Friday, June 27, 2008

The Legend of Boggy Creek

Welcome to the BLOG! Movie of the Week. Here's another lost artifact from the primordial ooze, the 1972 swamp documentary THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK. It's a true story, well, it's based on a true story, anyway, or at least contains some elements of the truth, all about the denizens of Fouck, Arkansas who come face to face with a creature known as the Fouck monster. One part Bigfoot, one part Bullwinkle, he's a terrifying figure who howls plaintively into the night, frightening the heck out of the local citizenry.

This movie made a killing at the box office thanks to a scary ad campaign that packed 'em in, including a great trailer that promised a lot more than the movie delivered, but it got people to fork over their five bucks a carload to go see it in the first place...What I'm saying is that THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK is not the greatest movie in the world, but it's got a bigfoot in it, and if you saw this thing when you were a kid, it'll bring back a lot of memories.

THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK cost 100,000 dollars to make and grossed more than 20 million dollars. It was one of the first of the so-called Bigfoot movies, which led to more Bigfoot movies, including LEGEND OF BIGFOOT, IN SEARCH OF BIGFOOT, CURSE OF BIGFOOT, CREATURE FROM BLACK LAKE, MANBEAST, HARRY & THE HENDERSONS, SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED, SASQUATCH ODDYSSEY, SASQUATCH HUNTERS, LITTLE BIGFOOT, LITTLE BIGFOOT 2: THE JOURNEY HOME, and NIGHT OF THE SASSY.

The film spawned two awful sequels: 1977's RETURN TO BOGGY CREEK was a G-rated adventure starring Dawn Wells, better known as Mary Ann on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, and Dana Plato, the one-time child star who would go on to overdose in 1999. None of the creative team behind the original BOGGY CREEK had anything to do with the completely unrelated sequel, but director Charles B. Pierce returned to the subject in 1988's vaguely related THE BARBARIC BEAST OF BOGGY CREEK II, also known as BOGGY CREEK II: THE LEGEND CONTINUES, a film you may remember seeing on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000.

THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK is pretty lousy, but not that bad compared to the other two BOGGY flicks. And, if you happened to be crammed into the family station wagon down at the local drive-in back in '72, and witnessed this movie at an impressionable age, well, you might enjoy another viewing.

Or you might not.

Available on DVD from Cheezy Flicks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Supreme Court Rules for Exxon OK!

Supreme Court Rules for Exxon, or Money Talks, Bullshit Walks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the record $2.5 billion in punitive damages that Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) had been ordered to pay for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska.

The nation's highest court ruled that the punitive damages should be limited to an amount equal to the total relevant compensatory damages of $507.5 million.

In the court's opinion, Justice David Souter concluded that the $2.5 billion in punitive damages was excessive under federal maritime law, and should be cut to the amount of actual harm.

By a 5-3 vote, the justices overturned a ruling by a U.S. Court of Appeals that had awarded the record punitive damages to about 32,000 commercial fishermen, Alaska natives, property owners and others harmed by the nation's worst tanker spill.

Soaring oil prices have propelled Exxon Mobil to previously unforeseen levels of profitability in recent years, posting earnings of $40.6 billion in 2007.

It took the company just under two days to bring in $2.5 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2007.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Wild Ride

JM Dobies here, presenting the BLOG! Movie of the Week. This time out, our long-forgotten feature is THE WILD RIDE from 1960, written and directed by Harvey Berman for Roger Corman's FilmGroup. The film stars a young Jack Nicholson as arrogant punk Johnny Varron, a teenage tough guy who's got a problem with authority figures. He deals with this deep-seated authority problem by driving way too fast in his souped-up hot rod, running motorcycle cops off the road, just for kicks.

He is, to use his own phrase, a "real far-out stud." He runs his gang ruthlessly as "top man," telling his underlings what to do and who to date. When his best friend Dave goes soft over a new chick, Johnny tells him to drop her, because "She's out...She doesn't fit."

Of course, thanks to his obsessive, control-freak ways, Johnny engineers his own downfall, and all because of this one square chick. If only Dave had listened...

If you think you've seen this film before, but you remember it being in color, you're probably right. There was a computer-colorized home video version retitled VELOCITY released in the 1980s. In an attempt to sucker the viewer into thinking it was a more recent Jack Nicholson picture, new scenes were added as a framing device, with some guy who looked and sounded nothing like Jack playing his character as an old man, telling his story to an '80s street punk with bad hair. Needless to say, it didn't work, and you're better off with the original.

