Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (Limited Edition)Overview -
There’s a legend around these parts of a Blu-ray release of Boggy Creek II… and the Legend Continues. While Charles B. Pierce stars, writes, produces, and directs and casts his son in this official sequel to his breakout hit original, the film is a bit of a chore. You're mostly watching four people go camping with flashbacks of Bigfoot attacks. Fans of MST3k, regional horror, and hairy cryptids will get a kick out of this laborious non-threatening monster flick on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome. Worth A Look
Zoology professor, Dr. Brian Lockhart, has long been fascinated by the legend of Bigfoot. Having heard tales of the mythic furry creature wreaking havoc in the swamps of Louisiana, Dr. Lockhart sets out to investigate these strange occurrences for himself, aided by a ragtag team including assistant Leslie Ann Walker and local kid, Tim Thornton. Hitting the road in their camper, the group encounter person after person who relay their strange and often frightening encounters with the beast, while the creature itself remains elusive…though as they get deeper into the wilderness, stranger things begin to happen. Could the stories be true? And if Bigfoot is really out there, is he friend or foe, but most importantly what does he want?
A spiritual sequel to the early 70s blockbuster, Charles B. Pierce's BOGGY CREEK II: AND THE LEGEND CONTINUES re-situates the Bigfoot myth into a sun-baked, undeniably 80s new age-y setting and features director Pierce co-starring with his son, Chuck Pierce Jr., all tied together by Shirak Kojayan's (Smokey and the Hotwire Gangs) lush nature photography and Frank & Lori McKelvey’s catchy folk soundtrack. Vinegar Syndrome Archive presents this mash up of backwoods folktale and vanity project on Blu-ray for the very first time, newly restored from rare 35mm elements.
directed by: Charles B. Pierce
starring: Charles B. Pierce, Cindy Butler, Chuck Pierce Jr., Jimmy Clem, Serene Hedin
1983 / 92 min / 1.85:1 / English Mono
- Region A Blu-ray
- Newly scanned & restored in 4K from a 35mm archival positive
- Brand new commentary track with Cryptozoology author David Coleman
- Reversible sleeve artwork
- English SDH subtitles
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
It's Hollywood Math 101: If a movie is a hit at the box office, you can bet a sequel is on the way at some point… even if the original filmmakers aren’t involved. Such is what happened with Charles B. Pierce and his folk monster cryptid pseudo-documentary The Legend of Boggy Creek. A micro-budgeted affair, it was a massive hit on the midnight movie and drive-in circuit as it chronicled real people’s encounters with a strange hairy giant creature in the Texarkana area buttressed with some fictional recreation to get the horror blood pumping. As Pierce moved onto other projects like The Town That Dreaded Sundown and giving Eastwood one of his most famous career lines in Sudden Impact, an unofficial sequel squeezed into the mix, 1977’s Return to Boggy Creek… it wasn’t good.
And because he thought it would be a sure-fire hit, Charles B. Pierce pushed ahead with his own sequel in 1983 - Boggy Creek II… and the Legend Continues. Pierce stars as anthropologist professor Dr. Brian Lockhart who is studying the sightings of the Boggy Creek Creature aiming to prove or definitively disprove its existence. With his prized students (in that they mostly get C's) Tim (Chuck Pierce Jr.), Tanya (Serene Hedin) and Leslie (Cindy Butler) in tow, Lockhard heads into the deep swamps of Texarkana. While interviewing locals and touring sighting areas, Lockhart and his students find backwoods mountain man Crenshaw (Jimmy Clem) who knows a lot more about the creature than he’s willing to tell.
If you’ve ever seen the episode from Mystery Science Theater 3000’s tenth season, you’ll know well that Boggy Creek II… and the Legend Continues is a damned tough watch. Long tracks of nothing, Charles Pierce’s drowning narration, silly creature sighting reenactments that are neither scary or interesting - the film has a lot working against it. Or, depending on how you look at it, a lot going for it. While The Legend of Boggy Creek is a halfway decent pseudo-documentary horror film, this sequel has none of the suspense or intrigue as the Bigfoot monster had already been squeezed to death by other cryptid-focused films. Heck, in just a few years after this film he'd become everyone's favorite family friend in Harry and the Hendersons. On top of that, it’s just a bizarrely nonthreatening horror film.
