Thursday, February 14, 2013

Movie Review—Creature from Black Lake

So, as if to celebrate that last Sunday's monster day entry was on the Fouke Monster, today I sat down to watch "Creature from Black Lake," which more or less exists due to the popularity of "Legend of Boggy Creek." Unfortunately, this movie is nowhere near as spooky and charming and interesting as the former.

"Creature from Black Lake" opens with an attack on a pair of trappers floating in a boat on the eponymous Black Lake (which looks more muddy than black, but whatever) by a big hairy hominid who comes at them from under the water. That's right! Bigfoot can swim, apparently!

Anyway, that scene dealt with, the movie shifts gears to a pair of "yankees" (as the movie is so fond of reminding us) from college in Chicago who've come down to the Black Lake region to try to find the creature. Maybe to catch it and bring it back alive. A large portion of the movie chronicles these two gadabouts as they run into trouble with the locals, be it a faux pas at a hillbilly dinner or flirting with the sheriff's pretty young daughter or trying their damndest to track down the surviving trapper from that first scene so they can interview him and find out where to get their own look at the Creature from Black Lake.

There might not be any hamburgers in your future, but I bet getting mauled by Bigfoot will make up for it!
I'm not sure WHY the monster's called the Creature from Black Lake... since the lake only appears in that one pre-credit sequence. The rest of the movie takes place in a small town and in the woods, more or less.

Anyway... no real suspense. Some goofy music. A pretty mediocre ape suit. And a big dose of pan-n-scan coupled with at times barely-understandable dialogue from a pretty sub-par transfer to DVD equates to what can be charitably called "Not one of my top ten Bigfoot-related movies."

Creature From Black Lake...
  • ... features a Vietnam Vet who's defining characteristic is that he likes hamburgers. Why? Because he grew up in town with a chicken processing plant and his dad worked there so they had chicken every day. Chicken for breakfast. Chicken for lunch. Chicken for dinner. One day his dad tried to make chicken jello. What does this have to do with Vietnam or, more on-topic, the Creature From Black Lake? Not sure... but there's a lot of film time spent on the topic so it must have been important to someone.
  • ... isn't interested in showing us the fate of the creature. Did it die when it got shot? Did the van explosion kill it? What happened? Doesn't mater, because with about 5 minutes to go, the movie loses interest in the Bigfoot and wallows in a long coda where we get to worry about Mr. Hamburgers after he gets mauled by the Bigfoot earlier on.
  • ... reminded me why I don't like pan-n-scan.
  • ... doesn't have a cat trick, but it does have an unexplained bearded man in the woods trick.
  • ... spends roughly 2% of its running time at the actual Black Lake. I guess that's okay, since it's about the creature FROM Black Lake, not the creature AT Black Lake.
  • ... has a much better poster than it deserves.
Grade: D

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