This one has already been handled by two—yes, two--of the masters of film review.
So why am I bothering?
Well, for one thing, ever since reading that first review the title has intrigued me. Not enough to aggressively hunt it down and buy it, but I would make searches here and there on eBay to see if there were any copies around. There were, at times, but I didn’t buy them.
I did buy it a few weeks ago, though, when I saw it in a music store in a nearby shopping mall. Somehow, it seemed fitting, finally, to own this thing on a brand new DVD. Also, it was really cheap.
The second reason I’m reviewing it is, this is my website and I can do whatever I want, and no one can stop me. Try as you might. (Maniacal laugher.)
So anyway. We start out with some really grainy, foggy footage of a swamp, or bog. The footage looks like it was shot in Super 8, and then stepped on. We cut to a close shot of a red-neck in a boat. How do I know he’s a redneck? Easy—he’s fishing by throwing dynamite into the water. We get a shot of a frightened deer.
He throws in another dynamite stick, then slowly trundles along, picking up the stunned fish. We watch over the starboard side as he leans away from us over the port side, and then he yells, and is (we’re guessing) pulled over the side. His boat, now empty, rocks. (This begins a tradition in this film of the audience having to second guess what’s going on, or what just happened.)
And we get a very quick glimpse of an old hermit lady looking upon this scenario. She then runs away, and we start our opening credits. They’re window-boxed in a bright blue frame. As we see the names of our stars, Gloria De Haven, Aldo Ray, and Marshall Thompson, we hear this really lame ballad, the kind that would introduce a boring sitcom of some kind. “Walk with me, hand in hand, endlessly.” We have an aerial shot of a bunch of water-skiers. “Tonight will live forever, in our minds.” Guest star: Leo Gordon. Who? If you’re thinking the Bowery Boys, think again, as that was Leo GORCEY. “Hold me, soft and warm, as a summer’s breeze.” We now fly over the quaint little town, which looks like a touristy place where people go to enjoy the beach. “And show me, love me, one more time.”
Then we get our title, BOG, written in the worst font I’ve ever seen. Honestly, it looks like someone tried to write it on a piece of glass using ice cream. If you didn’t know the title, you’d think someone spilled something bad on the film. And you might be right.
Then we see some more co-stars, none of whom I’ve ever heard of so who cares. Actually, we seem to be following some station wagon with various camping things piled up on top. “Your kisses stir feelings, I’ve left long inside. Waiting for someone to set free.” The station wagon leaves town and drives on a highway along the woods. “We’re closer now, baby, oh, than we’ve ever been before. Guess this is love, it’s plain to see.” And we get the really weird credit, “Director of Cinematography WINGS.” Since we’ve been using lots of aerial shots here, this could be a firm that specializes in same and decided to branch out into ground photography, but the credit “Director” seems to imply a single person. Well, whatever. “Walk with me, hand in hand, endlessly. Tonight will live forever, in our minds. Hold me, soft and warm, as a summer breeze. And show me, that you love me, one more time.” And finally our director, Don Keeslar. “And show me that you love me, one more time.”
And finally the station wagon pulls into a campground type place. The song ends, and two guys get out, followed by wives, and the guys practically work themselves into an orgasm telling each other how great something they’re seeing just off-screen left is. They go on and on about it, honestly, and we finally see…it’s a lake. Or, one suppose, a bog. And I’m sure it’s nice and stuff, but really, you’d think these guys were Fremen the way they go on about this water. One guy says this water probably has muskies “that can eat my whole entire body.” He notes that “You know, that Grant wasn’t lyin’, no he wasn’t!”
His wife acerbically notes, “Lyin’? Grant’s lyin’ in his tomb, dummy!” And while the two guys look at each other like “Wives, who can figure them” and drink beer, the two ladies wander off to look at the bog. One of them, the cuter of the two (if one squints), thinks it’s really pretty and takes photos. The other, who is more bitchy, follows along as they go closer to the water’s edge.
There, they find the Dynamite Redneck’s boat, and they’re damn put out that there actually are other humans nearby. Squint-And-She’s-Cute puts her camera down the front of her tube top. “Leave it to those guys to drag us out to a VFW convention,” Bitchy bitches enigmatically.
Squint-Cute calls out to the Beer Lads, saying that “We’ve got company,” and the Beer Lads come to see what’s what. “Hope it spoils their whole damn day,” Bitchy mutters. “Especially their thirst.” Squint-Cute thinks this is funny.
Well, the Beer Lads are overjoyed to find this boat, complete with fishing tackle, thinking there is some swell benefactor out there who left this just for them. “Aside from the guy who owns this boat, this lake ain’t seen action in years!” one of them notes, while the other appends that their wives may force the same circumstances on them. So they decide to set up camp before it gets dark.
We’re denied the thrilling set-up-the-tent scene, though, as we follow some new redneck guy stumbling through the underbrush, calling out for “Arianna.” The cricket noise tells us this is night-time, now. He goes to some sub-shack structure, and goes inside, saying, “I saw it, I saw it!”
But never mind that, we cut to the Beer Lads and the wives, and they’re drinking heavily and stuff. Bitchy tells the guys they’re “really a drag” and she’s told to lighten up. It’s mentioned by one Beer Lad that the women won’t be happy unless they’re inside Saks Fifth Avenue. Which I always thought was a very expensive store, but maybe just being inside is a thrill for female rednecks. The women complain that it is not a lot of fun watching the men drink beer. One asks if it’s time to turn out the lights, so to speak, and it turns out the answer is yes. More attempts at comedy commence, though I should note in the interest of honesty that the banter here isn’t bad. I mean, they all sounds like genuine rednecks making jokes and stuff, the actors are pretty believable. It’s not terribly interesting but it doesn’t sound forced and stiff.
As the women retire to sleep in the car, the following exchange takes place between the Beer Lads.
”I’ve got an idea.”
”Works like a champ every time.”
”Lay it on me.”
”I’ll take the brown sleeping bag, you take the green one.”
”We haven’t got a brown one.”
And on that enigmatic note, we slowly zoom toward the surface of the bog. We fade to black, then fade in the next morning on redneck banter as the fishing is about to commence. One couple takes the boat, the other traipses through the brush. Bitchy notes how she needs an ax to cut through the undergrowth, prompting this response from the (off-screen) Beer Lad 1: “Ax me no questions, slave-person; I lead, and you follow. Yo!” This is done in faux W. C. Fields voice. I wasn’t fooled, though.
