Blog Archives

WILLOW CREEK

WILLOW CREEK-United States-80 Mins. 2013

Willow-Creek-Poster-01

Willow_Creek_Theatrical_Poster

Bryce Johnson as Jim and Alexie Gilmore as Kelly in Willow Creek

Bryce Johnson as Jim and Alexie Gilmore as Kelly in Willow Creek

Directed and Written by Bobcat Goldthwait

Bobcat Goldthwait may one day become the punchline of a Geico commercial:

Man: “Huh. 15 Minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”

Woman: “Uh-huh. Everybody knows that.”

Man: “Well, did you know that Bobcat Goldthwait wrote and directed the best’ found footage’ movie of all time?”

There’s only one problem with that: it’s not a joke. Bobcat Goldthwait has officially written and directed the best found footage film of all time, or at least I think so. Goldthwait explores Bigfoot territory in Willow Creek-a film that is as tongue-in-cheek as it is absolutely terrifying. Willow Creek takes a slow ride to scaring the shit out of us and when it finally gets us to our destination Goldthwait pulls no punches in making our hearts crawl into our throats and out of our mouths to say ‘it’s been fun but fuck you very much.’ Do you want to know how much I enjoyed Willow Creek? I just watched it ten minutes ago as of my writing this post and already I’m psyched to watch it again. The old cliché about a film being a roller coaster ride of excitement has become new again with Willow Creek; only this ride has two settings: the slow ascent and the hellish ride down.

Jim and Kelly are re-tracing the steps made by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin when they filmed their historic footage of a Bigfoot as it strolled across their view and into infamy on October 20, 1967. Willow Creek divides Jim and Kelly in half-Jim has believed since he was eight years old; Kelly, not so much. There are the usual arguments: how come no one has ever found a body? How has a creature that big managed to avoid detection for all those years? As the couple move deeper into Bigfoot territory their search for Sasquatch takes a turn as they meet the ‘Bob Dylan of Bigfoot, Tommy Yamarone, who serenades the couple with ‘Roger and Bob (Rode Out That Day); and Tommy Red and his poignant ‘952 Frames of Truth’, a reference to the amount of film shot by Patterson and Gimlin on that day in ‘67. Deeper into Bigfoot territory and Jim and Kelly encounter a man who pointedly tells them to turn their car around and go back the way they came. Undaunted, our couple presses on by taking an alternate route into the terrain and setting up their campsite only to have it torn down by an unseen individual.

Nighttime is the wrong time for Jim and Kelly. For ten minutes Goldthwait, using the grainiest film he can find, puts us through sheer terror as the couple hear the sounds of wood being knocked together, an ungodly howl, the sound of a woman crying and as the sounds grow closer a sort of threatening, menacing scratch from deep in the throat and finally the rustling of the tent as whoever-whatever-presses against it and toys with their-and our-sanity. The scene outdoes every frame of The Blair Witch Project and never looks back as it drives a spike of terror into our chests and out the other side. However, the scariest part of the scene is not the noises and commotion outside the tent but the rationalization on the inside as Jim explains each sound or movement to a frightened Kelly. Afterward, the couple makes a decision that will impact them for the rest of the film.

Bobcat Goldthwait is known as that ‘comedian with the high-pitched voice that was in those Police Academy movies.’ He is also a director known for Shakes the Clown and satirical comedies such as World’s Greatest Dad and God Bless America. Willow Creek is a departure for Goldthwait to a certain degree. You can’t help but laugh when Jim and Kelly eat a Bigfoot burger or visit the Bigfoot bookstore and bed down at the Bigfoot Motel. Goldthwait lures us in with the subtle laughs before wrenching the terror to 10 in the final act; which despite being reminiscent of the finale of literally every ‘found footage’ film ever made Goldthwait still manages to make scary as hell. The only complaint I have about the film is a minor one: Goldthwait, although smart in casting relative unknowns Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson as Jim and Kelly, casts Peter Jason as a park ranger who recounts a story to Jim about a possible encounter with Bigfoot that left his dog bifurcated. Genre fans will recognize Jason from John Carpenter’s They Live and may be taken out of the world of Willow Creek for the brief time that he’s onscreen-but then again maybe I’m making something out of nothing. I do know that I wasn’t kidding about Willow Creek being the best ‘found footage’ film ever made. I’m even thinking about making a trophy and mailing it to the Bobcat. How does a gold representation of a dilapidated shack with a stash of film canisters underneath with the words “Best ‘Found Footage’ Movie. Ever” engraved on it grab ya?

TRIVIA

The disclaimer ‘No Animals (or Bigfoot) were harmed during the production of this movie’ appears in the final credits.

bloodbloodbloodblood½

Alexie Gilmore also appears in Surfer Dude and Definitely, Maybe.

Bryce Johnson also appears in Sleeping Dogs Lie and Supernatural: Bloodlines (TV).