Jack Nicholson has come to be known as one of our finest actors, but few would have predicted that at the time he made this movin' picture. He'd made only one film prior to THE WILD RIDE, 1958's THE CRY BABY KILLER, where he played another young punk with a taste for killing. He appeared in two other films in 1960, TOO SOON TO LOVE, where he again played a troubled teen coping with his chick's unplanned pregnancy, and most famously, a fine comic performance in the original LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, as squeaky-voiced masochist Wilbur Force, who gets off on getting his teeth drilled full of holes at the dentist's.

For Nicholson fans, it's fascinating to watch the young Jack show flashes of his future persona, and certainly a much better way to waste your time than renting THE BUCKET LIST.

Anyway, if you dig fast cars, crazy chicks, and cool hipster slang, this flick is for you. The dialogue is priceless, and while there's not much of a plot, the whole thing's over in less than an hour.

Available on DVD from Alpha Home Video and BCI/Eclipse, while VELOCITY, the colorized, augmented version is available from Concorde and is to be avoided at all costs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Florida Rocks Again!: The Ones That Got Away


Wednesday June 11th from 6 to 8 p.m. ET
Saturday June 14th from 8 to 10 p.m. ET

Listen via Live365 at

A rockin' installment of the long-running radio series featuring a two-hour chunk of Florida-related racket, all songs that had not previously appeared on the show since we went back on the air last summer.


MUDCRUTCH: Don't Do Me Like That
SAM & DAVE: Rich Kind of Poverty
THE BARONS: Lovin' Man
THE ROYAL GUARDSMEN: Jolly Green Giant/Peanut Butter

THE SANDPIPERS: Love Is a Beautiful Thing
A CERTAIN AMOUNT: Is This the Dream
THE BELOVED: I'll Be Back Again
GEEKUS: A Hard Day's Night

THE 13th HOUR GLASS: Baby Let's Wait
THE RAZOR'S EDGE: Get Yourself Together
THE MAGI: You Don't Know Me

: Heart Beat
THE 31st OF FEBRUARY: The Greener Isle
ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND: Ain't Wastin' Time No More/Jessica

LYNYRD SKYNYRD: Need All My Friends (1970 version)
MUDCRUTCH: Shady Grove

THE TROPICS: Hey Little Girl/For a Long Time (1999 version)
BLUES IMAGE: Gas Lamps and Clay
MERCY: Love (Can Make You Happy)
THE IMPACS: Forever and a Day

Series Hosted by Mal Thursday

Written & Produced by JM Dobies

Co-Produced by Jeff Lemlich


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Home Alone

My wife and kids have been out of town since the first of the month, and I have to admit that it's messing up my mind. I had envisioned two weeks of intense work on creative projects, interspersed with a DVD film festival, a few nights out on the town, and more than a few beers.

I've managed to produce a couple of radio shows, but not much else. Instead, I've been moping around in a fog, missing my family something fierce. Work is sucking, and home is totally depressing without the usual chaos. It's just me and my dog, and even he's bored.

You know I'm off my game when the filthy Braves get swept in consecutive weekend series, with Chipper injured and bitching, his batting average slowly coming down to earth, as another third-place finish would appear to be a best case scenario for Atlanta -- and I can't even muster one issue of Brave Hater.

Hell, the thing would practically write itself.

I'm starting to feel a little better. I actually got out of the house to hang out with some friends yesterday, and will probably do the same tonight. I updated the Netflix queue, so I'll have that mini-filmfest after all.

What I'm really looking forward to is this weekend: seeing my wife and children again.

Monday, June 2, 2008

ISO 35mm Print of "Stanley" (1972)

My friend, filmmaker William Grefe, is looking for a 35mm print of his 1972 suspense film Stanley, for a special screening at the Beverly Theatre in Los Angeles, on a double bill with Grefe's 1974 psycho shocker Impulse, starring the one and only William Shatner.

If you have a print of this movie, please get in touch with Bill at

To all of our friends in NE Florida, look out for TV screenings of Grefe's Death Curse of Tartu and Sting of Death this summer on Channel 22's Surreal Cinema, Friday nights at 9 and 11 p.m.