On the boat, Rapidly Becoming Less Cute is complaining about the boat trip. Beer Lad 2 asks for another beer, and we get a quick POV shot underwater from something swimming along rapidly. Something rocks the boat, and RBL Cute screams, while Beer Lad 2 thinks this is a big muskie like he was talking about. He hoves to with his rod.
Elsewhere, the other two are on the bank noting the scream, but figuring it isn’t anything to worry about. He wants to try his luck further down the riverside, and she’s in full bitchy mode. He tries to be soothing, and she admits she just doesn’t like it around these parts. He says he’ll make it up to her, and she says he sure will, he’s going to take both her AND her mother out to dinner. He agrees to this.
This next bit is pretty, uh…tightly edited. On the boat, RBL Cute is still complaining, and there’s a rapid insert of a POV attacking Bitchy. She screams, RBL Cute and Beer Lad 2 note the scream, and go on in to help. Then, apparently, the boat was overturned and both RBL Cute and Beer Lad 2 were tossed into the drink. Unless this is still Bitchy underwater, it’s all confusingly put together. We see a claw-like limb on someone’s forearm, then we cut to Beer Lad 1, reacting to the scream.
He runs around, grabbing stuff without purpose, while elsewhere we see that the boat has NOT been overturned and RBL Cute and Beer Lad 2 are paddling like, well, semi-mad to get to shore and, you know, help out. Beer Lad 1 finds something like a stick which seems to say, “Oh tragedy!” but he discards this and runs on. And the boat lands.
The three dullards meet up with one another, Beer Lad 1 avers how he searched the campsite and everything, but no Bitchy to be found anywhere. Beer Lad 2 suggests Beer Lad 1 search “over there” while he himself will search “over there” and RBL Cute will get herself to the car and lock herself in.
The Beer Lads run through the shrubbery yelling “Hey!” but this seems to be a futile exercise. RBL Cute runs to the station wagon and finds it…locked! And there’s some heavy breathing on the soundtrack! She screams and we get a close up of her mouth and the film goes red--
--and we cut to the police station. There, a white-haired guy who MIGHT be Marshall Thompson, and a cop who MIGHT be Aldo Ray, are talking about the Beer Lads, who stand in the background, looking much less interesting now that they are sober. White-Hair tells the two that he’s sure sorry about their wives, and Cop says he has “twenty-five guys” out there looking for the two females.
The questioning of the Beer Lads proceeds. Beer Lad 2 notes how the boat struck a powerful thing which was, well, powerful and stuff. When asked about the boat, Cop interrupts by saying that it belonged to a poacher named Potter that he, Cop, says he’s been “after for years, he uses a DuPont lure for his fish.”
He’s asked, What? And Cop clarifies, “Dynamite.”
And we cut to some sort of, um, forested glade, I guess, with several folks walking along it. As if choreographed, they step off the road into the foliage. The music tries to tell us this is worrisome, but it fails pretty much. More traipsing through foliage, without finding much of anything. Finally, intercut with a police car on a road somewhere, they find the ruins of the tent. Will they find the brown sleeping bag? Who knows. The police car pulls up to pretty obviously dubbed crowd-consternation noises.
And the cops take over. They march along the bog fringe. And they too go into the foliage. And they find RBL Cute, now dead, along with a helpful musical sting. And the drowned Bitchy, too.
Well, so much terror can’t be allowed to take its toll on us, lest the film-makers be sued, so we cut to Gray Hair and Cop talking about the discovery of the bodies. “Ginny” will be along soon to confirm stuff, she being a coroner and all, but the two blokes can’t resists sharing details. Cop tells us that the two ladies were found as if all prepared for embalming, except for the lack of embalming fluid. Also, they were nearly drained of blood, though no one can figure out how as there were no significant wounds.
Well, “Ginny” shows up just then to, with luck, dispel these fearsome queries. She says she knows how, but not who. Just then, the Beer Lads show up and they have to be prevented from seeing the wives, so some deputy type tries his best to dissuade them. This proves to be surprisingly easy. Defeated, the Beer Lads go to get some bottles of liquor drinks.
There’s a quick shot of vague shapes in the woods. Okay then. Glad we got some vague shapes worked in. Now, it’s back to Ginny, Gray and Cop. Cop says, “It makes me mad, two young lives, wasted like that!”
Gray wonders what could have done such a thing, but Cop has zero patience for these “questions” he hates. He goes to leave to assign more deputies, “just in case,” adding, “Boy do I hate that this thing has happened, and I doubly hate it because it happened in my county!”
Everyone promises to keep in touch about developments and all. “He’s blaming himself,” Gray says. Ginny offers that, due to the nature of the wounds, “it wasn’t anything human.”
Gray puzzles over this, describing it as “something sharp, thrust down the throat, into the thorax and into the aorta.”
Um, unless I’ve been too long from the warm bosom of science, I don’t think people have a thorax.
Anyway, Ginny says that the blood was completely drained from the two ladies, so they know how, but not why. Wow, that’s…not quite an echo. Sorry.
”With the proper instruments I could duplicate the extractive process,” Gray offers, adding, “but I can’t imagine why anyone would want to!” Me neither, it sounds creepy.
Ginny offers the following incoherent little speech. “For food? No.” She shakes her head, then smiles. “Yes! Well, what I mean is, why else would it--. Brad don’t look at me that way. And don’t think I’m crazy. But, could we have a…Dracula…running loose out there?”
Gray thinks this is so heavy, a musical sting escapes and pops off.
Cut to some deputy by a cop car. He’s calling in something, probably his latest stool sample, and we get some growling on the soundtrack. We pan the trees pretty needlessly for a moment or two, then cut to the deputy, getting out his gun, but being attacked by a POV shot and screaming. He hates paparazzi. Fair enough, the POV hates coparazzi.
And we cut then to Beer Lad 1, loading up a gun and looking sad about not having Bitchy anymore. He asks the gun shop owner, for aye, that is where they are, for the biggest gun ever, and the gun shop owner explains some of his wares while saddish harmonica music plays. Gun shop owner offers a gun that would kill “a damn whale” and he asks if the Beer Lads “live in this state?”
