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Bog (1983)

Directed by Don Keeslar
905 Entertainment DVD

THE FILM
Will Milwaukee ever escape the stigmatic odor of cheap beer? That would be a “no.” And it’s all thanks to Bog.

The magic of Wisconsin knows no limits. If someone stripped out every line of Bog‘s dialogue, the film would still make perfect sense. Words are inconsequential when conveying the feelings behind lines such as “Amen to that!” and “That’sabunchacrap!” Shot outside of Milwaukee in the late 70s, Bog is awash with beer, backyard monster rhubarb, and more beer. So much beer that one-time feature director Don Keeslar threw in some hot fifty-something make-out action AND the most logical monster death ever (rammed with a goddamn car, FYI). As an Old Milwaukee commercial once said, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

Sheriff Aldo Ray has a problem on his hands. Bog Lake has been assaulted by a blood-sucking beast and he’s got to stop it. Even if he thinks all of the victims are “on angel dust!” Along the way, two of Milwaukee’s finest exports, Chuck and Bill, join the hunt and drink beer. Two over-the-hill doctors play with test tubes (and each other). Adriana, a psychic in the woods, might have a connection to the monster. A retarded farmer offers to help in anyway he can.

Bill Rebane better watch his back. Despite the endless conversations and padding, Bog is a PG rated, Midwestern delight. Technical competence hits the dirt (butter knife edits, awful compositions) and things drag towards the end, but that’s all right. The regional silliness, library music pilfering, and kaput budget drop the film somewhere between a Monster Kid Home Movies outtake and the earlier Night Fright. Kill scenes are ridiculously dramatic. The monster suit fails on all levels. Frequent bursts of hilarity courtesy Mr. Ray and Chuck detach all strings; even if you fall asleep, you’ll feel pretty good about it.

Bog cracks another can and Milwaukee weeps. Join them both in stinky harmony.

AUDIO AND VIDEO
Grab a copy of the old Prism VHS, watch it 500 times, capture it on a computer from 1998, then burn a DVD-R. That’s what we have here, but with a few bonuses. Frozen frames every twenty seconds. A nifty blue PaintShop border over the opening and closing credits. Blocks of compression the size of hamburgers. Really awful.

EXTRAS
Four scene selection stops and that lovely cover art. You’ll want to frame it.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Like the similarly-themed Terror In The Swamp, Bog isn’t going to win any awards in your heart, but it’s still entertaining. Track down a Prism VHS if you’re going to see it; this DVD is a stunning hunk of shit.