Creature from Black Lake (1976)

This was one of the many low-budget Bigfoot movies made in the 70s, all of which were probably attempts to cash in on the success of “The Legend of Boggy Creek,” which somehow took in $20 million. Despite being unoriginal, I think this is a MUCH better movie than “Creek” and possibly the best Bigfoot movie ever made, take that as you will.

Whereas “Creek” suffered from having no plot, no main characters, and insane musical numbers, “Lake” has a tense, engaging story with a great cast. The last 15 minutes are unexpectedly suspenseful and had me hooked. It also has some very funny scenes, especially during the second half when we are introduced to Trapper Joe (played by fantastic character actor Jack Elam). Joe is hilarious, although I’m still slightly creeped out by the fact that he had a large doll hanging by a string in his bedroom.

Besides the characters, I also just like the look and feel of this movie, with the brown, dusty backgrounds and eerie forests. The settings are great and create an unforgettable atmosphere. If you’re looking for a low-budget thriller that, while not exactly scary, is at least fun and exciting, this one is hard to beat.