The man behind the original The Legend Of Boggy Creek stirred up the murky depths of the Arkansas swamp one more time twelve years after the original was made with this horrible sequel, Boggy Creek II: And The Legend Continues. While most of Charles B. Pierce's filmography is pretty disposable stuff, he does have the distinguished credit of having co-written the Dirty Harry follow up, Sudden Impact starring, of course, Clint Eastwood.
Pierce not only wrote, directed and produced this film, but he also plays the male lead – a university professor named Professor Brian C. Lockhart, or, Doc, to his friends. Doc teaches anthropological studies at the university and decides that in order to help out in his work he should truck on out to the swamps to see if the legendary Boggy Creek Monster, kind of a hillbilly bigfoot, really does exist. To help him in his quest, he enlists the aid of three of his top students – the continuously shirtless Tom Thornton (Pierce's son, Chuck), and two air headed girls, Leslie Walker (Cindy Butler), and Tanya Yazzie (Serene Hedin).
The four intrepid explorers load up the jeep with a gun, a typewriter (seriously) and a computer and, after talking to some locals and buying some ammo for his pistol, they head out into the swamplands. After setting up camp they go exploring the area and face off against a deadly dog (so deadly he wags his tail in a few scenes) that corners them in an old beat up shack. After they escape that peril, their research finds that the creature has been seen in the area lately, possibly because the lowlands have been flooded and he's in search of food.
After talking to Trooper Williams (Rick Hildreth), they find that there's possibly more to these reappearances than simply food gathering on the creature's part and they're told to go talk to a reclusive hillbilly named Old Man Crenshaw (Jimmy Clem). They do just that but after talking to him for a while, Doc finds that Crenshaw has more to do with things than he's letting on and he may in fact be responsible, in a round-about way, for some of the creature's actions.
Boggy Creek II has some of the word performances ever committed to celluloid. Everyone, from 'Doc' to the monster to the damned dog is about as wooden as can be. The narration from Pierce Sr. only serves to make things worse as it's about as convincing as a brick. The dialogue is tedious, ridden with cliches, and stagnant and the delivery of said dialogue is not a hair better. I wish I could say that the material was beneath the performers, but it's not – they're both equally horrid and the most convincing aspect of the film, sadly, is not the monster or the leads but the local yocals who populate some of the minor scenes like the one that takes place in the store. The sad part is, I don't think they were acting.
Story and pacing wise, this one doesn't move along too slowly. Some stock footage inserts of the swamp start things off which then segue nicely into an underwater 'bigfoot versus deer' scene that should prove amusing to trash movie aficionados. Animal lovers might be put off by the later use of a real deer corpse but hey, there probably wasn't enough money in the budget to make a fake one. At least you know, once Pierce shoots the dog, that he's okay – the fact that he's obviously still breathing and that his tail is moving kind of gives that away.
The monster in the film, once we get around to his antics, is about as frightening as a man in a monkey suit – in fact, it is a man in a monkey suit. Somehow it just adds to the surrealism of the whole experience. If the monster had been convincing in a movie where nothing else was even close, it would stick out like a sore thumb. The movie sucks, but at least it sucks consistently.
Elite gives the film a 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that is decidedly mediocre. While the colors come through looking decent enough, the obvious stock footage inserts are in pretty bad shape and stick out like a sore thumb. The actual movie footage itself looks a little better but it still suffers from some heavy grain in a few scenes and some nastier than average print damage. For an older micro-budget film, this one could have looked worse, but it also could have looked a lot better.
The English language Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack is about as good as the video – it's passable, but hardly remarkable. A lot of the problem with the mix is that it varies from scene to scene in terms of levels. A few scenes are definitely louder than others, and the balance is off because of this. If you don't mind hitting the volume control on the remote every so often, it won't be a big deal as once the adjustments are made you can hear everything that's said easily enough. There's some mild hiss throughout most of the movie and things are a little shrill periodically. There are no alternate language dubs, subtitles, or closed captions provided on this release.
The only supplement on the DVD is the film's original theatrical trailer, which pumps the movie up so much that it's actually pretty funny to watch.
One of the goofiest films I've seen in quite some time gets a lackluster release from Elite, though I'm not sure that a wealth of supplements would have helped the disc any. For bad movie fans, this one is worth a look as it's a gold mine of 'so bad it's good' material, but anyone looking for anything even remotely frightening or even interesting should probably choose something else. Skip it.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.