”What the hell difference does that make?” asks one of them in a pretty rude tone.
”Well, you have to be a Resident, or I can’t sell you anything at all, that’s a federal law.”
Beer Lad 1 allows how this is “a bunch of crap” and Beer Lad 2 is perilously close to vomiting from the look of things. (They may have found their beer limit.)
”Gentlemen, I can be of some help!” says an Indian accented voice from off-screen. The Gun Shop Owner wants “Wallace Fry” to amscray, but this Fry guy wants to help the Beer Lads.
And he ambles on to the set, and it is the redneck who called out for Arianna earlier in the movie. He says he can tell the Beer Lads whatever they want to know for a price, and they think this is okay but really want to buy some guns first with their money before spending it on rednecks who are from India. Really, that is their foundation for money spending and good luck to you if you hope to change it. It does seem, to these ears anyway, that they are pretty upset about losing their wives and intend to do a lot of shooting to make up for this loss. Sometimes this works.
One supposes, then, that they are aware that there is a monster in the bog. Or that they are in a movie, and in movies, people shoot things. Ask anyone! Except Wallace Fry, he charges too much.
The two Beer Lads still want to buy guns and are willing to pay $300 for them, but then some deputy says this seems a bit fishy to him and he wonders what the sheriff might think on all this nonsense. His very 70’s face, complete with mustache, gets a big closeup.
And we cut to the lab with Ginny and Gray. She finds something interesting in the microscope, and he goes to look. We don’t get to see, since it’s only “chitinous exoskeleton” but it’s organic “for sure” according to Ginny. “Could be integument, bits of a carapace—“ She stops herself. “That makes absolutely no sense!”
”So what does make sense?” Gray says wearily.
Ginny says that “the substance was found deeply imbedded in the hyoid process.” She thinks this means this crap was thrust into the dead ladies with “tremendous force.”
Gray requests confirmation that this means the chitinous stuff was what was used to extract the blood, and despite the fact that chitin is produced by organic means, she nods her assent. They fret about what it all means. “It wasn’t a human being who took those lives,” she says.
He wonders if she can prove it. In the background, I should note, is a poster of the Moon. She wants to go to some place where they have an electron microscope, and Gray notes he has “the fastest cab” so they’re off, after she can make some calls to make sure it’s okay. Jus then, the Sheriff comes in and notes that his deputy is dead from that scene when he died, a while ago. The music is sad but I don’t think anyone else is, really.
They all look like they’ve detected an embarrassing personal problem, each, and we fade to the Indian Redneck and the Beer Lads going through the woods, and never letting up on the banter. Now, they’re talking about how large the mosquitoes are, how they are big enough to carry their guns for them. Now, the thing is, this would be okay earlier when their wives were alive and they were macho drunks out to prove their manly drunkenness. Here, it rings pretty false. Especially the laughing at each “witticism.”
They all stop to rest, the Beer Lads each have a can in hand, of course. Yeah, if you’re going to seek vengeance, beer is a good thing to stock up on. Indian Redneck insists it is just a “little bit further” and they all run off, though the Beer Lads are wondering where this is leading.
Cut to the gun store, where the 70’s cop is asking the Gun Store Guy where the Beer Lads might have gone off to. Gun Store Guy notes the guns and ammo the two carted off with them, and it does sound an impressive amount. Mr. Seventies is all a-twitter over this. But who cares? We’re cutting away!
We cut to Gray and Ginny walking down some corridor, no doubt to use an exciting and thrilling electron microscope. He goes to call someone, and it turns out the two have a “relationship.” And we cut back to the Beer Lads.
They come to some entrance, which they don’t like, as “it looks too much like a tomb.”
”Come on, gentlemen, there’s--there’s no harm here, come on,” says the Indian Redneck. This manages to convince both of them, and they go through a canvas door into what turns out to be Arianna’s home. Indian Redneck goes on about how she’s “a friend, my friend and your friend, she can explain many things.”
And Arianna, here pronounced Adrianna, appears, and she says she knows many things, like pain, sorrow, and what happened at the lake. Well, the Beer Lads want to know this last part particularly. “Peace, peace,” she says. “You will know, I will tell you, in time, in time.” This sounds distinctly unhelpful, and the Beer Lads insist on more concrete information.
”It is known by many names,” the old gray haired lady says, and I really hope she’s going to say, “Hubert. Bobby. Buford!” Instead, she says something like “Namit,” “Whadna” and “Crag” which sound like stereo systems to me. Sheesh, lady, put up a PayPal notice if you want money to buy stereos! “Many names. Ancient, long dead. Through all the centuries, but alive. It feasts on blood, while awake, and once satisfied, it sleeps. Years before, it could sleep. A thousand months. Now, too many come deep into the forest and arouse it. So it must feed again.”
The Beer Lads ask where it sleeps, and she says “In the slime in the bottom of the lake.”
The Beer Lads seize on this. “Kim and I, in the boat, we woke it up!”
”No,” the old exposition device says. “It was awakened before you came.”
The Beer Lads figure the original owner of the boat is the one responsible, then. Indian Redneck says he saw the guy, and knew he was going to be killed, he surely did.
One Beer Lad says there should be warnings about awakening swamp monsters.
Adrianna has a reasonable response to this: ”And who would believe the old hag of the woods?”
Suddenly, there are monster noises (actually, it sounds like an outboard motor with bad engine problems). Adrianna urges calm, but Indian Redneck panics and runs outside the hovel. The noise starts to sound like a weak chainsaw, and Indian Redneck yells.
Cut to Gray and the Sheriff talking about stuff, weed-whackers or chimps on bicycles or maybe even balloons full of oil. Let’s listen.
”I don’t think I understand, doc,” says Sheriff. Heck, it’s easy. The chimp rides on a bike. It’s just that simple.
Actually, Gray doesn’t talk about anything so entertaining. He mentions how the sharp pointy thing went down the dead woman’s throat and it was ORGANIC (higher priced) so it was some kind of unknown creature who did this thing.
Sheriff looks through the curtains. “Doc, what the hell do we have out there?”
”I haven’t the vaguest idea, but it’s there, whether we like it or not.”
