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Creature from Black Lake
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Reviews & Ratings for
Creature from Black Lake More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

For it's time and budget, a good Bigfoot film....

5/10
Author: kfb1960 from Hartwell, GA
30 May 2002

I remember seeing this movie in the now defunct 'Jerry Lewis Cinemas' chain when I was a teenager. Living in a rural, and I mean rural area, the movie affected my brother and I that summer. My little brother wouldn't go near the woods at our house (all we had around were woods, LOL), and would check all the door locks before going to bed for almost a month because of this movie.

Myself, well, I'd get some goosebumps when I was riding my motorcycle through the woods. But back to the movie. You either love it or hate it. Black Lake does have some slow scenes, but does deliver a punch, especially with Dub Taylor's flashback scenes. Jack Elam made the movie for me, I just wished they had given him more screen-time. I loved the way he chewed up his lines!

The creature is never really seen in detail, just in shadows or blurry footage, but that adds to the suspense. It's available on VHS or VCD from Bijou Flix. Watched it the other day with my wife and teen daughters....and it did scare them.

For its time and budget, a good Bigfoot film IMHP.

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Very Scary

10/10
Author: garpo from Austin, Texas
3 November 2001

I saw this movie for the first time in the theaters when I was 11. It replaced Jaws as the scariest movie I'd ever seen. Jaws has since replaced it again, but having just watched it 25 years later, it still spooked me. It's shot in a sort of documentary-style graininess, with a menacing score, and an effective use of shadow, which almost always obscures glimpses of the creature. I'd say the performances were exceptional for such a low-budget pic. As lush and gracefully beautiful as the swamp looks, you're always apprehensive seeing it as a constant backdrop because of what lurks within it -- much like the graceful ocean always made you uneasy in Jaws. There are hokey moments of course, but let's face it, you don't want to see this movie before you go camping in Louisana. Thumbs up.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Very impressive

8/10
Author: Chromium_five from the wild frontier
21 September 2006

This was one of the many low-budget Bigfoot movies made in the 70s, all of which were probably attempts to cash in on the success of "The Legend of Boggy Creek," which somehow took in $20 million. Despite being unoriginal, I think this is a MUCH better movie than "Creek" and possibly the best Bigfoot movie ever made, take that as you will.

Whereas "Creek" suffered from having no plot, no main characters, and insane musical numbers, "Lake" has a tense, engaging story with a great cast. The last 15 minutes are unexpectedly suspenseful and had me hooked. It also has some very funny scenes, especially during the second half when we are introduced to Trapper Joe (played by fantastic character actor Jack Elam). Joe is hilarious, although I'm still slightly creeped out by the fact that he had a large doll hanging by a string in his bedroom.

Besides the characters, I also just like the look and feel of this movie, with the brown, dusty backgrounds and eerie forests. The settings are great and create an unforgettable atmosphere. If you're looking for a low-budget thriller that, while not exactly scary, is at least fun and exciting, this one is hard to beat.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic Bigfoot Movie

10/10
Author: consulgeneral from Norfolk, VA
21 April 2002

This is a fantastic bigfoot movie showing the creature in a dark and disturbing manner. "Creature From Black Lake" is quite possibly the greatest bigfoot movie ever produced. The lead characters, Pahoo and Reeves are complex and interesting, and by the end, we care about their trials and even feel the desire to join in their hunt for the elusive creature. Jack Elam is as grumpy as ever, adding some humor to his part on occasion. The sound track also deserves a two-thumbs up. Jim McCullough, jr does it again!

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Sober & tense Bigfoot-adventure…. With lots of rednecks!

7/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
10 October 2006

It's nice to see that "Creature from Black Lake" has quite a few loyal fans around this website. Nice because, even though it's not exactly a good film, it's undoubtedly a charming and spirited piece of 70's low budget film-making. The creators of this film UNOBTRUSIVELY cash in on the contemporary trend of Bigfoot-horror movies, and that's probably what makes it so likable. It's a sober and atmospheric film, practically shot in documentary-style, and it never wants to be overly spectacular or gross. Okay, maybe there weren't enough financial means to show a more impressive creature or to shoot virulent battle scenes, but then still you got to admire director Joy N. Houck Jr. for effectively using the impenetrably dark Louisiana swamplands and their population's restraint attitude. Two students from the university of Chicago head for a remote village in Louisiana to write their thesis about the legendary creature that supposedly dwells the swamps there. Long before they even come face to face with the monster, Pahoo & Rives have to deal with inhospitable rednecks that deny its existence. Just when they consider giving up, a giant ominous figure approaches their tent… I have a soft spot for horror stories that take place in quiet outback areas, but too often these films exaggerate in portraying the locals as perverted and totally brainless imbeciles. The people in "Creature from Black Lake" are genuine rednecks; still they don't come across like retarded stereotypes but more like members of an aloof community that wishes to protect what's theirs. The two leads are very amiable too, since they're common guys with an open spirit towards each other and towards the people they encounter, even when those aren't helpful to them. Equally praiseworthy is the feeling of constant menace lurking from behind the trees. You always expect the creature (or something else that is scary) to jump out from somewhere. This creepy effect is made even more intense with sober music and eerie natural sounds. A slightly higher number of casualties would have been welcome, but I sure ain't complaining. Recommended to fans of atmosphere-driven horror

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Story of a Bigfoot like monster on the loose is best watched at night with the lights out

6/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
19 February 2007

Two college students from Chicago decide to investigate the stories of a Bigfoot-like creature in the area around Black Lake Louisiana. Once there they find that no one wants to talk to them about the creature. However they begin to make friends who open up with tales of the creature. They end up in a battle for their lives when the creature comes after them.

