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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Bog (1979)




I found Bog on Amazon Prime and was shocked to realize that it was made in the seventies and was a regional drive-in movie with a swamp monster. These aren’t the kinds of movies that I tend to miss and go out of my way to find and watch. Though the fact that I’m still finding them makes me happy and excited for what might still be lurking out there patiently waiting for me to unearth it. Yeah, I’m a nerd…

Things kick off with a fisherman using dynamite to stun his catch so he can just scoop them out of the water. This backfires on him when he wakes something up that grabs and yanks him from the boat. Then we meet a pair of married couples who end up at the same lake which we know since they find his boat and are all like “Hey free boat!”. After a night of drinking beer and snappy dialogue the menfolk are shocked when the ladies get taken by something in the lake. Later the bodies are found, and the sheriff gets involved. With a couple science types tossed in they figure out that there is a monster and that they need to kill it. The rest of the movie is random people getting killed by the monster, which we never see more than a glimpse of, while they figure out the best way to kill or capture it.

This is about what I expected when I saw the poster and read up a little bit about Bog. This is a low budget movie that follows the monster formula to a fault and stars some sort of familiar names on the back end of their careers. This was the bread and butter of the drive-in flick so no surprises. We get a few characters killed off to set the stage for what happens later. Here the fisherman and the wives. But there is also a weird swamp guy and poor old deputy Corky that get killed off. All of the deaths happen offscreen and are later explained by “science”. The creature lives off of blood, which it collects by shoving a proboscis down a person’s throat and puncturing the aorta. Sounds gruesome doesn’t it? The actual killing is left to the viewer’s imagination as we only get to see one pale bloodless body.

Another thing left to our imagination is the creature. For most of the movie was see a claw and that it is. When the entire creature is on display it is kept at a distance from the camera or shrouded in fog or obscured by a net. What we do get to put eyes on convinced me that this is one of the goofiest looking creatures that I’ve ever seen and I loved it! I wanted to see more of it and was disappointed that we didn’t. I mean you are making a silly monster movie for the drive-in market embrace that and go for it.

Best look at the creature that we get
The cast features a couple familiar names one being Aldo Ray who did a lot of television in the fifties and sixties seemingly specializing in playing the sheriff, which is what he does here. The other is Marshall Thompson who I remember from a classic fifties sci-fi movie It! The Terror from Beyond Space which I’ve covered for the site (check out the link here). We also get to see the great Leo Gordon and lovely Gloria DeHaven collect paychecks as well. Seriously though they all are taking the proceedings seriously and the movie benefits from their acting skills and experience.

Is this a great movie? Honestly it is not. There are some pacing issues and the day for night shots look bad, but there is something so cheesy about the proceedings that I just can’t help myself but to enjoy Bog. I’m explaining this because I have a suspicion that if you don’t have the same affection for these low budget movies from the seventies you might find this one boring and dumb. Warning given I’d say that I do recommend Bog for anyone that shares my love for these odd flicks.


© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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