Gray says it’s time to go eat dinner with Ginny, and Sheriff wonders how anyone could eat dinner at a time like this. We don’t get to hear the fascinating response, though, as we cut back to Adrianna. “Come not again tonight,” she says, and we fade to see some vague form slipping through the woods. Telepathically, she tells the vague shadow to rest in the swamp, “for you will be tested soon.” Cut to the fogbound lake. “And contemplate your escape from those who hound you.” Cut to underwater. “Rest, and let the untroubled eons seep through your clouded mind.” Sounds like great advice for anyone, Adrianna, but are there complicated forms to sign or pills that taste bad? “Rest,” she answers as we fade to black.
Fade in on the Sheriff downing a stiff one. Ooo, ooh! I’ll have what he’s having. “Maybe I’m dense, but what kind of thing would have a hypodeemic [sic] nerdle [sic] for a mouth?” he asks, and then slurrily corrects his punctuation.
We cut to see Ginny on the couch. Gray is there too, though he looks like a cadaver and is hidden in shadow. Ginny tells us that many kinds of insects and spiders puncture their victims and suck out the juices. She takes a slug of wine. Sheriff notes how bugs the size of people are hard to imagine, and how he’d like to get help if anyone would believe him.
In a pretty funny bit of mismatched footage, Ginny’s lips are seen moving while Gray’s voice comes out. It’s like Singing in the Rain, only, you know, not as good. “Not until we can produce whatever this is,” um, they say.
”I wonder if anybody’s ever going to believe what’s going on up here,” Sheriff, uh, wonders.
Ginny gives him a long look. “Some do for sure, Neil.” In response to Sheriff’s questioning, she goes on. “I’m talking about those people in the morgue.” Er, I hate to point this out, but they’re dead so they don’t believe much of anything right now.
Anyway, Sheriff leaves, Gray freshens Ginny’s wine, and the song starts playing again. Gray takes this as the opportunity to confess his love. It’s way stretched out and awkwardly done than this, but that’s the gist and since it involves no monsters (except the Monster of Love) I’m giving it short shrift. It turns out she loves him too, and they kiss. The song goes way up in volume. And there’s more kissing, and more. “Tonight will live forever” and this scene is sure lasting forever. And it’s almost going into like, semi-porno almost. Giant close ups of faces and swooning and stuff and stuff. Finally, it ends.
And we cut to Deputy 70s, who yells into the phone, “Well, damn it, did you take a look around?” He gets an answer which calms him, and says, “Well, I don’t blame you, with what’s been going on.” Just then the Sheriff walks in, and Deputy 70s tells him that someone found an abandoned car with the windshield smashed in. Sheriff notes that the area is right near the lake, so he wants all officers to meet him there.
And we cut to Gray and Ginny, talking with the Beer Lads. They’re recounting their meeting with Adrianna, how she told them the thing sleeps in the slime at the bottom of the lake. She didn’t tell them what it looks like, though. And that’s all they know, so Gray tells them to get breakfast for themselves, and tells them that’s his “prescription” for them. They leave, muttering.
Gray and Ginny seem to think this vague second-hand story backs up their own vague second-hand theory. Gray points out they still know nothing about the creature, not even “how to knock it out.” They leave the shot, and we cut to…a floor lamp. Wow.
Gray and Ginny are repeating the Beer Lads’ tale to the Sheriff. Boy, there is one heck of a lot of talk in this movie. Lots of repetitive talk. Just then, the Beer Lads walk in, and they want to know what Sheriff is going to do about the Thing in the Lake.
He’s pretty ticked off, and tells them that they’re going to “set off a charge” in the lake, which will make anything in the lake “float up, dead.” Gray thinks this sounds drastic, and Ginny advises caution in such an endeavor. The Beer Lads are all sarcastic about this suggestion of caution, since having lost their wives they’re in a bad mood and they don’t care about caution.
And we cut to Adrianna, in grainy night footage. “Full circle, half ended, rounding tips of time. Broken, mended, mended broken. Breaths of stone. No blood, but all blood. The silence of screams.” Well, thanks, that tells me a lot. She hears something (the sound is pretty crappy here) and turns, and says something else, and we zoom in on her really bad makeup job. Looks like someone dipped her face in glue and made her roll around in fine sawdust. And we can hear that the other noise is a monster noise. She seems pretty pleased.
Cut to the next day, where Sheriff (on the shore) is watching Deputy 70s (in a boat) put “a block of the new RDX” in the water. The Beer Lads show up to watch. Sheriff goes to help Deputy 70s out of the boat, and almost falls on his rear. Retakes are for wimps!
And Sheriff unspools the detonator wire. He then detonates the charge, by putting the two wires on his car battery. And there’s a huge explosion in the middle of the lake. We zoom right into the Sheriff’s nose. He’s well satisfied at a job well done. No bodies or anything, but heck, there was a big explosion, what more would anyone want? He and Deputy 70s leave. The Beer Lads remain, bemused by it all. They think something’s still in the lake and rue that no one believes them.
Inside the departing cop car, they hear gunshots from where they left the Beer Lads and race back to find…nothing. Well, Deputy 70s scrambles down the bank to the lake, and Sheriff spots something. He shouts, “Look, look, look!” in the same way you’d try to get a kid to look at something like an elephant that was passing by, knowing that by the time the kid looked, it would be gone and the kid would say, “…what?”
Well, what Sheriff sees is a claw dragging one of the Beer Lads beneath the lake surface by the arm. (We see the claw and the arm, barely above the water.) Deputy 70s finds some bloody clothing on the shore. Sheriff calls the station to get reinforcements, and while he does, someone off-screen yells in agony. This makes Sheriff pretty mad, and he pounds the roof of the car.
Cut to Deputy 70s, carrying a jar of dank water to Gray and Ginny. They all regret what happened to…the other Deputy 70s. Okay, the guy in the boat was another guy, who just happened to have black hair and a mustache like this first guy. Oh well. The 70s were a long decade. This guy talks about how everyone there had a huge amount of firepower, but it didn’t do any good against the creature (which none of them have seen). Ginny raises a dumb objection (Maybe nobody hit the thing squarely) and is told no way, everyone had big guns and you don’t miss if you’re shooting with big guns. Just then, Sheriff calls.
