spice up the action and pad the run time. I'll give them this much - their padding isn't boring, but it sure's hell isn't consistent with the general theme of the movie. The acting ranges from bad to terrible as a result of nepotism and the decision to use locals in most of the smaller roles. They did this in the original Legend of Boggy Creek, but that film wasn't really hurt by it due to its documentary structure. Here, it hurts a LOT, and it's plain to see why when you consider the kid playing Tim is the star/director/writer/producer's son, and the gal playing Leslie either was, had been, or would become the head honcho's wife. So you just about get over the shock of how bad the four principle actors are and next thing you know they go into the local sporting goods store and things go from bad to god-awful in an instant. I'm not gonna single any one person out because they weren't actors and there's not really any point in dissecting every little thing they're doing wrong, but lemme just say: these folks make the cast of Troll 2 look almost serviceable by comparison - particularly with such sterling dialog as this: "Myrtle? Is that you? I'm tryin' to take a crap!" The *one* exception is Jimmy Clem who plays Old Man Crenshaw - that guy's not only highly authentic, but he's actually a halfway decent actor. Passed away about nine months ago, but he single-handledly keeps this movie from gettin' a perfect zero on its acting score.
Here's who matters and why: Charles B. Pierce (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 1976 & 2014, The Aurora Encounter), Cindy Butler (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 1976), Chuck Pierce Jr. (Midnight 2), Jimmy Clem (The Evictors, The Town That Dreaded Sundown 1976), Rick Hildreth (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 1976), Don Adkins (The Town That Dreaded Sundown 1976), James Tennison (The Legend of Boggy Creek).
The special effects come down to a severed deer head, the monster suits and a coupla spurts/puddles of blood, and really, that's only going to come as a surprise if you take the VHS synopsis at face value, because at the end of the day we're talkin' about a PG-rated Adventure flick. The deer head is extremely stiff, and almost looks like it might've been taxidermied prior to the shot, though it could've just been dead awhile and had rigor mortis set in. As for the blood - the stuff spewing from the deer's mouth when it's attacked in the swamp is way too bright and watered down (though that was probably to help it stand out against the dark water), while the puddle on the floor post-dog-attack has good consistency and color. Of course, the most important effects are the monster suits, and they're standard fare for this type of movie. The hair's too long, and the latex facial appliances aren't especially believable, but they're no worse than any of the suits of Bigfoot's past. Pitifully enough, the special effects are one of the least damaging aspects. The shooting locations are definitely the highlight, although they would have been better without all the day-for-night blue filter shots. Part of what made the original movie's locations so good was the presence of nightfall, which gave them at least a mild sense of foreboding. Here you've got false-darkness that's really obvious and a lot of locations that, while authentic, are a bit more accessible than what we saw in the original. This no doubt made for an easier shoot, but proves less effective atmospherically, as we expect a monster yet unknown to man to hang out in places that're difficult to traverse. Still, the locations are generally agreeable, and include a coupla old dilapidated houses, a gas station/sporting goods store, an old barn, and Razorback stadium - all of which add credibility and make for a good score for this particular facet of the movie.
The soundtrack fits the tone of the movie to a tee, by which I mean it's all over the place in exactly the same way the plot is. Musically speaking, most individual scenes are scored appropriately for the intended mood (with the exception of a bizarre little horn piece that sounds like something from a '50s movie where a woman's undressing behind a changing screen), but that also means that within one minute of running time you'll sometimes hear the film's spooky synth track (which is actually decent) and happy/goofy acoustic guitar pieces that accompany some of the flashbacks. The folk/country style music fits the bill well enough and might even be considered enjoyable if you like those genres, but the different types of music tend to bump against each other awkwardly and clash due to the film's editing. Overall, it's not even close to passable on a technical level, though it makes it to within a few points *for me* from an enjoyment perspective. I kinda like it, but I absolutely get why most people don't, because if you don't care for the subject matter, there's very little to save it as far as production values go. MUCH better than Return to Boggy Creek, but not on par with the original Legend of Boggy Creek from 1972, so I wouldn't recommend this one sans Mystery Science Theater commentary unless you're a Bigfoot completist or a masochist.