With Pierce in the lead, narrator, writer, producer and director, there’s not a lot of blame to spread around. Three-quarters of the movie is a slog of swamp sludge to wade through. The film finally finds its footing when Crenshaw enters the picture and we get a genuinely good look at our titular monster. Stabs at comedy fall horribly flat. Suspense sequences are just daffy with odd pacing and editing. In fact, a rabid dog is probably the scariest creature in the film second only to Pierce’s unfortunately tiny denim shorts.
It's well shot by Shirak Kojayan giving the film a lush scenic documentary feel and the cast is doing what they can with the material. All credit to the young cast with frequent Pierce collaborator Serene Hedin turning in the film’s better performance. Cindy Butler does what she can, but she’s given little to do beyond being annoying. Likewise Chuck Pierce Jr. is given even less to work with leaving his father to hold the show. Jimmy Clem's sweaty burly mountainman is certainly intimidating enough and gives the film some character flavor in the home stretch. As for Charles Pierce, he's an alright actor and he’s got some good films under his belt as a writer and director, but this would-be easy cash-in got away from him. It’s interesting as a curiosity for fans of 70s and 80s cryptid movies, but it’s not going to comb your back hair. This one is best watched with a group of friends and a few drinks to fully enjoy the ridiculousness. I'm a seasoned veteran of this film,riffed and straight, and you can really feel it when you don't have someone to watch this flick with!
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Boggy Creek II… and the Legend Continues stomps onto the muddy waters of Blu-ray thanks to Vinegar Syndrome as part of their VSA line of exclusive titles limited to a run of 4000 copies. Pressed on a Region A BD-25 disc, the disc is housed in a clear case with reversible insert art and reproduction poster with hard cardboard slipcover. The disc loads to an animated main menu with standard navigation options.
Reportedly sourced from a newly restored 4K scan of the 35mm positive materials, Boggy Creek II… and the Legend Continues looks about as good as one might expect for a 40-year-old low-budget monster flick most folks never saw or even remember. The negative is rumored to have gone missing or destroyed long ago so this is likely the best we’re going to get. Details are fairly good although a lot of soft focus and diffusion is used throughout the film, especially for the flashback sequences. Film grain can be a bit noisy at times but fine lines and details are otherwise appreciable. Colors are stable with healthy primaries and human skin tones. Black levels are in fine shape, a bit thick at times but otherwise alright. The image does display quite a bit of damage though. Speckling is a near constant companion and along the right side of the image is a near constant run of perforations. This damage thankfully doesn’t ruin the experience, in fact, it actually lends some character to the transfer like watching the film at an old drive-in or midnight theater. Certainly better than the MST3k episode and far better than that junky bargain bin DVD that's haunted discounter market shelves for decades.
This release of Boggy Creek II creeps around with a respectable DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono track. The film’s sound design has never been the greatest thing mostly made up of outdoor sounds and Pierce’s narration. Dialog for the most part is clean. Some locations with local actors like the convenience shop scene dialog clarity can come and go making it a little difficult to hear, but you’re really not missing much. I also noticed during the scene where the girls get the Jeep stuck, the audio drops out during one of the girls' screams. Music by Frank and Lori McKelvey adds some nice mood and atmosphere for the more suspenseful and creepy sequences. All around a respectable track for this film.
Bonus features for this run of Boggy Creek II are fairly light. Sadly Charles Pierce is no longer with us so he can’t offer his insights, but this disc does feature a pretty great commentary from Cryptozoology author David Coleman that’s well worth giving a listen.
- Audio Commentary featuring David Coleman
As a fan of virtually every Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode I have to admit that I have a bizarre love for Boggy Creek II. I’ve watched it a few times now unriffed and it’s an enjoyable flick, albeit probably not in the way Charles B. Pierce intended. While the Boggy Creek Creature suit is well done and is probably where most of the budget was spent, the film’s languid pace, odd sense of humor, and even stranger idea of horror can make it a tough watch. It’s a great midnight movie experience so if you’ve got a group of goofy friends gather up some munchies and have a good time. Vinegar Syndrome gives this film its long-awaited (by me anyway) Blu-ray debut with respectable results. Sourced from rare 35mm elements, the image may be a little rough around the edges but it’s the best I’ve seen on home video with respectable audio to match. Bonus features are thin, but the commentary is well worth the listen. Worth A Look
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