He wants Deputy 70s to come back to the office. Fortunately, it appears to be just down the hall from Ginny’s. (Small town.) He calls someone named Terry and asks for some help retrieving some drowned bodies. He then tells Deputy 70s to close off every access to the lake and make sure no one is in there. Except the monster I guess, that is left unsaid. He also tells him to get Adrianna out of there too.
Deputy 70s asks what he’s supposed to tell “the gentry” and Sheriff says to tell them, if they don’t like this, they don’t have to vote for him. I hope you didn’t laugh so hard at this joke that you broke something.
Cut to Ginny looking through a microscope at some of the crap Deputy 70s brought in the bottle. “That’s strange,” she says.
She takes a sample and mixes it in a measuring class. “So is that,” Gray observes. Uh, okay then. He mentions that the reaction keeps changing, and they speculate on why this is. They note that one characteristic of the substance is that it stops blood from clotting, and the function of this puzzles them.
Um, hello? It’s a creature that drinks blood. Most creatures who do so have anti-coagulants in their saliva. I know this, and I’m not even a scientist.
They eventually do come to this conclusion, comparing the creature to a mosquito. Ginny says, “A mosquito leaves you with an itch. Our mystery monster is far more sinister.”
”Yeah, that’s an understatement,” Gray mutters. She returns her gaze to the microscope and apparently spots something. They talk some more about this, and come to the conclusion that the creature is one big cancerous mass. Look, film-makers, do you really need to pile it on like this? What’s next, the creature is radioactive? And it’s from the future? Well, anyway, Ginny laments that she doesn’t have the equipment to do “a definitive test.”
One weird thing to notice about this film is that most if not all of the shots seem to end on a split-second freeze-frame, like someone left the optical printer on too long. It gets pretty distracting, especially since the actual story on screen isn’t terribly interesting.
They speculate some more. It’s not all that interesting. She’s going to look at another slide. More science talk. They talk about metals—somehow this creature has a metallic component. Yeah, but is it metal from the future? If you’ve seen Beverly Crusher and Geordi LaForge yammer away, you’ve got a good idea of the way this chat unfolds.
And having accomplished nothing but making talk and coming to no conclusions whatsoever, we leave this scene to see a police car racing along the highway. And it keeps going. Good, good. Glad to see that the hideous happenings haven’t destroyed the power of the internal combustion engine, unlike when Zontar attacked.
And two more Deputy 70s (or their clones) are walking through the woods, looking for something which one of them says is “a sight for sore eyes.” Can’t be this movie, then. Eventually, one clambers through Adrianna’s shack’s door, and then comes out again, saying he found “nothing but a pile of junk. You oughta take a look in there, you won’t believe it.” These statements seem contradictory, one claiming that the interior is uninteresting, then suggesting that the second Deputy 70s “won’t believe” this uninteresting interior. Such is the rich philosophical world of Bog that keeps us all yawning. I mean, watching.
Anyway, Deputy 70s tells his clone that Adrianna sleeps on a pile of old fish skins, and this is a description, not an insult. I’d also like to point out that Adrianna’s shack must have a pretty good stereo, as for the two seconds the deputy was inside, this low, ominous ambient noise was playing. As soon as he stepped out, it stopped. This noise plays whenever Adriana is around, so she must have an iPod full of it as well.
Anyway, enough speculation; the two Deputy 70s decide to see if Adriana is “wandering around” in the vicinity. This development is quickly cut away from, though, as we are now inside someone’s SUV as it ambles through the town. Eventually, it parks behind the sheriff’s car, and the two folks inside introduce themselves to the sheriff. Well, he already knew the black guy, but the seedy looking guy is a new face, and intros are made all around. The black guy talks incredibly slowly.
It seems these two are here to search the lake, or drag the lake, or whatever might have been decided several decades ago when this film was unspooling earlier. There’s a lot of unnecessary talk (sheriff asks if they’ve got all the equipment they need, they assure him they do) which is pretty much par for this movie. And the sheriff invites them into the police station, saying, “Come on in, I’ll give ya….a short one, and tell…ya what the score is.”
”Okay, all right, that sounds good,” says the black guy, who I think is named Terry and that’s good enough for me. A strange shot follows, as Terry and Seedy both get out of the driver’s side door, and the cameraman follows everyone from the back seat as they go inside. It almost looks like they forgot someone. Or maybe this is the Labrador retriever in the back seat, watching them go, patiently waiting for them to return with treats.
As the shot goes on, we get to see every step of the way, aren’t we lucky! That was a rhetorical question, yes.
Cut to the road block, where one of the 70s clones is explaining the lake closing to a motorist…while behind them, two bicyclists turn and take the path to the lake. The camera even follows them, as if saying, “You dummy, Deputy 70s!” and it also is saying something nasty to me. Something about watching this stupid movie when I could be organizing my sock drawer…say, that sounds like fun. See you later!
Well, where were we? We were noticing how some cyclists were scoffing at Deputy 70s ineffectiveness. A musical sting shows the cyclists riding away. And we cut back to the lab, where we last left Gray and Ginny techobabbling. Gray is at it again, saying, “Animal, mineral, mineral, animal” and expressing his confusion.
”These are mucous producing cells,” Ginny says, “with a crystal shape!”
”Oh, my gosh,” Gray says in alarm, before going on in a more Zen direction. “Yin and yang, hot and cold, positive and negative! It’s a contradiction! An absolute, logical inconsistency.”
”And right in front of our eyes,” Ginny says, busting his balloon. “You know what crazy thing was running through my mind?” she asks, and I hope we’re not going to get another love scene. “Living fossil. Breathing stone. Mineralized tissue. And slimy!” Hey, Adrianna mentioned something about “breaths of stone”! Maybe we’re finally getting somewhere. Of course, I say thinks like that too, when I’m drunk.
”That’s strange,” Gray offers, “but every time I look out at those bogs, those glacial lakes, I can’t help but think, fifteen thousand years ago, they were covered with ice.” We cut to a shot of the very, erm, bog in question (actually it’s a pretty lake). I thought the Ice Age was further away than that, but not knowing for sure, I’ll cut a medium slice of slack. Anyway, he goes on, saying that the ice started thawing ten thousand years ago, and wondering what sort of life forms “could have existed those millions of years ago” and been trapped in the ice, waiting for a thaw.
