Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1987) dir. by Charles B Pierce

MST3K Snags A Sasquatch (technically a Skunk Ape)


As you’ve probably figured out, we’re big fans here of the Coolidge’s retrospective on down-home horror maestro Charles B. Pierce – check out Dan Shea’s write-up on the series here, as well as my own piece on the proto-slasher classic The Town That Dreaded Sundown. No conversation about Mr. Pierce, however, is complete without two words: Boggy Creek. The film that made Pierce’s name (and, likely, his fortune) was a modest little Bigfoot documentary called The Legend of Boggy Creek. It’s tough to really express (or explain) how big a deal this movie was: it raked in over $25 million dollars at drive-ins across the nation, and helped bring cryptozoology into the (relative) mainstream. It’s also an eminently pleasing film, in a Leonard Nimoy In Search Of sort of way, with its charmingly goofy reenactments and glorious ‘70s film grain. A sequel was the next obvious step, but there are only so many skunk-ape witnesses in Texarkana. So where do you go from there?

The answer, it turns out, is remarkably prescient of another indie horror pseudo-doc: The Blair Witch Project. Much like Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez did for their infamous Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Pierce abandoned the cinema verite framework that made his breakout film a sensation, and instead wove a more traditional narrative around the same mythology. In the similarly awkwardly titled Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues, Pierce himself takes center stage as Professor Brian C. Lockhart, a teacher at University of Arkansas who takes a handful of photogenic students on an expedition in search of the elusive skunk ape. (For those not well versed in matters cryptozoological, the skunk ape is a sort of southern-fried variant on the northwestern Sasquatch and Himalayan Yeti, and is the subject of the Boggy Creek canon). Things go predictably awry, as the team runs afoul of both hairy cryptids and creepy rednecks.

Ironically, Boggy Creek II has now likely been seen by more people than its more famous predecessor, thanks to its inclusion in the final season of TV’s Mystery Science Theater 3000. That dubious distinction should give you an idea of its cinematic merit; as Dan points out in his piece, Boggy Creek II is the weakest of the films screening, and arguably Pierce’s worst film overall. But the MST3K crew also tried to avoid boring films, and Boggy Creek II retains its director’s distinct personality and unmatched sense of place. It’s also just a lot of fun for anyone who has a fondness for corny bigfoot movies – and I’m not sure I want to know anyone who doesn’t.

–Oscar Goff

Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues
dir. Charles B. Pierce
91 min.

Part of the ongoing series: Southern Phantoms: 3 by Charles B. Pierce

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