Bogs are spooky places. They are full of mystery, definitely. The soft cries of the exotic birds bring an odd chill to your spine, and the deep, murky waters hide so many things. And when it hits night, the shack-filter light is the only thing that keeps you safe. The fog is cold…and all the stories of monsters you heard back when you were a child makes the icy night even colder…
It’s 1983. The year of Ogroff, The Final Terror, The Forest, and Bog. The first three movies I love to death. (I have yet to review The Final Terror. I have one for The Forest lying around somewhere.) Bog, eh. Maybe not so much. But let’s take a look anyway. It’s enjoyable, I suppose.
A fisherman is out at a swamp which no one cares to visit. The only people who live there are mentally retarded hillbilly Walter Fry and his friend, crazy old possibly-immortal Native American Adrianna. Our fisherman sets off some dynamite, and awakens an age-old glacial beast which goes on a rampage. Our scientist buddies, who resemble a Poor Man’s Alan Hale and a Poor Woman’s (white) Nichelle Nichols, find out that this beasty drains the blood of young woman to reproduce. Along the way, a number of people, including cops and possibly the Mario Brothers, get wiped out. Bill Rebane phones in at some point to tell them to back off of the set of Rana: Legend of Shadow Lake. But I kid.
The ‘80s were fun times for all. The ‘50s had giant radioactive monsters and fake scientists running off garbage. The ‘60s had H.G. Lewis. The ‘70s had boobs and guts. The ‘80s had all of those things. We may never know which of the many polytheist entities granted us the VHS camcorder and the Super 8 camera, but they were merciful. Spookiness, guts, nudity, blood (important!) homebrew weirdness were thrown everywhere. And if you had all of those things mixed up with a good shot of cinematic nostalgia (and maybe some Billy Beer) you had a homemade classic. If you lacked some of those ingredients, well…you made it, but not on a monumental scale.
Bog is creepy. Hell, like I said, bogs are creepy. The word “bog” is creepy. Say it in your best Casio Keyboard voice, long and slow: “BAAAAA-aaaauugggghhh…” Crackle your voice at the end and imagine mosquitoes on your face…or not, whatever. The point is that this movie gives you the creeps. Like another bog-gy movie, The Legend of Boggy Creek, we’re reliant on that immortal eeriness rather than scares or blood and guts. It’s like an older piece from a more gentle time. It’s relaxing. The youthful powers that be may call it boring—it’s like a grandparent, really, telling an old story. I brought up Rebane’s Legend of Shadow Lake—but natch, it’s more like Arnold’s Creature from the Black Lagoon. An older tale. The rose-colored glasses of the ‘50s with the idiot dialogue of the ‘80s. Movie magic.
But it is a little slow.
So, is Bog a good movie? It’s fun! It’s enjoyable! Yes. Yes, it is good. But patience, like always, is a virtue. Toss a coin today.