Let’s leave alone the fact that there’s rather a bit of difference between “millions of years” and “fifteen thousand” (if you doubt me, ask which amount of dollars you’d rather have). Thousands of years, millions of years, what’s the difference? It’s all longer than five minutes, so who can be precise when confronted by such vast expanses of time. Instead, I’d like to point out that if the “bog” started thawing thousands of years ago, why’s the monster just now deciding it’s hungry?
Gray has no interest in this, and neither do the film-makers as we cut to those cycling scofflaws. They’re both ladies, and they find a suitable spot for their picnic (or whatever). They also find…a dead body! They scream, and one rides away while the other isn’t so lucky, and we get another quick glimpse of the monster. Actually, it’s quick flashes of green, crustacean like shell, and…but we cut away again, to Terry and Seedy in their boat, preparing to search the lake for the bodies. (It’s a lake, it’s not a bog.)
There’s lots of dull talk back and forth between Terry and Sheriff. Mostly along the lines of “Go that way,” “Okay,” and other scintillating bits that showed the screenwriter earning his money the hard way (by typing). Gray and Ginny show up and wonder what’s going on, and Sheriff explains how they’re searching for something (he doesn’t know what).
I have to break in here and say it’s really considerate of the director to realize that his audience is going to be constantly drowsing, and to insert this endless repetition so when one fitfully wakes, one will know what’s going on and thus be drawn ever inward to the world of Bog. Before one dozes off again, natch.
Well, we see Terry and Seedy scuba diving in the lake. Then, we see Terry and Seedy scuba diving in the lake. After that, we see Terry and Seedy scuba diving in the lake. The divers are equipped with both air tanks and snorkels, though the snorkels are oriented so that they’re filling up with slimy lake (bog) water. And Terry and Seedy are scuba diving in the lake. Mandrake gestures hypnotically. Lather, rinse, repeat.
One of them finds a cluster of amphibian eggs, the size of regular chicken eggs. He picks up this cluster and holds his speargun on it in case they start hatching and are rowdy.
Adriana, by the way, has her sound system installed under the lake if you’re interested, because the same ambient noise plays throughout the underwater scenes. Terry dumps the slimy egg cluster on the boat. We get a very brief shot of them, and they look like a pretty good special effect, to be honest. But Terry yells for the sheriff to pull them all in, quickly. Not sure why he’s panicking like this, but Ginny knows—she says there’s something in the water behind them, and sure enough, Seedy (who never got a dinner) is pulled under by a clawed arm (again, very quickly shot, so quickly you might question whether DVD technology is a blessing or a curse). We see Seedy tumble around a lot, and Terry goes in to try a rescue, but a clawed hand pulls his mask off.
We cut to the shore, where Gray tells Sheriff not to pull in the boat yet, “they may need it!”
”They’ll never need it, or anything else for that matter,” Sheriff’s (offscreen cynical) voice says. Boy, he sure gives up quick. I guess trying to rescue people cuts into beer time or something. And he hauls in the boat, and we cut back to the lab, where Ginny is pronouncing that the eggs are “definitely some sort of a reproductive organism.” Isn’t that one of the definitions of an organism, that it reproduces? Wish I hadn’t slept through all those science classes…and maybe I wouldn’t have, if they’d shown Bog!
…what am I saying? I’d probably still be asleep. So asleep, I’d be entombed, with a bunch of priests and stuff, and awaiting my resurrection in some other movie.
Uh, yup. Well, one of the many clones of Deputy 70s shows up, and he announces the death of the one cyclist (they “got past the roadblock on a bike” and plus because the Deputy clones are stupid) but he says that as a bonus scene, the surviving Bike Chick managed to get a sketch of the attacking creature. Ginny and Gray are totally wanting to see this sketch.
So we cut to the Sheriff’s office, where he hands over the sketch, though not before noting that he thinks the Surviving Bike Chick was “on angel dust.” Yeah, sure, Sheriff. You just saw two divers pulled to their deaths, but…oh, never mind, I can’t make myself care!
They all discuss the sketch without, of course, showing it to us. “It has kind of an aquatic look to it, too,” Ginny notes, making me want to smack her. Everyone it has killed has been in or near the water, you twit! How else should it look?
Drinks are passed around (this is not me making stuff up). In the lab, we hear glass break and the shadow of two arms with claws pass along the wall. These claws awkwardly pick up the egg cluster.
But who cares about that? (Shut up, shut up!) We cut to the local gun store, where business is bad because no one wants to go out after dark…uh, sure, that makes sense. One of the Deputy 70s shows up to buy some ammo while the “Walk With Me” song plays on the soundtrack. I might mention the soundtrack, but only to note that the entire dialogue of this movie is small talk so who cares. Not me. It’s like all the actors showed up for filming and they had no dialogue, so the director said, “Oh, hell, I don’t care, just make stuff up! Remember to mention the monster.”
Deputy 70s figures something is up, and everyone in the store admits they’re planning to go out and kill the monster. Deputy 70s says they’re all crazy, and after he leaves they all have second thoughts. Damn this stupid movie.
Gray and Ginny discover that the creature stole back its eggs. So they figure they know enough now to try and catch and kill it. Oh, good. They tell the Sheriff that, since the monster likes blood, they’re going to set up a machine, a “scent generator,” that creates the smell of blood (uhm) so they can lure it wherever they want to lure it. Sounds simple? Sure! Sounds stupid? Darn right! Sheriff allows how they can use this swell poison he’s heard tell about which will totally kill anything. And they decide tomorrow morning is a good time to test all this crap.
Sheriff goes off to grab some volunteers, and Gray and Ginny go into the storeroom to look for useful trash. She calls him “Dr. Wednesday,” so I guess his name is Gray Wednesday. Anything I might say is pretty dark weak next to that. Oh…wait. I named him Gray, because of his hair! Gosh I am silly. His real name was Brad. Yes, that’s it.
The two of them continue to poke around, but despite Gray’s leering suggestion, they only poke for trash. Turns out, by the way, that the “scent generator” is just a vague concept rather than a functioning piece of equipment, but who ever let that sort of trivial detail stop themselves from killing bog monsters? They’ve got until morning to invent one, anyway.
