The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)
A documentary-style drama about the "Fouke Monster", a Bigfoot-type creature that has been sighted in and around Fouke, Arkansas since the 1950s.
A documentary-style drama which questions the existence of a monster in an Arkansas swamp. It is really more of a glimpse at lower-class swamp culture from the seventies, though, than a monster flick.
An early 1970's docudrama about a Sasquatch-type creature that terrorized the small town of Fouke, Arkansas for several years. Many of the persons who claim to have experienced these events actually played themselves in this movie version. The film had a big premiere in Fouke and went on to become a minor drive-in hit, grossing over $20 million domestically and appearing repeatedly on many late-night horror TV slots throughout the rest of the 70s, and spawning two sequels and a remake. In addition, the film's visual style is cited as the inspiration for the look and pacing of 'The Blair Witch Project'.
- In the lush backwoods region of Texarkana, Arkansas, local men scorn the legend of the Fouke Monster, named for the 350-person town in which it has been spotted, a giant, three-toed, Sasquatch-like creature that terrorizes local fauna. Jim (Chuck Pierce Jr.), a seven-year-old country boy, is sent by his mother to get help from some of the townsmen after she spots the monster near her house. Receiving no help from the skeptical men, Jim hears the monster scream, and, years later, as an adult, states, "It scared me then and it scares me now."
Other residents are introduced and the incidents in which the monster was seen or heard are recounted. First shown are Smokey Crabtree and his son Travis, trappers who live near the creek and subsist off the fertile land, which provides a pleasant home for them until the sun goes down, after which they spot the monster.
John P. Hixon describes seeing the creature, which has been shot in the chest, flee on two legs.
John W. Oates relates that something killed his 200-pound hogs, strangling the heavy animals and carrying them off with ease.
Jim recalls that the creek often flooded during his childhood, covering densely thicket-ed bottom-land that sheltered a multitude of creatures. Few humans could make their way into the swamp depths, where the monster was rumored to live. According to the monster's legend, which has evoked terror over the past fifteen years, the creature prowls the swamps and creeps out occasionally at dusk.
Hunter Fred Crabtree (Jeff Crabtree) once saw the Fouke Monster and now reports: "Assuming it is a wild man or a gorilla", he refrains from shooting it in case it is human. A few months later, Fred's uncle, James Crabtree (James 'Buddy' Crabtree), is hunting when he glimpses the monster, which steps out in front of him without fear.
Mary Beth Searcy (Judy Baltom) lives with her baby and older sister, and one night when the women are alone, Mary Beth hears howling outside and notices that the livestock are agitated. When she sees the creature through the living room window, she screams, faints, then spends a long night of terror as the women await sunrise. In the morning, they find their cat dead from fright.
Later, a thirteen-year-old boy rushes into the woods after what he believes is a deer. Spotting the monster, he shoots it and flees, after which the creature limps off into the woods leaving bloodstains behind. The community springs into action, bringing in prized hunting dogs from all around. Jim accompanies the search party, which is covered by the local media. Although the dogs eventually catch the creatures scent, they are too frightened to track it. Jim notes that the creature never harmed a human and remained non-aggressive until people tried to kill it. After the hunt, the creature disappears, apparently moving deeper into the bottom-land.
Eight years later, Travis visits Herb Jones, who lives in solitude by the creek. Although Herb is sure the Fouke Monster is a myth, a young couple sees it run across the road as they are driving, and later Ol H. Kennedy finds three-toed footsteps in his bean field, garnering national press coverage. Some experts compare the creature to Sasquatch, but the feet are different, as are the feet of gorillas.
Bessie Smith's children are playing in the woods one day when they run home and insist that she accompany them to see what they have found. When she catches sight of the creature, she screams and they all run back to the house.
Teenager Nancy invites two girl friends over to her trailer one night, and as they chatter, the creature stalks outside. Hearing it draw closer, they scream and grab a rifle, but are too terrified to load it. The creature smashes flowerpots throughout the night, and the next morning, the parents return to find the girls mute from shock.
In another incident, Charles and Anne Turner and Don and Sue Ford and their small children rent a house together. While the men are away working, the wives hear the creature on the porch, but landlord Mr. Johnson assures them that they heard only the wind. Later, when Bobby Ford and his young cousin arrive for a weekend of fishing, they spot a footprint, causing them to retreat nervously to the house. The next day, they all hear the creature outside and take preparations against it, then, when Don and Charles return, they search outside with a rifle. The creature approaches, creating confusion that causes the men to shoot at it continuously.
The next day, the sheriff declares that it was a panther, but later that night, Bobby sees the creature through the bathroom window. As the women scream, the men shoot over and over, then traipse outside to see if they have hit their prey. Just then, the creature attacks, and in his panic Bobby runs through the glass front door. As he is brought to the hospital for his cuts, the Texarkana police investigate, but find nothing.
As an adult, Jim returns to the area, examining the couples long-abandoned home. Wondering what the creature was after, Jim experiences chills down his spine while recalling the terrible, lonesome cry. "You may believe the whole thing is a hoax", he says. "But if you're ever driving down here, keep your eyes out for a creature watching from the shadows."