Hamburger, Fries, and a Coke

The equivalent to watching Creature from Black Lake is sitting for a series of crummy campfire stories about bigfoot, each dwindling what limited patience each listener has. The oddly named Pahoo (Dennis Fimple) and Rives (John David Carson) speak to the locals in Oil City, Louisiana about their experiences, many spilling elongated tales that chew through screentime.

Pahoo and Rives enter the town from Chicago, looking to research the mythical creature. That means simple confrontations between southerners and Yankees, both distrusting of each other, and occasionally, Sasquatch kills people. Painful subplots drift into romance, killing more runtime with no discernible plot consequence.

Post-Jaws, Creature from Black Lake looked to market itself on the back of that shark

There’s slight redneck horror at work in Creature from Black Lake. An elderly drunkard deals with a loss caused by bigfoot as these character archetypes often do, rambling and ranting as no one believes him. The town’s fear is northerners framing them as hicks, but citizens like that tell the story themselves.

Creature from Black Lake ends on a man vs nature conflict, the University of Chicago scholar forced to stare down the missing link he came to study. Even that isn’t exciting though. Man-in-suit effects seems passable, but he’s photographed between edits or at such a distance, it hardly matters anyway.

Post-Jaws, Creature from Black Lake looked to market itself on the back of that shark and a slight boon in bigfoot culture. Now, it’s a plodding, frustrating, and irritating low-budget exploitation example, minus the forceful (occasionally interesting too) subtext about preservation common to ’70’s era creature horror.

Video

Ludicrously sharp, pristine, and glossy, Creature from Black Lake shows extreme texture and detail throughout. Close-ups draw out the facial detail, and wide shots define the forest as if magic. Grain isn’t consistent but it’s well handled and controlled by the encode.

There’s barely a scratch or speck left on this vintage film stock. Pinpoint black levels crush but only when at their darkest zones; that’s unquestionably the source material. Contrast does spectacular work when possible. Sunlight glistens from the white van and other surroundings, still controlled as to avoid clipping, yet pleasing.

Rich color saturates brilliantly, likely helped by modern digital tools, but that isn’t apparent. Primaries hold natural qualities including flesh tones. Trees around the forest display a splendid, hefty green. It’s dazzling.

Audio

It’s rough going for this audibly old and cheap recording. At times, dialog is almost completely lost, like when in a crowded hallway at school or a noisy exterior. Worn down mono keeps the source as-is, and at least uncompressed in DTS-HD. Forget any real range or fidelity.

Extras

A 19-minute interview with director of photography Dean Cudney joins the trailer and a TV spot. In the audio selection, you’ll find a commentary with scholar Michael Gingold and historian Chris Poggiali.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Creature from Black Lake
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras

Movie

A tiresome, patience-sapping bigfoot flick, Creature from Black Lake tries even the most forgiving movie watcher.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 31 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots grabbed directly from the Blu-ray: