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Boggy Creek II: …And the Legend Continues (Charles B. Pierce, 1985)
Charles B. Pierce’s oddball, cornball Sasquatch movie Boggy Creek II: …And the Legend Continues may be somewhat ineptly made and the antithesis of frightful (It was, in fact, spoofed in an episode of the TV-show Mystery Science Theater 3000), but it has a few charms thanks to its considerable local color. Set in rural Texarkana, the movie is a quintessential example of the kind of low-budget regional filmmaking that has churned out a series of B-movies that would be utterly forgettable were they not so grounded in the specifics of their settings. The thin plot here concerns an expedition led by a college professor (played by the director himself) that aims to investigate a backwoods region renowned by locals because of urban legends that purport that a Bigfoot-like creature roams its swamps. Things develop little beyond that basic premise, but it adequately gets this road movie rolling. Jettisoning the quasi-documentary approach that distinguished its predecessor, this sequel also loses much of the effective atmosphere that Pierce managed to generate the first time that he tackled this subject matter. Nonetheless, in spite of its myriad weaknesses, Pierce manages a strong sense of setting that manages to conjure interest in what is otherwise an endurance test.
The movie is a veritable guided tour through the backwoods and bayous of the
region it takes place in. The leisurely pace, which was probably a result of
editorial incompetence, only reinforces this feeling. As the group of
investigators meanders from locale to locale, the unique locals and backdrops
thankfully receive as much emphasis as the plot does. The film frequently
launches into tangential, anecdotal stories recalled by the professor. Although
they feel like attempts by the film to stretch out the already brief runtime,
they nonetheless seem to reinforce the script’s basis in oral folklore. These
stories are the highlight of the movie, and although they are alternatively
frightening, humorous and mysterious, they all share the feel of a tale told
around a campfire, which is perfectly appropriate, given the subject matter.
Pierce clearly admires his region, and the film that he’s made reflects that.
Although Boggy Creek II is far less
successful than its predecessor, its documentary aspects are undeniable assets.
Unfortunately, the fiction film that contains them is uninspired at best.
Despite passable creature effects and one or two memorable encounters, its
efforts to suggest that something really does roam the woods that Pierce so
obviously appreciates fall flat.