Creature from Black Lake (1976)

Article 4318 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 9-26-2013
Directed by Joy N. Houck Jr.
Featuring Jack Elam, Dub Taylor, Dennis Fimple
Country: USA
What it is: Sasquatch movie

Two college kids from Chicago come to Louisiana to find proof of the existence of a sasquatch.

I first encountered this movie on my local Creature Feature. This was after the rise of “Saturday Night Live” had consigned it to the wee hours of the morning, and the drop of ratings resulted in the program having to cut costs, and the quality of the movies dropped dramatically. About all I could remember about it for years was a scene near the end where the creature attacks a van, and my main impression was that it was a very cheap effort. I was surprised a bit by some of the user comments on IMDB, many of whom consider it a very scary film; still, I notice that the overall IMDB rating of 3.5 shows that a considerable amount of voters are not impressed. My own reaction on this viewing is that if you take for the subgenre it belongs too (Bigfoot movies of the seventies), it may well be in the running as one of the better examples, but the competition isn’t exactly strong, and I still prefer THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK. It has a lot of local color and atmosphere, is generally well acted, The script itself is meandering and weak, though it does have its moments. Still, I didn’t find it particularly scary.

One issue that I occasionally encounter is that some people love movies where the monster remains in the shadows the whole time and you never get a good look at it, such as happens here. I can appreciate their argument that this may be scarier by leaving things to the imagination, and that it often spares us the disappointment of being disappointed by seeing the monster in all its glory. Still, my own reaction is different; yes, I’ve been disappointed by how the monster looks on occasion, but I’ve always been MORE disappointed when the monster is not shown at all. Just my two cents.

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