Drive-in fare from the 1970's is much better than its reputation would suggest. While certainly not the scariest movie ever made it does have its share of chills as the little seen monster causes mayhem to those who stray with in its grasp. I don't know what my reaction would have been had I seen this is a drive-in back in '76 and then driven home in the rural south. My guess is I would be dreading hearing the creepy cry of the creature (a cry I know my brothers would have loved to imitate to scare anyone who saw the film).

Definitely worth a look for those who don't need their horror films to be slick modern productions. (And recommended for a dark and stormy night with the lights out) 6.5 out of 10 (6 for IMDb purposes)

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

My all-time favorite 70's Bigfoot fright flick

10/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
11 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Creature from Black Lake" gets my vote as the single most amiable and entertaining Bigfoot fright film to ever amble onto the big screen. John David Carson and the ever-daffy Dennis ("Truck Stop Women," "House of 1,000 Corpses") Fimple display a breezy, relaxed, wholly personable chemistry as two eager beaver college anthropology students who visit a Louisiana stick burg to find out if stories concerning Mr. Size 25 Shoes have any basis in fact.

Zestfully directed by Do-It-Yourself regional indie filmmaker Joy Houck, Jr. and cleverly written by Jim McCollough, Jr. (who co-stars as a wily country boy who befriends our heroes), this fine feature boasts an endearingly playful sense of good-natured humor, likable characters, a strong spooky atmosphere, and a tasty, picturesque evocation of the Creole State's lush, marshy bayou. Furthermore, the stellar, spot-on, spirited tearin'-apart-the-scenery performances by dependable seasoned hambones Jack Elam and Dub Taylor add a substantial energy boost to the proceedings. Taylor essays his standard role of a crusty, hot-tempered hillbilly grandpappy with his trademark testy aplomb ("Dadgum it!"), but Elam steals the the entire show with his growly, eye-rolling portrayal of ornery ol' swamp cuss trapper Joe Canton (Elam's "nothin'" story in particular is an absolute corker). Stocky, stony-faced cracker character actor Bill Thurman brings his usual low-key charm and unaffected acting style to the role of a sheriff named after then First Brother Billy Carter. Morgan Fairchild's comely sister Catherine McClenny has a sassy small part as a feisty greasy spoon waitress.

In a nifty homage to "The Legend of Boggy Creek" Fimple has the holy living hell scared out of him when a guy catches him off guard while he's urinating behind a bush. The unusually adroit and sporadically expansive widescreen cinematography was done by a fledging Dean Cundey, who eventually established himself as a top director of photography with his groundbreaking gliding camera-work for "Halloween." Jamie Mendoza-Nava's score deftly alternates between moody, menacing scareshow music and sprightly, s**t-kickin' country bluegrass. The film concludes with a genuinely harrowing sequence in which Sasquatch (Roy Tatum in an up-to-snuff excess body hair outfit) stalks and attacks our protagonists. All in all, this dandy's a complete winner.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Pretty decent 70's bigfoot movie

Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile
7 December 2007

Two college students go down South looking for bigfoot. The locals try to warn them off. They get into some mild trouble with local girls, one of whom is naturally the sheriff's daughter. But the real fun begins when bigfoot shows up.

Many of us who were children in the 70's harbor a certain misbegotten affection for bigfoot movies. Many of these were actually "documentaries" or "docudramas" that are pretty hard to find these days. Another one, "Snowbeast", is a pretty decent TV movie. This may be the best, certainly one of the better at least, of the purely fictional, cinematic movies. It's pretty tame like most of these movies were (with the exception of the wonderfully gory "Night of the Demon" and the short-lived "bigfoot-rape" movies), but it has some pretty good suspense and likable characters (including the guy who played "Ponce de Leon in the 70's cult classic "Pretty Maids All in a Row"). It was a local production made in the South by a director with a great affection for the region, who for once doesn't treat small-town Southerners like a bunch of dumb hicks (OK, maybe they really ARE a bunch of dumb hicks, but its still refreshing).

This movie kind of fell into the shadow of the similar but more successful "Legend of Boggy Creek", but I personally liked this one a lot better. Tragically it's not available in widescreen yet, but I'd still recommend it.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I Brake For Bigfoot

Author: cutterccbaxter from minneapolis, minnesota, on the planet Earth
28 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I first saw this film when I 13 years old and really liked it. Two guys cruising down to Louisiana in their van, picking up some local chicks, and chasing after Bigfoot really appealed to my 13 year old sensibilities. Plus it seemed like the two leads were having a good time and didn't take themselves too seriously. Having watched it again recently, I found their interaction to be a bit on the dorky side, but I still think the movie is a lot of fun. The film theorizes that Bigfoot doesn't really care for empty tents as he becomes quite angry when he enters the heroes' tent and they are are not in it. He also shares swimming abilities with the creature from the black lagoon. I remember the scene where he snatches Jack Elam's buddy from the boat really spooked me back in the day.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A VERY Creepy Film.....

10/10
Author: warrior1967 from Connecticut
9 May 2003

I saw this one as a child and it scared the crap out of me and even today it STILL has the ability to creep me out. The last 15 minutes are filled with suspense and the interaction between Dennis Fimple(Pahoo)and John David Carson(Rives)would lead you to believe that these guys were buddies even when the camera was off. One of the finest Bigfoot films(along with Legend of Boggy Creek)that is best viewed alone with the lights out.

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