The Creature from Black Lake (1976)

When I was younger I was obsessed with cryptzoology, which is the study of creatures that you’d have a harder time proving the existence of than that of Mel Gibson’s Psychiatrist (who we are presuming went into hiding after The Passion was released, if he existed outside of Mr Gibson’s crazy at all ..). The Loch Ness Monster, The Kraken, phantom cats, and The Yeti are all worthy of research by many respected scientists, anthropologists (and other professions ending in ‘ist’ who are not known for their wild stoner theorising), that have spent a lot of time and possibly cancer curing research grants on proving the existence of such ‘hidden animals’.

Bigfoot aka The Sasquatch was never one of those fantastical creatures that held my attention for very long, firstly, because for anyone that subscribes to Darwinian theories of evolution (those that like to work with the facts, that is), it’s state of being wasn’t that much of a stretch for the imagination for me, and secondly, because I once encountered a female maths teacher that was one ladyshave away from being the missing link herself. My problem was, that compared to giant sea monsters, a big hairy man just wasn’t that exciting, more a peek at any occupant of a house on the street where I grew up.

I think most horror film makers must agree with me, as there aren’t many films that deal with this mythology ( The Ape Man with Bella Lugosi and the 70’s cheese fest Sasquatch off the top of my head ..) and despite the short lived popularity of Harry and the Henderson’s (yeah, that happened), the hairy ape man never really had marketable mass appeal.
And why?
Because he isn’t scary, that’s why.

The Creature from Black Lake is the story of two anthropology students who go to investigate reports of sightings of hairy ‘creature’ in the Louisiana swamps and after getting cold shouldered by the locals when pressed on the subject they camp out in the bayou, and manage to get cosy with the walking rug himself (or herself, because I am an equal opportunities blogger, and I’m pretty sure where there’s a Daddy Bigfoot, it would be pretty much impossible to not have a Mammy Bigfoot somewhere in the mix).

I don’t know whether the film suffered more due to the excruciating audio visual mess the transfer to DVD made of it, or the fact that the scary element was, in my eyes not scary at all. I had high hopes and an open mind as it was recommended to me with the words ‘I think it’s scarier than Jaws.’, but after seeing the film my rebuttal to a remark like that would always be ‘Bitch, please.’

It’s not bad, but it’s not memorable by any standards, and with an array of better, and more exciting creature features to choose from, I have a feeling this is a 70’s classic that will get lost on the scattered highway to B-Movie heaven. If you’re a Bigfoot enthusiast then I’m sure it will rock the socks off your nerdy, possibly large and furry feet, but I think even the most forgiving of horror buffs will be less than impressed with this effort.

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This entry was posted in critique, film and media, horror, opinion, pop culture, rant, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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