In their documentary short The Man from Boggy Creek, cowriters/codirectors Paul Glover and Scott McKinnon pay tribute to maverick independent filmmaker Charles B. Pierce, whose movies The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Town That Dreaded Sundown are favorites of many a fright-fare fan.
The Legend of Boggy Creek was a huge influence on such later filmmakers as Eduardo Sanchez, director of The Blair Witch Project and Exists, who appears in this documentary to pay homage to Pierce and his work. The Town That Dreaded Sundown is one of the early proto-slasher efforts, and another fine example of Pierce’s faux-documentary approach to horror, which would influence many other future filmmakers, as well. Besides Sanchez, The Man from Boggy Creek features interviews with actor Michael Berryman, composer and sound designer Alan Howorth, director/cinematographer Derrick Sims, and others, all discussing how seeing Pierce’s films affected them and influenced their own work.
Glover and McKinnon offer plenty of background information on Pierce, though he appears mostly in clips from his films and stills. The codirectors do a fine job of presenting how Pierce took decidedly unusual routes to become a filmmaker, and how his two best-remembered and still-loved films, The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, went from being obscure, low-budget regional films to box office smashes — often at drive-in theaters — making millions of dollars.
The Legend of Boggy Creek’s success led to a prolific career for Pierce, who went on to make westerns, a Viking film, and family dramas, and received a story credit for the Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact, with Pierce being responsible for the classic line, “Go ahead, make my day.” The Man from Boggy Creek is an intriguing, engaging look back at Pierce and his influential career, which began at a time when independent filmmaking — especially with projects centered in Arkansas, where Pierce started out — was something of a rarity.(3.5 / 5)
The Man from Boggy Creek screened as part of MidWest WeirdFest, which took place March 4–6, 2022 at the Micon Downtown Cinema in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.