Elsewhere, a bunch of rednecks show up at police headquarters and say, “About this creature at the lake. We feel it’s time something be done.” Well, Sheriff avers how he has a swell plan for everyone to be involved, and he tells them to come back at 6AM. One of them asks what they’re supposed to do then, and he says, “Very good then, come back at 6AM.” Completely cowed by this display of law enforcement prowess, they shuffle off and promise to return.
The next day, a fire truck races along the forest road, sporting the most anemic siren I’ve ever heard. And other people are driving through the forest road, and all the volunteers are grabbing equipment and running through the trees carrying hoses, because…um, well. I’m sure there’s a good reason. Gray and Ginny show up, and the “scent generator” is deployed. It shoots out some orange smoke, and everyone complains about how bad it smells.
It sure seems to smell good enough for our menace, though, as it (in shadow) pokes its head out of the lake. Sheriff sees this, gets his gun out and runs off to do a little shooting.
The sight of the Sheriff doing this sends Ginny over the edge. “Neal! Neal! No, not that way, Neal! My God, Neal!” I guess “Neal” is Sheriff’s name, wow, who would have thought that? Anyway, he’s running through the “blood cloud” to get vengeance for some perceived grievance. I guess the deaths of all those clones. And he runs right into the monster, who is onscreen for only a few blurry frames. I hate to say this, but Zontar looked more convincing. Anyway, Sheriff dies and Aldo Ray cashes his paycheck.
And everyone points whatever weapons they have at the emerging monster, who is still blurry and looks more like a muppet than anything else. Adrianna runs up while yelling to the thing, “Go back, go back, it’s a trap!” until she runs into something invisible that drops her like a frozen brick.
Well, Mr. Bog seems to take this as an insult, so he advances some more, waving his awkward arms and letting us get a look at his giant googly eyes. Our suspension of disbelief snaps back and stings us a good one. Some folks next to the fire truck unleash their hoses and spray deadly foam on the monster, which, thank the Maker, also helps to obscure the Bog Monster costume.
Well, the foam proves to be too much, and the monster collapses under its weight. Or because the director yelled something personal, and the monster collapsed in embarrassment, I couldn’t hear. So Gray tells everyone to wrap the monster up in a net or two, so they can get it to the “institute” and study the effect of monsters on killing irritating people. Like, how irritating is too irritating? And how about annoying, does that count? Anyway, they get it all wrapped up and into some truck.
Cut to some nondescript place with Ginny and Gray amid the concrete blocks, and they’re glad that “John” is coming to take a look, but sad that Sheriff is dead. They wonder why he ran off to fight the silly monster (we see footage of Sheriff all gray-bluish faced, like dead, being taken out of the lake). Gray says it was because Sheriff was a man of action and he just had to go wrassle with this creature from a frozen world, despite the fact that it killed dozens. The word “stupidity” does occur, but out of respect for Aldo Ray I won’t use that word. He might have been tired of being in the movie, too. Gray and Ginny admit they miss him.
Cut to a hydroplane landing, and Gray and Ginny are meeting it as it slooooooowly trundles to the dock. Yessir, wouldn’t want to cheat us out of a single second of this exciting footage, would we? That is another rhetorical question. Someone needs to slap me. Only not hard like last time.
Well, the hydroplane disgorges one John, and they’re all glad to meet him. I yawned when this happened. We do get to see a lot of John getting out of the plane, and paying the pilot. This is stuff you just never get to see in a regular movie (for good reason, of course). John is kind of like Brian Dennehy, except without much talent or charisma or dancing shoes or whatever folks associate with Brian Dennehy.
John, it seems, is an ichthyologist, and he thinks the bog might have a lot of swell undiscovered stuff, but in the meantime he’s going to examine the bog monster and decide whether or not it is a fish. This is extremely important, you know. It might be unsafe to eat it on a Friday if you were Catholic. Even lapsed it might be bad. Oh, wait, that’s all wrong. It would be safe to eat on Friday. If it was a beef monster, then you couldn’t have it on Friday. Sorry for the confusion, my new book makes it all clear. Only $19.95, order today!
Cut to the lab, where the monster is still in a net and being bathed by streams of water. John wonders about Adrianna, why she wasn’t killed and drained of blood, and Ginny produces a convenient report, that says (in a much longer way) that Adriana and the creature share some genetic characteristics. No one knows what to make of this. I think it is dumb, you might recall parts of the creature were made of metal, while Adriana was wooden…in her acting, ha! Ginny wants to get some more samples so she can send them off…to people more helpful than John, I guess. John and Gray leave so she can do this and maybe get menaced by a creature not quite dead. Oops, I hope I didn’t guess the shocking denouement. Gosh darn it all.
She gets a sample (desultory woo hoo) and we cut to Gray and John, wondering how Adriana and the Monster could have such close blood ties. Speculation is tossed about, but one assumes the film crew cleaned up after. John thinks that maybe the creature might have injected blood into human females so it could mate and produce offspring; the mating might make the female more sympathetic to the monster so she would, oh, I dunno, run out and try to warn it if people with foam were going to attack.
Gray is pretty depressed by this, and John mentions that, since the thing stole the eggs, there might be more boglings hatching somewhere that could do this again with another set of females of the human persuasion. Gray mentions how down he is and he and John go back to John’s hotel room. For a swell backrub, I bet.
Ginny, in the meantime, is scowling at the monster no doubt hating that this is taking so long for it to jump up and grab her. After she leaves, of course, it twitches to show it’s more awake than I am. And she goes to some storeroom, to poke about various things, and the monster menaces her with its claw shadows. Shadows, shaped like claws? Tuck me in tighter, daddy!
Well, luckily the storeroom was equipped with a blow torch. So she locks the door, it breaks in, she lights and wields the torch. The monster is impressed that Ginny is holding a torch for him. Eventually, he decides he likes Ginny more than he hates torches. To emphasize this, we cut to Gray trying to call Ginny and getting no answer, so he calls John instead. (Rolls eyes) There’s a good plan. Yes, yes, a very good plan.
We get to see (pretty much in shadow), Mr. Bog carrying Ginny toward the bog. Some cars drive as well in other footage. Gray manages to get one of the clones to call this kidnapping in as important. We “see” (in heavy shadow) Mr. Bog rawring a bit, then cut to some police cars roaring along, sirens a blazing. Everyone who’s anyone is going to rescue Ginny. Don’t ask me why.