 

About these ads

BOGGY CREEK

BOGGY CREEK-United States-87 Mins. 2010

1493798_big

Texas Battle as Tommy Davis in Boggy Creek

Texas Battle as Tommy Davis in Boggy Creek

Stephanie Honore as Brooke Tyler in Boggy Creek

Stephanie Honore as Brooke Tyler in Boggy Creek

Damon Lipari as Dave Marshall in Boggy Creek

Damon Lipari as Dave Marshall in Boggy Creek

Shavon Kirksey as Maya Jones in Boggy Creek

Shavon Kirksey as Maya Jones in Boggy Creek

Melissa Carnell as Jennifer Dupree in Boggy Creek

Melissa Carnell as Jennifer Dupree in Boggy Creek

Directed by Brian T. Jaynes

Written by Brian T. Jaynes and Jennifer Minar

Five things that I liked about Boggy Creek:

1. There are beautiful shots of the swamp and the moss hanging low over the water from the trees.

2. There are beautiful shots of the swamp and the moss hanging low over the water from the trees.

3. There are beautiful shots of the swamp and the moss hanging low over the water from the trees.

4. There are beautiful shots of the swamp and the moss hanging low over the water from the trees.

5. There are beautiful shots of the swamp and the moss hanging low over the water from the trees.

That was the good part of Boggy Creek, now let’s look at the things I hated about the film; i.e., everything else.

1. The plot, if you take away the monster, plays out like a Hallmark Channel movie about a young girl, Jennifer, who comes to grips with the death of her father with the help of her friends Maya, Tommy, Dave and Brooke and by traveling to his old cabin in the woods of Boggy Creek to make peace with her past. It’s a good thing I keep a supply of Kleenex nearby as I found myself tearing up quite a bit.

2. The level of gore in Boggy Creek is non-existent aside from a few shots of entrails and a boar lying torn and bleeding on the hood of a car. You would think that a film about an 8 foot tall creature that could tear a person limb from limb with one hand whilst eating Jack Link’s beef jerky with another would have a hell of a lot more gore to it.

3. The death of a main character doesn’t occur until one hour and 10 minutes into the hour and 27 minute running time of Boggy Creek. I’ve heard of a screenwriter or author liking a character too much to want to kill them off but this is ridiculous.

4. The main character, Jennifer, is a runner. There’s a line that mentions that she goes on runs every morning. As soon it comes time for her to run from the big bad Bigfoot she tires out after a short distance. Do you know what I call being chased by a Bigfoot? I call it incentive to haul ass. What are you going to do; argue with it that it doesn’t exist?

5. There’s a sub-plot about a guy living next door whose wife was abducted by the creature. It only serves to give us a character that we will call “Scary Guy with Rifle Who Walks in the Woods Looking Solemn”.

Finally, we come to the main reason why I hated 99 and 44⁄100 per cent of Boggy Creek:

6. Bigfoot resembles a discarded throw rug combined with a Mr. Potato Head kit and is about as frightening as such. I’ve seen people in buffet lines that displayed more ferocity in 10 seconds than the creature in Boggy Creek does in 87 minutes.

There have been countless films made about Bigfoot, Sasquatch, the Fouke Monster or whatever he’s called in your neck of the woods; aside from the documentaries only two of those films, The Legend of Boggy Creek and Abominable, have displayed anything resembling a level of fright and suspense. Boggy Creek is another laughable, forgettable Bigfoot film in a long line of laughable, forgetting Bigfoot films.

NO TRIVIA

0 BLOOD DROPS

Texas Battle also appears in Final Destination 3 and Wrong Turn 2: Dead End.

Stephanie Honore also appears in The Final Destination and Mirrors 2.

Damon Lipari also appears in Shark Night 3D and The Guardian.

Shavon Kirksey also appears in Stalked at 17 and Dragonball: Evolution.

Melissa Carnell also appears in Humans versus Zombies.

THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK

THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK-United States-1972

Directed by Charles B. Pierce

Screenplay by Earl E. Smith

I said once that it’s easier to tear down a bad film than it is to build up a great one. “The Legend of Boggy Creek” totally flies in the face of that philosophy. Charles B. Pierce’ docudrama about the existence of a Bigfoot like creature in the wilds near Fouke, Arkansas is a new kind of bad that is nearly indefinable. For starters, Pierce decided to cast over 90% of the townsfolk as themselves. It’s bad enough when you suck at portraying another character; but when you suck at playing yourself…well that is a whole new level of suck. There are moments in the film that could be perceived as scary, like the infamous ‘Bigfoot attacks local yokel in the bathroom while he’s taking a crap’ scene. However, Pierce’s direction is so idiotic that he takes the thrills out of each and every scene. The only good idea he came up with was in not showing a clear shot of the creature, thereby leaving its appearance to our imaginations. Even so, “The Legend of Boggy Creek” is cause for Bigfoot to sue for defamation of character.

I wasn’t allowed to see “The Legend of Boggy Creek” when I was a kid. I was ten years old at the time of its release and I suppose my parents thought it would be too traumatic for me. It wasn’t until I was 25 years old before I finally tracked down a copy of the film to watch. That’s like waiting 15 years for a really big turd to come out of my ass.

TRIVIA

The film was a tremendous success at drive-ins. It grossed 22 million dollars, making it the 7th highest grossing movie of its year.

The film is largely based upon actual reported encounters with a Bigfoot creature in the Fouke-Boogy Creek, Arkansas area throughout the 60’s and early 70’s. Most of the actors in the film were the real people from the encounters playing themselves.

Though Vern Stierman narrates the film it’s actually director ‘Charles B. Pierce’ heard interviewing some of the locals during audio clips. Pierce also sings the film’s folk theme song.

½

Related articles

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,047 other followers

%d bloggers like this: