A fake documentary shot for one hundred sixty thousand dollars in 1972 would gross more than twenty million and bring fame to a small south Arkansas town.
Charles Pierce directed The Legend of Boggy Creek, set in Fouke in Miller County. The film, often using locals as actors, staged dramatic recreations of encounters with the “Fouke Monster,” a towering creature covered in hair that had been reported in sightings dating to the 1940s. He later released a sequel, The Barbaric Beast of Boggy Creek, in which Pierce himself portrayed University of Arkansas professor Brian “Doc” Lockhart, who led his students in search of the Fouke Monster.
Pierce would direct a dozen movies, including The Town That Dreaded Sundown, a thriller based on a string of murders in Texarkana, but The Legend of Boggy Creek would be his signature accomplishment, inspiring later films that would use the faux documentary technique.
It was remastered and shown at Texarkana’s Perot Theater in 2018. To learn more, visit the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.