They all go to some place that looks like part of a dam, though I guess it’s the lab where the monster was being kept. The best part of it seems to be in flames (Ginny doesn’t know how to wield a torch properly), which John says puts the kibosh on the Ginny-is-still-alive theory, but Gray finds a shoe! This must prove it, prove it all! So they run off together back to their cars, John, Gray, police and all. We zoom into the fire, so we can see….uh…well, cough, nothing. Seems Mr. Bog and Ginny are elsewhere! Still, there was a close up of fire, that was cool, right? Must have been, it was in the movie!
And we cut to Mr. Bog carrying Ginny through the woods, growling and grousing like he has a very upset stomach. The music here is very stupid, it is like one string on a violin being plucked over and over. And we cut to John and Gray driving along like madmen—without any more police. Guess they gave up. Gray has a lot of questions but John tells him “What-ifs are a nickel a pound.” Gray says they have to catch Mr. Bog before he “infuses” Ginny, which he needs to do since Adrianna isn’t around and about.
And we cut to a police car, roaring along. Where these people are going who knows, but they’re all in a huge hurry, weaving all over the road. From the speeding car, Gray somehow spots Mr. Bog’s “slime trail” which we get to see in close up, and everyone parks and runs down to the bog.
And we cut to Mr. Bog, again carrying Ginny, and making these hilarious noises. He sounds like some dirty old man muttering under his breath, and blowing bubbles through a straw. We see he has a very large head, but he’s still lit pretty dark so we don’t get much detail.
More cops, driving like mad fools.
Back to Mr. Bog and his hilarious serenade. This is honestly the funniest monster noise I’ve ever heard. I wonder how the film-makers heard this and thought, “Wow, that chills my blood!” Of course, if they stopped to think about quality, there wouldn’t be any movie at all. (I say that like it’s a bad thing.)
I mean, his monster noises are just non-stop. How the heck could this thing ever sneak up on anyone? Aside from the fact that he carries his own poor lighting around with him, I mean. Even though he’s walking straight toward us, we cannot see any details of him, other than that he’s bipedal and vaguely humanoid.
Exciting footage of Gray and John ambling through the woods is given exciting brass music. Some other cops are still driving around.
Finally, Gray and John come across Mr. Bog and Ginny, and it looks as if he (Mr. Bog) is about to infuse Ginny! We get some very rapid cuts of the monster. He has a ridge of fins on his back, like a stegosaurus. He has pinchers for hands. He has eyes the size of softballs, and lumpy, scaly skin. He likes rushing at the camera so he can’t be seen clearly, and he attacks in rapid jump cuts. Gray, while doing futile wrassling, calls out for Ginny to “Wake up!” She looks straight up into the sun. Shots ring out, though they seem to have no effect. Heck, all those explosives didn’t do anything, why should bullets bother him?
One of the cops sees the monster framed between two trees, and gets a great idea! Why not ram the trees so as to cause a big fire, with the monster between them! Well, aside from the fact that the monster could back away from the fire, that’s a great plan. Fortunately, this never occurs to the monster AND he’s highly flammable, so he soon burns to a crisp while Gray holds the muddy Ginny in his arms.
Cut to a nice sunny day over the lake, with calm placid music and more calm scenery. And we go underwater, seeing various kinds of underwater plant life as we pan along the lakebed. Finally, we get a blue frame around the film, we focus on the egg cluster, and we hear John mention again that when these eggs hatch, they’re going to be looking for ladies. (Is this the first time this thing has mated, ever? Shouldn’t there be several of the creatures, if the eggs come in clusters of a dozen or so?)
Anyway, we get the title “The End” way up near the top, so we can, of course, have a question mark appear beneath it. Ooo, a sequel! Now that’s not only scary, that’s damn cruel.
Speaking of cruel, we get that damn song again while we see our cast. Ginny was Gloria De Haven, Sheriff was Aldo Ray, Gray (who’s listed as “Dr. Brad Wednesday”) was Marshall Thompson, and John was Leo Gordon. The rest were all nobodies, never heard of before or since except by their moms. Jeff Schwaab played Mr. Bog, and the last cast credit is “Adrianna Portrayed by Gloria De Haven.” The hell? The only reason for her to do two roles would be a payroll one. One less actress, a bit of a credit bonus for Ms. De Haven. I guess.
I didn’t happen to spot any duplicate names among the no-name cast and the no-name crew, ie, the gaffer didn’t play one of the clone deputies. Near as I can tell, no one took credit for the monster design or construction, though there was a credit for “makeup” and another for “special effects.” Maybe they made it together. As the credits leave, they sort of sway from side to side a bit. And we’re done.
I can see how someone would, under most circumstances, make a movie like this, and no I’m not going to make a sarcastic comment about plenty of time and not enough talent. No, the way it would normally happen would be, someone would say, “I know how to make a cool monster suit,” and another person would say, “Cool! We should make a movie!” And they got everyone together and started making the movie and when it came time for the monster scenes, the monster suit…was just terrible.
I mean, the only reason to make a movie with bad acting, and dull dialogue and flat, uninteresting camera-work would be because you had a cool monster. If you don’t have a cool monster, the whole movie collapses into pointlessness. A cool monster could have salvaged this (somewhat), but the fact that you never get a good glimpse of it is a big tip-off that it just stank terribly but they’d already told everyone, including mom, that they were making a movie so they had to go through with it.
What other explanation is there? Even Ed Wood showed his monsters, no matter how bad they stank. He knew audiences wanted to see monsters, and brides of monsters, and by gosh he was going to give them this along with lessons about Science Gone Too Far.
Speaking of Ed Wood, much of the “scientific” dialogue here—in fact, pretty much everything said by our three leads--possesses his unmistakable tin ear, though he didn’t write this, for that we have Carl Katt as blame-master. He also has Wood’s laser-like focus on trivia down cold. (To his credit, a lot of the banter by ordinary folk isn’t half bad.) Much as Mr. Katt tried to gussy this up with rotating gene harmonics and anomalous biophasic emissions, the film-makers really had a story here about nothing. Nothing but a monster that stank. Badly. Because it came…from the BOG.
Did you know that “bog” is a euphemism for “toilet” over in England?